Ladies put in five star performance to complete Priestfield double.
Gillingham Ladies have gone third in the FA Women’s Premier League table after a resounding 5-0 victory over bottom of the league Swindon Town Ladies.
Following on from last week's impressive 4-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers Ladies, manager Jack Wheeler made two changes to his starting side as Grace Seely and Danni Farmer were replaced by Lotti Klatt and Aileen Williams in the starting side.
Gills started brightly, with just eight minutes on the clock had already twice tested the visiting defence. First Kallie Balfour’s good work on the right wing was able to deliver a cross into the box for Jenny Newman, the forward sent the ball into the path of Aileen Williams who’s shot was wide of the left hand post. A minute later, Balfour at the heart of the attack again, found the time and space inside the penalty area but put the effort wide of the mark from 12 yards out.
Gillingham would soon find the rewards of the early pressure, Balfour again the trouble for the visiting defence, sent a shot from an acute angle beating Emily Baggyley in the Swindon goal but bouncing off the post. The ball fell kindly to Newman to tap into an unguarded net. 1-0
Three minutes later Gillingham Ladies added to their advantage, Kallie Balfour getting the goal she derserved for her terrific work in the opening quarter of an hour of the game. Pushing the ball past Swindon’s defensive line into the space to run onto. Balfour cooly slotting the ball past the keeper one one one, finding the bottom corner of the goal. 2-0
Balfour and Newman were working perfectly in sync upfront, and could have added to the early goal haul when Balfour’s cross found Newman in the penalty area. Newman’s looping shot ended up wide of the target.
Balfour was denied another goal when on the attack, rounded the keeper and placed an effort on target. The Swindon centre half did fantastically well to recover the ground between herself and goal to clear off of the line.
Gills would net the third goal of the game on the half hour mark, Balfour grabbing her second. A smart tap on to herself past the Swindon defenders, gave Balfour the space to run onto, threw the keeper the wrong way and placed the shot into the net. 3-0
Gills high pressure certainly produced numerous chances in the first half, Sharna Giordani tried an effort from the edge of the box. Then Esther Anu cut in from the wing and took on the shot, the ball fizzed across the face of the goal but sailed past the far post.
HALF TIME | Gillingham LFC 3 (Newman 12’, Balfour 18’ 29’) Swindon Town LFC 0
The weather conditions turned at the interval and as the teams took to the field for the second half, the player ran out to torrential rain at MEMS Priestfield. The early part of the second half took the teams time to adjust to the blustering downpour.
Gills forcing the best chance since the restart with ten minutes played of the second half. Balfour took on an effort out of nothing, making the Swindon keeper react quick and just managing to stop the shot with her legs.
It didn’t take much longer than that for Balfour to record her third of the afternoon and round off her hat trick. A smart finish from ten yards out saw the striker net Gills fourth of the game. 4-0
The visitors came close to a consolation in the 70th minute. Sammie Hallsworth managed to find time to get a shot in on goal inside the Gills penalty area. Courtney Shanly had to be alert and denied the Swindon forward from close range.
Jade Keogh rounded off Gills emphatic victory with a spectacular finish with five minutes to play. A curling shot found the top corner from 25 yards to sign off Gills Ladies fine afternoon. 5-0
The victory at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Sunday afternoon sends the Gills into third place in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern. Gills now turn to Chatham Town FC on Thursday evening to take on C&K Basildon, kick off 19:45.
FULL TIME | Gillingham LFC 5 (Newman 22’, Balfour 18’ 29’ 59’, Keogh 85’) Swindon Town LFC 0
Gillingham Ladies: Courtney Shanly, Vanisha Patel, Millie Waud, Lotti Klatt, Sharna Giordani (Olivia Jestin 62’), Emily Symonds, Aileen Williams (Grace Seely 58’), Esther Anu, Jade Keogh, Kallie Balfour, Jenny Newman (Niamh Jestin 73’)
Subs Not Used: Cara Davies, Faith Cooper-Cullen
Swindon Town Lades: Emily Baggyley, Chloe Lawrence, Naomi Nash, Sammie Hallsworth, Sophie Barrett, Abby Picton, Mia Mugford, Laura McGlone, Emily Arell, Victoria Taylor, Lucy Goodright
Subs: Alice Smith