Cruel Last Gasp Goal Flatters Gills
By Peter Guise
Bay dominate 2nd Half
Gillingham (2) 3
Bussey 11, Huntly 17, Farrand 90+
Herne Bay FC Ladies (0) 0
Kent FA Women's Cup Semi-Final
Sunday 20th January 2019
at Chatham Town FC
Maybe, Bay were guilty of paying too much respect to their Women's Premier League opponents in the early stages of this semi-final, and paid the ultimate price. After Gills had gone two up in the 17th minute, although the opening goal six minutes earlier might have been questionable had VAR been in use, Bay settled in to their stride and might have pulled one back just after the half hour mark had Jemma Barton's shot not been straight at the 'keeper. It heralded a second half dominance by Bay that had the Gills, four divisions above Bay in the women's football pyramid, rocking on their collective heels and clearly rattled. Nine minutes after the break, Shanly had to tip Abigail Duff's shot round the post and in the 74th, Lauren Williams' looping effort was scrambled clear. Herne Bay were on top for the whole of the half but suffered the cruellest of blows with Gills adding a flattering third with the last kick of the game, another which might have been ruled offside on another day.
"To compete with and challenge a side four divisions above us is a hell of an achievement and to be the better side for the majority of the second half was sensational", said manager Peter Whittaker, "It's a marker of the team's progression since relegation last year and more excitingly there is more to come from this exceptional group. The Kent Cup chapter in the story has closed but we have two more chapters to write in the League and the League Cup. This performance will give us the confidence to challenge for both".
Herne Bay FC Ladies: Sarah Cooper, Lucy Page, Kayleigh Mount, Jemma Barton, Kerry Grant, Kate Foster, Megan Pearce (Saraya Phillips 46), Lauren Williams (Alice Phillips 84), Chloe Woolaway, Lauren Harris, Abigail Duff (Effie Dodds 84).
Sub not used: Sophie Gifford
Player of the Match: Jemma Barton