Sunday 6th May 2018
FA Women’s Premier League South
Rookettes Beat The Heat To
Seal Double Over Gills
Lewes completed their second FA Women’s Premier League
double in a week with victory over Gillingham Ladies on Sunday.
Goals from Avilla Bergin and another from prolific skipper
Kate McIntyre secured the win, with ‘keeper Faye Baker bagging yet another
The match was played in baking conditions on a thick
Meridian Sports Centre pitch, but that didn‘t stop Lewes from taking control of
the match from the first whistle to the last. In truth they might have scored
any number of goals if it wasn’t for a superb rear-guard display from the hosts
and another fine performance from home ‘keeper Courtney Shanly.
Avilla Bergin and Vick Carleton provided width and a steady
supply to striker Amy Taylor, with Dani Lane in behind. Charlotte Owen, giving
another assured display, controlled the match alongside her Captain in midfield.
Carleton had the first chance in the 2nd minute
getting away from her marker to fire just over Shanly’s crossbar. On another
day Taylor might have bagged a hat-trick. She hassled and harried all afternoon,
chasing every ball, not giving a moment’s rest to the beleaguered Gills
defenders. Ellie Symonds needed treatment after a brave block on the Lewes
Tash Wells, probing forward at every opportunity, fired over
after a McIntyre corner that dropped just over Lane’s head. Lane, in the
absence of Rutherford and Kempson, in a slightly adjusted role, showed her
tenacity in the tackle, breaking up play to leave Owen to launch a wave of attacks.
It may have been the warm air, or the dense turf, but Lewes
saw chance after chance fly high over the Gills goal. Those that stayed low
were blocked by Gills bodies or parried by Shanly, leaving McIntyre to get
plenty of corner practice from either flank.
Bergin had the best chance of the half, a fierce strike from
the angle, which brought the best out of Shanly, saving well at her near post.
The second period started in similar vein, all Lewes, Gills
with ten players behind the ball. The opener fell almost immediately. A
McIntyre corner dropped in the six-yard box, triggering a flurry of feet.
Bergin slid in to make sure and Lewes had the lead. 0-1.
Gillingham were forced to come forward and fashioned a
series of half-chances through Kallie Balfour and Jade Keogh, who found Kylie
McCarthy and Tammy Waine all too happy to show off their defensive skills.
Waine, relishing another 90 minutes, thrilled the away support with one
wonderful move; a glance left, a drop of the shoulder and a turn into space
that disarmed her opponent and started another attack in one go.
As the heat took its toll, the home side grew frustrated
without the ball and challenges became more fraught, Owen receiving a lecture
after reacting to almost having her shirt removed. Gills enjoyed their best
spell, a ten-minute period when they found space and almost cut through on
As often happens, though, it was Lewes who prospered. Another
Waine intercept found Owen who slipped a pass through the centre. With Taylor
dragging her markers wide, McIntyre latched on to the ball, dancing past two
defenders to slot coolly past Shanly. 0-2
Georgia Bridges came on for Wells, as Lewes looked to fresh
legs to stretch a tiring home defence. It almost paid off within a minute,
Bridges tearing away from her marker to win yet another corner. Ava Rowbotham
joined the action, showing some fine, assured touches and plenty of drive in
Gillingham spurned a golden chance to half the deficit
late-on. Kylie Manktelow, on as a sub, burst through the centre. Baker came out
to narrow the angle, Manktelow side-stepping the Lewes ‘keeper only to stumble
as she pulled the trigger, her shot drifting agonisingly wide of the open goal.
John Donoghue was delighted with the way his team played.
‘We created a lot of good chances. I was really happy with
the way we played, the way we moved the ball and how we went about our business
today. It was a dominant and professional performance, another clean sheet,
another three points.
‘That puts us on 41 points I believe, way above our previous
best in this division, and keeps us in 4th spot. The league is Charlton’s
to lose now, but we still have plenty to play for and I’ll be looking for
another big performance on Sunday.’
Cardiff City Ladies visit the Dripping Pan for the Rookettes’
last home game of the season on Sunday 13th May. The match will be
followed by the Lewes FC Women End of Season Awards, albeit with one more away
match to come, v Coventry on 20th May.
MvP: Avilla Bergin
Non-stop performance, created a host of chances and pouched
a poacher’s goal
Baker, Owen, Thompson-Agbro, McIntyre (c), Carleton, Lane,
McCarthy, Wells, Bergin, Taylor, Waine.
Bridges (76), Rowbotham (86), Goldsmid, Carter (90+5)