Report by John Seager
Gillingham Ladies 13 Meridian Ladies 1
Gillingham Ladies progressed through to their fourth Kent FA Womens’ Cup final in five years with an emphatic victory against Meridian Ladies FC.
Gills started the game on the back foot as they conceded an early goal, when Katie Startup misplaced her goal kick and this let in Zara Roots who was unmarked and she let loose a powerful shot from over twenty yards out, the ball loped over Startup’s head and into the back of the net.
But within a space of 8 minutes, Gillingham took control of the game and scored four well worked goals. Fliss Gibbons ran with the ball to the left side of the six yard penalty box before slotting the ball to Charlotte Gurr to tap the ball home to put the Gills on level terms.
Gurr turned from scorer to provide a second goal when she drilled an excellent through ball to Gibbons, who she slotted the ball home form one yard out. Gills third goal came from Gurr as she hit two good shots on the edge of the penalty area, Jessica Nunn did well to save both shots but she couldn’t save the third shot from Gurr as that shot went over head and into the net.
The fourth goal came from Jenny Newman who was staring for the Gills for the first time since joining the club from Charlton Athletic Ladies. Millie Waud drilled a good pass to Gibbons who ran towards goal and she passed the ball to Newman inside the penalty area, who then slotted the ball into the net to score her first goal for the club.
Gills completed a dominant first half by adding there more goals. The first one came from April Bowers who got at the end of a good pass from Emily Symonds and hit a powerful shot from outside the penalty area which Nunn had no chance of saving. Gurr them completed a first half hat trick when Gibbons conducted an excellent turn on the edge of the penalty area before hitting a good cross for Gurr to head the ball home and Newman then scored her second goal of the game when Gurr has a shot which was saved well by Nunn, but the ball fell kindly to Newman as she slotted home the rebound inside the penalty area.
HALF TIME: Meridian Ladies 1 Gillingham Ladies 7
Gillingham started the second half well by scoring their eighth goal of game. Gibbons did well with the ball on the edge of the penalty box and she hit a beautiful low curing shot past Nunn and into the bottom corner of the net.
Gills took their tally into double figures by adding two goals in over a minute, with Gurr scoring both of the goals. The first goal happened from a cross from Bowers and Gurr took a brilliant touch before slotting the ball into the net, she scored again less than a minute later – her fifth of the game – when she got the ball from Bowers again and she hit a powerful shot from the edge of the area and the ball curled into the net.
Gills completed the scoring with three more goals in the final fifteen minutes of the game. Bethany Nugent ran onto a good through ball and she slotted the ball into the net from inside the penalty area. Newman then passed the ball to Rachel Ahern who slotted the ball home to score her only goal of the game. The final goal of the came from Lauren Davis, she capped off a brilliant move by curling a brilliant shot from outside the penalty box – as she scored on her return from injury.
Katie Startup, Grace Seely, Rachel Ahern, Ellie Manning, Millie Waud, Bethany Nugent, Emily Symonds, Jenny Newman, April Bowers, Charlotte Gurr (Courtney Shanly 55), Fliss Gibbons (Lauren Davis 67)
Jessica Nunn, Katie Waters, Louise Jackson, Remmy Little, Joanna Idzikowski, Melissa Cook, Lucinda Turner, Zara Roots, Amy Russ,
Subs: Keira Daulby
Referee: Gavin Hoare
Linesman: Connor Stacey and Matthew Grist