Simon Ratcliffe's Gillingham Ladies team retain the Kent FA Women's Cup after a thrilling 5-3 victory over London Corinthians at the Gallagher StadiumDespite conceding two goals from Emily Hart and a single goal from Katherine Long, two goals from Ashlee Hincks and other goals from Emma Tune, Louise Lorton and own goal saw Gillingham Ladies retain the Kent FA Women's Cup for the fourth time as they defeated a spirited London Corinthians side at the Gallagher Stadium in Maidstone on Wednesday evening.
The game started with Gillingham Ladies on the front foot and they had their first chance when a delightful cross from Emma Tune to Sophie Brown saw her break through on goal but she hit her shot way too high and it cannoned off the bar before being cleared.
Gillingham then continued to up the pressure as Tune won the ball and passed it to Ashlee Hincks who then hit a shot from outside the penalty box but she got too much curve on her shot and the ball went wide.
Hincks was then set up by Lauren Phillips as she broke through on goal but this time Courtney Harvey did well to stop the ball at her feet.
Gillingham's next chance came from a free kick which Emma Michelmore drilled into the penalty area, the ball fell the way of Tune who hit a low dipping shot towards goal but Harvey did well to save the shot.
But it was London Corinthians who broke the deadlock on 20 minutes as a free kick wasn't dealt with by Gillingham and Emily Hart got the ball and drilled a high shot past Courtney Shanly and into the back of the net.
Gillingham tried their hardest to get back on level terms but it was London Corinthians who added a second goal on 25 minutes as a free kick was crossed into the box and Katherine Long was unmarked on the back post and drilled a shot past Shanly.
Gillingham had it all to do to save the game and on 28 minutes they pulled one back when some good work down the wing by Phillips pushed the Gills forward and she hit a good pass to Hincks who got away from her defender and curled a low shot past Harvey and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Hincks then had a great chance to get Gillingham back on level terms as some silky play between Louise Lorton and Hicks saw Hincks break through on goal but she decided to power a shot on goal which sailed over the crossbar and out for a goal kick where she had Phillips unmarked in the penalty area
But Lorton played a big part as Gillingham got back on level terms on 35 minutes as she hit a delightful cross into the danger zone and Emma Tune was there to get her head at the end of the cross and guided it past Harvey.
Hart then had a great chance to give London Corinthians the lead as a corner came her way and she hit a low shot from over twenty yards from goal, the shot evaded everyone including Shanly but the ball cannoned off the post before being cleared away by the Gillingham defence.
Half time: Gillingham Ladies 2 London Corinthians Ladies 2
The second half started with Gillingham on the front foot as they looked to take the lead for the first time and they did that with their first attack of the game on 47 minutes.
A corner from Phillips wasn't dealt with by Harvey and she cannoned the ball off the post and she bundled it into the back of the net.
The game was starting to swing from end to end and it was London Corinthians who got back on level terms on 51 minutes as Hart again got the ball in the middle of the pitch and held off her defender before placing a high shot from twenty yards out past Shanly and the ball trickled home.
Gillingham then retook the lead on 55 minutes with their fourth goal of the game. This time it was Lorton who broke down the wing after receiving a good pass from Charlotte Long, she got away from her defender and she hit a powerful effort towards goal from just inside the penalty area which Harvey couldn't get to.
Hincks then added a fifth goal for Gillingham on 63 minutes as she held off two London Corinthians defenders before getting to the edge of the penalty box and she unleashed a powerful shot which had Harvey staring at thin air as she watched the ball sail past her and into the top corner.
Charlotte Long and Lauren Phillips were at the heart of the action as Gillingham had a chance to score a sixth goal as a corner was not handled well by London Corinthians and Long tried to bury the ball home but Harvey did well to stop the initial shot and the rebound from Phillips.
Lorton could have had her second when she saw Harvey off her line and she tried a lob shot from over twenty yards. She did beat Harvey but the ball had too much spin on the shot and went wide of the goal.
Final Score: Gillingham Ladies 5 London Corinthians Ladies 3
Gillingham Ladies: Courtney Shanley, Emma Michelmore, Ellie Manning, Lauren Williams (Capt), Charlotte Long, Emma Tune, Emily Lyons, Louise Lorton, Ashlee Hincks, Lauren Phillips, Sophie Brown
Subs: Charlie Thurston, Chloe Cavenagh
London Corinthians Ladies: Courtney Harvey, Kayla Murphy, Chanel Richards, Lauren Wallace, Alex Ragan, Hannah Tichener, Adele Keech (Capt), Izz Michanski, Emily Hart, Megan Mansfield, Katherine Long,
Subs: Claire Jenner, Hannah Riddich, Kristi Nunnick, Claire Williams