Gills beat Canaries to progress in FA WPL Cup 

Gillingham Ladies secured a place in the next round of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup after an 8-2 win over Norwich City Ladies. 

A previous round 4-0 win against Southampton Saints LFC set up today’s fixture for Gills. 

Gills manager Jack Wheeler made changes to his side from the previous weeks’ league fixture against Ipswich. Emily Symonds, Jade Keogh and Fliss Gibbons made the starting eleven in the place of Vicky Ashton-Jones, Lauren Williams and Millie Waud. 

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors, Chelsea Garrett found a gap in the Gills defence and slipped through onto a through ball in the penalty area. Garrett didn’t connect with the ball well enough to get it goalwards and Gills cleared to safety. 

Gills opened the scoreline with 15 minutes on the clock, Amy Taylor turned in a low cross from inside the box, nestling the shot into the back of the net. 1-0

Just four minutes later Gills doubled their lead. On the edge of the box, Fliss Gibbons set up Emma Tune who hit her curling shot with pinpoint accuracy into the far top corner, just beyond Fiona Coombe’s fingertips in the Norwich goal. 2-0

Gills further increased the scoreline with half an hour gone of the game, Jade Keogh battled past a defender before sending a low cross along the six yard box. April Bowers poking the ball home from close range past a Norwich defender and the Goalkeeper on the line. 3-0

Norwich made a reply as half time approached. Chelsea Garrett found a chance and converted the opportunity by placing her shot underneath Shanly and giving the Canaries a glimpse of hope of getting back in the tie. 3-1

But before the half time interval Gills restored their three goal advantage, Emily Symonds converted her effort on goal after being set up ten yards out by Fliss Gibbons, who delivered a smart pass which caught out the Norwich defence. 4-1

Half Time: Gillingham Ladies 4 Norwich City Ladies 1

After the break Gills first chance of the second half fell in the 60th minute. Emily Symonds’ pass to Harriet Chapman is a dangerous one into the penalty area. Chapman manages to turn the ball goalwards but Norwich get a block and the ball loops over for a corner. 

Norwich still looked dangerous on the break, Katie Parsons’ long range effort forced Gills keeper Shanly into action to tip the shot over the crossbar. 

Gills extended their lead in the 66th minute with two headed goals in three minutes. First Jade Keogh headed home from a corner. 5-1

And minutes later Fliss Gibbons rose highest in the crowded box during a Keogh taken corner to also score with a headed effort. 6-1

Gills’ second half substitute and debutant Bethany Nugent made it seven when she tapped home from close range. Norwich substitute keeper Ellie Bird had initially saved Emma Tune’s freekick, but spilled the ball and Nugent reacted quickly to slot the lose ball past the keeper. 7-1

Norwich caught Gills napping after the goal and within a minute after the restart had another for efforts. Norwich’s attack wasn’t closed down and a long range shot dipped over Shanly and into the far corner of the goal. 7-2

Gills Ladies had the last note in the fixture. In the last minute Jade Keogh added to her match tally with an absolute screamer. 30 yards out unleashed a perfectly placed shot into the top corner which was out of the reach of the Norwich keeper. 8-2

Full Time: Gillingham Ladies 8 Norwich City Ladies 2

Gillingham Ladies: Courtney Shanly, Vanisha Patel (65′ Bethany Nugent), Rachel Ahern, Charlie Thurston, Emma Tune, Grace Seely, Emily Symonds (70′ Ellie Manning), April Bowers, Jade Keogh, Fliss Gibbons, Amy Taylor (45′ Harriet Chapman)

Gillingham Subs: Katie Hardaker, Lydia Wills, Ellie Manning, Bethany Nugent, Harriet Chapman

Norwich City Ladies: Fiona Coombes, Brooke Osborne, Erin Wilson, Ebony Wiseman, Kate Parsons, Bryony Radley, Ellen Swift, Natasha Swelling, Chelsea Garrett, Jodie Drake, Kyla Love

Norwich City LFC Subs: Emma Faux, Ellie Bird

Referee: Peter Cruise

Assistants: Matt Williams, Alex Conteh

Attendance: 64


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