Aylesford Ladies 0 Gillingham Ladies 17
Report by Julian Hart
Gillingham Ladies lifted the Kent Reliance Kent FA Women’s Cup after a emphatic win over Aylesford Ladies at Maidstone United’s Gallagher Stadium on Monday night.
Gillingham had beaten last season’s winner London Corinthians on route to the final, while a semi-final win over Meridian secured their place in the final. Gills had already faced Aylesford in the FA Cup earlier on in the season so were no unknown to Gills heading into the tie.
Gills opened the game in perfect fashion, with just five minutes on the clock Jenny Newman hit the back of the net after brilliant play in the middle of the pitch by Lauren Davis set Bethany Nugent to assist Newman. 1-0
Gills remained on the front foot in the opening passages of play, adding to the scoreline in the twelfth minute when Charlotte Gurr tapped home from close range, after Newman’s shot was saved by Sara McFadden in the Aylesford goal. 2-0
Vanisha Patel added Gills third goal when she spectacularly chipped the keeper from 25 yards out. 3-0
Gills netted a fourth in the 27th minute, Newman scoring her second of the game. Gurr’s smart pass found its way to Newman and set her one on one with the goalkeeper, Newman duly slotting home. 4-0
Aylesford created a chance between Gills fourth goal and the half time interval. Zara Chapman closed down a short back pass by Rachel Ahern to Gills goalkeeper Katie Startup. Startup’s clearance bounced off Chapman and fortunately for Gillingham flew out for a goal kick.
HALF TIME: AYLESFORD LADIES 0 GILLINGHAM LADIES 4 (Newman 5,27, Patel 21, Gurr 12)
Gillingham started the second half right out of the blocks, taking just three minutes after the restart to increase their tally. Jade Keogh delivered a corner to April Bowers on the edge of the box, in plenty of space Bowers sent a half volley nestling into the back of the net. 5-0
Aylesford had a chance when Beck Barr’s free kick on the edge of the box tested Gills keeper Katie Startup, who’s quick reactions saw a fingertip save push the shot over the crossbar.
But Gills quickly made it six when Fliss Gibbons beat the defence for pace and slotted her effort past McFadden. 6-0
Gibbons secured a early second half brace netting just a minute after the last, with the ball on the edge of the box the forward got a shot away under a challenge from the Aylesford defence but managed to find the shot into the bottom corner. 7-0
Gibbons rounded off a second half hat trick in six minutes, Gibbons pace up front beat the Aylesford defenders and set another one on one chance with McFadden and Gibbons slotted home. 8-0
Gills ninth goal came from substitute Kallie Balfour with her first impact of the game. Gillingham worked the ball well to find Balfour inside the box and the forward lashed a shot into the net. 9-0
Balfour scored a quick brace, adding her second of the game just two minutes later. Again finding the time to get a shot away inside the box, the forward’s clinical edge finding the target. 10-0
With 15 minutes to play, April Bowers collected the ball on the edge of the box and sent a low shot flying into the bottom corner of the net. 11-0
Charlotte Gurr added Gills twelfth goal of the night, placing a effort beyond the keepers reach after a smart turn beat the Aylesford defence and gave herself time to get the shot away. 12-0
Gills continued to turn the screw and Newman secured her hat trick when she netted Gillingham’s thirteenth goal of the game. 13-0
As the game tailed into the last ten minutes, Balfour found the target from close range to notch a second half hat trick for the forward. 14-0
Gurr joined in following her fellow strikers by netting her third goal of the game to secure her hat trick. Gibbons’ assisting Gurr to tap home from ten yards out. 15-0
There was still time for more, Gibbons drilled a effort low down to the far corner of the goal from the right side edge of the box. The shot was beyond the keepers grasp. 16-0
April Bowers rounded off the scoreline with her third of the game, the Aylesford keeper spilled a cross from the wing and Bowers pounced to force the ball into the net. 17-0
A big win for Gills against Aylesford at The Gallagher Stadium, the victory sees Gills lift the Kent FA Women’s Cup after a years absence from holding the title.
FULL TIME: AYLESFORD LADIES 0 GILLINGHAM LADIES 17 (Newman 5,27,78, Patel 21, Gurr 12,75,80, Bowers 48,73,83, Gibbons 51,53,57, 81, Balfour 65,67,79)
Gillingham Ladies FC: Katie Startup, Vanisha Patel, Rachel Ahern, Millie Waud (64′ Ellie Manning), April Bowers, Bethany Nugent (64′ Kallie Balfour), Lauren Davis (64′ Emily Symonds), Jade Keogh, Charlotte Gurr, Fliss Gibbons, Jenny Newman
Unused Subs: Courtney Shanly, Grace Seely
Aylesford Ladies FC: Sara McFadden, Rachel Jestin-Cull, Alex Witham, Stacey Glover, Alison Draper, Becks Barr, Sophie Brown, Niamh Jestin, Olivia Jestin, Beth Hulme, Zara Chapman
Subs: Leigh Shacklock, Laura Brown, Jade Folkard, Helen Jefferies
Referee: Kirsty Dowle
Assistants: Mark Bellamy, Carl Heather