Following last week’s FA WPL cup win manager Jack Wheeler made just one change to the starting line up. Forward Amy Taylor making way for Harriett Chapman to make her first league start for Gills since her move from Herne Bay LFC.
It was nearly a perfect start for Gillingham, with just two minutes on the clock, Grace Seely turned in a shot from a wide right cross but was ruled out for offside.
Gills were close again before the tenth minute mark, April Bowers took her chance on the edge of the box but her effort sailed over the crossbar.
The Gills broke the deadline in the 28th minute of the game. Fliss Gibbons converted the opportunity she found herself with after great work by Seely on the right wing. Gibbons cooly slotted past Eilisha Brogan in the Lowestoft goal. 1-0
With Gills applying all the pressure, they nearly doubled their lead two minutes after the first goal. Jade Keogh’s shot was brilliant saved by Brogan to keep the scoreline to a solitary goal.
Unfortunately for Brogan, six minutes later as the ball fizzed across the six yard box, Ellie Froud diverted it past her own keeper. 2-0
As the half time break approached, Gills created two chances to increase their lead. Charlie Thurston collecting the ball in the Gills defence and making a good progressive run forward. Thurston tried an effort from long range and the shot was dragged wide of the left post. Just before the half time break, from a corner kick, April Bowers jumped highest in a crowded penalty area but couldn’t get her header on target.
HALF TIME: GILLINGHAM LFC 2 LOWESTOFT TOWN LFC 0
Gills started the second half as they finished the first and got their rewards within minutes. Fliss Gibbons finding the space in the visitors defence and slotting home past Brogan in the Lowestoft goal. 3-0
Lowestoft managed a response five minutes after Gills third goal. Hannah Waters converting a close range shot past Gills keeper Courtney Shanly. 3-1
The tie became a close encounter as Gills looked to maintain their advantage while Lowestoft looked to narrow the scoreline.
Ten minutes left on the clock, second half substitute Kallie Balfour netted a goal on her return from injury. A turn of pace gave the forward space to place a shot beyond the keeper reach. 4-1
As the fixture ran into second half injury time, Gills were awarded a penalty. Lowestoft’s defender was adjudged to have handled the ball blocking a goal bound shot inside the box. April Bowers stepped up to take the spot kick but Eilisha Brogan guessed correctly to dive down low to save the penalty.
Gills would extend the lead with the last kick of the game. Balfour grabbed her second of the game, as she headed home a far post cross. 5-1
FULL TIME: GILLINGHAM LADIES 5 LOWESTOFT TOWN LADIES 1
Gillingham Ladies: Courtney Shanly, Rachel Ahern, Charlie Thurston, Vanisha Patel, Emma Tune, April Bowers, Fliss Gibbons, Emily Symonds (Vicky Ashton-Jones 62′), Grace Seely, Harriett Chapman (Kallie Balfour 62′), Jade Keogh (Millie Waud 71′)
Subs: Vicky Ashton-Jones, Lauren Williams, Millie Waud, Kallie Balfour
Goals: Gibbons 28′,47′, Own Goal 36′, Balfour 81′,90′
Lowestoft Ladies: Eilisha Brogan, Lyndsey Adams, Charnell Riggall, Broghan Scully, Abbie Everson, Ellie Froud, Gemma Moore, Millie Daviss, Hannah Waters, Molly Hall, Aimee Durrent
Lowestoft Subs: Jackie Zavala, Alex Tibble
Goals: Hannah Waters 50′
Referee: Marcin Indyk
Assistant Referees: Sam Wilson, Tony Woods