The team from Westlands School, who won the Local Final of The Football League Girls Cup U13s competition back in November, travelled to the Area Finals being hosted by Southend FC.
The girls had already battled their way past 22 other teams in order to reach the Area Finals and would be up against other school teams representing Charlton Athletic, Dagenham and Redbridge, Leyton Orient, Luton Town, Millwall, QPR and Southend, with the winning school on the day progressing to the Regional Finals in February hosted by Oxford Utd.
In the build up to the Area Final, Community Coaches Georgia Bowie and Jay Scally, along with Girls Academy and Gills Ladies player Laurel Collins attended Westlands School to assist with the preparation. The coaches worked on shape and position in small-sided games as well as communication and individual ball work.
On the day the Girls arrived at Southend United excited and eager to start, before the competition began the girls got changed and had a quick warm up. The teams were to play each other once with the top two progressing on to the final. Kitted out in the royal blue of Gillingham FC our challenge got under way against Dagenham and Redbridge. The Gills dominated the game from the start, with chance after chance narrowly missing the target and with no one finding that decisive strike the game finished 0-0. The Gills then went on and to play QPR followed by Southend, the Gills continued to press and play some great football and were unlucky not to record a win in wither game, narrowly losing 1-0 and 2-1.
The girls continued to keep a positive attitude and their hard work was finally rewarded with a fantastic 4-0 victory over Luton. The final two games were again very close with the Gills facing Charlton and eventual winners Millwall. In both games the Gills had opportunities to take the lead but again they just couldn’t find the back of the net and unfortunately lost both games 0-1.
Throughout the day the girls played some fantastic football, creating some great opportunities to score whilst their keeper pulled off some amazing saves. The girls enjoyed the day and did themselves, their school and Gillingham FC Proud.
Well done to Westlands School in representing Gillingham FC and getting to this stage of the FLT Girls Cup 2016.