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Gillingham Women 0-2 Watford Women
Gillingham Women 0-2 Watford Women

An injury hit Gillingham Women’s side battled gamely but sadly slipped to a two nil defeat against Watford Women who took full advantage of their opponents’ problems.

It was particularly tough on central defenders Grace Coombs and Amy Haynes who along with Cara Davies were outstanding in the rear-guard action as the visitors took the points courtesy of late goals from Bianca Baptiste and sub Poppy Wilson, with Wilson’s coming with the final kick of six minutes of stoppage time.

To be fair, the Gills were always on the back foot against a free passing Watford side who created chances without really testing keeper Davies. The chances kept coming but the red wall with Coombs and Haynes at its’ heart held firm.

Ellie Head was unlucky for the visitors as she hit the woodwork, Alli Palisch shot over twice, Sophie McLean’s attempt went wide whilst Anne Meiward’s free header from a corner sailed over.

The visitors’ best chance however came when a corner was only cleared to the edge of the box only for Megan Chandler to thunder a shot against the Gills post.

Battered but still level at nil-nil you began to think that maybe it could be the Gills day after all as the visitors kept creating and missing opportunities.

Davies denied Faye Brough with Watford’s clearest chance, whilst in a rare attack at the other end, the unlikely almost happened as Georgie Griffin was denied by a brave Jacqui Goldmid save as Mel Espinosa prodded her through.

The turning point came 20 minutes from time as the visitors were awarded a penalty, Wilson’s shot was adjudged to have hit a Gills hand. The drama though had only just begun and after what seemed an age, Wilson stepped up but Davies pulled off a brilliant save to her left.

Sadly for the Gills keeper and her heroic team mates, Baptista was quickest to react and drove home the rebound. It was fitting in some respects as she was undoubtedly the one who had given the Gills the most problems on a very long and increasingly cold Sunday afternoon.

Davies kept her side in the contest when she made a great save to deny Jade Bradley, before on the stroke of the ninety minutes the unlikely equaliser almost arrived.

A long ball forward was helped in by Griffin for Coombs but as the Gills defender tried to get a shot in, it was blocked and almost flew past a startled Goldmid who did well to hang on.

Watford sealed the win with the last kick of the game as McLean rolled the ball into Wilson’s path and she couldn’t miss with the goal at her mercy.

The home side are at home again on Tuesday when they welcome Billericay Town to the Bauvill with hopefully some reinforcements back in their ranks.

GILLINGHAM WOMEN – Davies, Houssein, Coombs, Griffin, Jeffkins (Harrison), Jestin, Maslak, Espinosa, Leitch (Cresswell), Haynes, Sharp (Copsey)

Sub – Bashford

WATFORD WOMEN – Goldmid, Meiwala, Rossiter (Wilson), Baptista, Head (Bradley), Georgiou (Farga-Dada), Chandler, Palisch, Peart, Brough (Ward), McLean

Subs – Gibson

Picture supplied by Gillingham Women.