Gillingham Ladies 5 Stevenage Ladies 1
Report by Julian Hart
Gillingham Ladies enjoyed a sunny afternoon at K Sports running out 5-1 victors against Stevenage Ladies. Rosie Kmita opened the scoring before Fliss Gibbons saw a penalty saved by Katherine Long in the Stevenage goal. Charlotte Gurr netted a hat trick of goals before Dominique Godbeer turned into her own net, Stevenage grabbed a fortunate stoppage time consolation goal.
Gills returned to league action after lifting the Kent FA Women’s Cup during the week. Manager Jack Wheeler made three changes from the Cup Final squad, Millie Waud, Bethany Nugent and Lauren Davis made way for recalls for Cat Cooper, Rosie Kmita and Emily Symonds.
Gillingham started brightly and nearly opened the scoring in the second minute. Fliss Gibbons sent a square ball across the edge of the penalty box to Jade Keogh, who on first touch sent a low shot towards goal. Stevenage keeper Katherine Long reacting quick enough to push the effort for a corner.
Gills were ahead with six minutes on the clock, Rosie Kmita’s converted from close range beating Stevenage keeper Long. 1-0
Gillingham looked the most comfortable on the ball, and with quarter of an hour gone had a great chance to add to the scoreline. Gibbons was fouled inside the box and the spot kick was awarded. Gibbons stepped up for the penalty, her well struck effort was brilliantly saved by Long.
Stevenage’s resilient defending after the penalty save made for difficult work for Gillingham. It took till a minute before half time for Gills to churn out a chance and they took it when it came along. Symonds delivering a cross from the right wing to find Charlotte Gurr at the far post to slot home from a few yards out. 2-0
Gurr netted her brace in added time of the first half when on the edge of the box lobbed the Stevenage defender and Goalkeeper and with Long flat footed watched the ball sail into the net. 3-0
HALF TIME: GILLINGHAM LADIES 3 STEVENAGE LADIES 0
Gillingham started the second half as they left off the first. Catherine Cooper set up Fliss Gibbons to head narrowly wide of the Stevenage goal.
With an hour gone, R.Kmita’s initial shot was blocked and sent for a corner. Keogh delivering a cross into the box and Stevenage keeper Long couldn’t keep out Gurr’s header which tricked into the net. 4-0
Ten minutes later it was five for Gills, second half substitute Kallie Balfour cut from in from the right hand side, sending a low cross along the six yard box. Stevenage defender Dominique Godbeer sticking out a leg and deflected the ball past her own keeper. 5-0
Gurr had another chance with twenty minutes left, Gibbons played a smart through ball and Gurr the chance one on one with the keeper. Gurr dragged the effort wide of the far post.
April Bowers kept Long busy in-between the sticks, first a powerful strike had to be tipped over the crossbar. Then Bowers second effort rattled the post, R.Kmita following up but Long was quick enough to block the shot and cleared to safety.
Gills couldn’t maintain the clean sheet they had worked so hard for, as the ball was played across the defensive line, Katie Startup was closed down by Emma Slater. Startup’s clearance rebounded off of Slater and tricked into the net for a late Stevenage consolation goal. 5-1
FULL TIME: Gillingham Ladies 5 (R.Kmita 6′, Gurr 44′,45′,61′, O.G 69′) Stevenage Ladies 1 (Slater, 90′)
Gillingham Ladies FC: Katie Startup, Vanisha Patel (62′ Mollie Kmita), Rachel Ahern, Cat Cooper, April Bowers, Rosie Kmita, Emily Symonds, Jade Keogh, Charlotte Gurr (80′ Ellie Manning), Fliss Gibbons, Jenny Newman (62′ Kallie Balfour)
Unused Subs: Grace Seely
Stevenage Ladies FC: Katherine Long, Lisa Milliken, Tanya Blacksley, Jade Beckett, Dominique Godbeer, Cara Breckenridge, Bolu Fisher, Amy Josland, Rosy Woodhams, Donna McGuigan, Gemma Croucher
Subs: Emma Slater, Hollie Jardine, Kristi Burling
Referee: Tunde Adebayo
Assistants: Ralph Gerard-Cross, Sam Eyre