Congratulations to Rainham Girls who secured victory in Area Finals...On Wednesday the team from Rainham School for Girls, who won the Local Final of the npower Football League U13s Girls Cup back in November, travelled to the Area Finals being hosted by Millwall FC.
The girls had battled their way past 19 other teams in order to reach the Area Finals and would be up against other school teams representing AFC Wimbledon, Charlton, Crystal Palace, Dagenham & Redbridge, Leyton Orient, Millwall and Southend and all teams were eager to win and progress to the next round.
The Gills had won the Area Finals the previous year with the team from St Simon Stock Catholic School and only narrowly missed out on a place at Wembley to a last second goal in the final of the Regional Finals, so all were keen to see a repeat of the last year.
The teams were split into two groups of four and Gillingham were to face Leyton Orient, Millwall and Southend.
Kitted out in the pink and blue away colours of the Gills the girls took on Leyton Orient in their first game. The team from Leyton Orient were strong and there wasn’t much to choose between them, both teams had chances on goal but neither managed to hit the back of the net and the game finished 0-0.
Up next were Millwall, the Gills came out strong and quickly took the lead and from that point they dominated the game with a number of shots on target which saw them ease to a 4-0 victory.
After an impressive win the girls were keen to get stuck in to their next opponents, Southend. They were a physical side, but the girls dug in deep and managed to get the decisive goal to win the game 1-0 and top Group two, with Leyton Orient progressing as runners-up.
The semi-finals saw the girls face Dagenham and Redbridge who were runners-up to Charlton in Group one. The girls again started strong and scored early on, Dagenham battled hard and nearly scored in the last minute but a great save from the Gills goalkeeper kept the score line 1-0 and see the Gills progress to the finals for the second year in a row.
The other semi-final between Charlton and Leyton Orient was a stale mate after full time and during extra time neither team could break the deadlock and so the game would need to be decided by a penalty shoot-out, which Charlton eventually won.
With Charlton progressing, it set up a re-match of last years final, which Gills had won 1-0. The Gills came out strong and scored two early goals, they then continued to dominate and were unlucky not to score more.
As the seconds ticked down the girls remained focused and disciplined to see out their victory and win the finals. The girls were worthy winners, having not conceded a single goal, finishing top scorers and were unbeaten throughout. The girls will now continue on to the Regional Finals being hosted by MK Dons FC on Friday 15th February.
We would like to say a massive thank you to the team, Keasha Lemar, Miriel Taylor, Millie Waud, Hollie Chapell, Eryn Killian, Hannah Tyler and Charley Hudson and their teacher Kirsy Lomas who were an absolute credit to their school and Gillingham FC.
We wish them the best of luck at the Regional Finals and we will update you on how they get on.
To view photos from the event click here.