A look back at the 2015/16 season….
After sealing second place and runners up in the FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One, we take a look back at the highs and lows of the season.
After a management change over the Summer, Darren Hare and Jack Wheeler were appointed joint First Team Managers.
Gills Ladies first game of the season against Ipswich Town LFC was unfortunately postponed so the first game of season was a week later at home to Bedford LFC with Gills winning convincingly (9-0) and Kallie Balfour scored her first hat trick of the season. The month ended with a defeat (4-0) away to Brighton & Hove Albion Ladies in the FA WPL Cup.
Gills spent most of September on the road, which didn’t start well with a 5-0 defeat away to Crystal Palace LFC. However, Gills won the next four games against Ipswich Town LFC (2-1), Norwich City LFC (4-1), Old Actonians LFC (3-0) and Luton Town LFC (4-2), scoring 13 goals with Kallie Balfour scoring 5 including another hat trick.
Gills welcomed Pauline Cope-Boanas to the coaching team bringing a huge amount of experience and prestige having enjoyed an illustrious international and domestic playing career. Jack Wheeler also took over full charge of the First Team.
The month of October was all about the cups, with wins against Southampton Saints in the FA WPL Plate (3-2), AFC Wimbledon in the FA Women’s Cup (7-0), Dartford Royals in the Kent Women’s Cup (5-1) and Bury Town in the Ryman League Cup (10-0).
The last game of the month was an away trip to Bedford LFC in the league with Gills winning 9-1. This time hat tricks were scored by both Kallie Balfour and Paige Baker-Carroll.
Again the month of November mainly consisted of cup games, however, the month started with a long trip to Norwich in the league but unfortunately the game was abandoned in the second half due to bad weather with Gills leading 3-1.
Gills progressed in the FA Women’s Cup winning 3-0 against Herne Bay Ladies. Next up was a trip to London Corinthians in Kent Women’s Cup but this ended in a 1-0 defeat and ended a 10 match unbeaten run.
Gills only league game during the month ended in a 1-1 draw away to Cambridge Utd LFC. A thrilling game against Tottenham Hotspurs LFC in the Ryman’s League Cup ended in a 5-3 defeat, but Gills did progress to the next round of the FA WPL Plate with a 5-3 win over Lewes Ladies.
The month mainly consisted of postponed matches with only one game being played and it was another trip to face London Corinthians this time in the FA Women’s Cup, Gills winning 4-3 in extra time.
The postponements continued into January with Gills first game in six weeks being away to Forest Green in the FA Women’s Cup, the game ended 1-1 after extra time but Gills won on penalties after a number of fantastic saves by Young Player of the Year Courtney Shanly.
Next Gills welcomed Newcastle WFC to Chatham Town FC in the FA WPL Plate but the game ended in defeat (3-0).
February began with Gills last cup game of the season in the FA Women’s Cup with a 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspurs LFC.
The latter part of the month were two important matches in the league, an away trip to MK Dons LFC with Gills taking all 3 points and at home to Crystal Palace LFC with Gills needing all 3 points to keep the heat on Palace at the top of the table but the game ended in a draw (1-1).
The month of March was the start of a busy end to the season with three league home games against Denham Utd LFC (5-1), Luton Town LFC (4-0) and Lowestoft Town LFC (13-0). Gills won all three games scoring 22 goals and only conceding one, with Kallie Balfour scoring another hat trick.
The month started with two away games firstly to Lowestoft then a midweek game against Enfield, the first game was another convincing win (6-0) but the second game ended 0-0 which meant Gills had to rely on other results if they were to achieve promotion this season.
The month ended with three home games against MK Dons LFC, Camridge Utd WFC and Ipswich Town LFC. The first two games ended in defeats for Gills but the team got back on track against Ipswich going 2-0 down but came back to win 3-2.
With the season coming to a close and the number of postponements earlier in the season, Gills needed to play 4 games in the space of 3 weeks.Firstly on the road to face Denham Utd LFC with a convincing 3-0 win followed by a 1-0 win at home against Enfield Town LFC.
Gills last away game was a convincing 8-0 win against Norwich City LFC with Kallie Balfour scoring 6 goals. The last game of the season was at home to Old Actonians LFC with Gills winning 5-1 to finish the season in style, winning five games on the bounce and scoring 20 goals.
Kallie Balfour scored 8 goals in the last 2 games to finish the league’s top goal scorer and Gills finished runners up in the league on 51 points.