Ladies: Gillingham 0-4 Watford
The Golden Girls went top of the league on Sunday (October 20) after rousing second-half performance saw four goals scored in 45 minutes as Gillingham were defeated 4-0.
Despite plenty of opportunities in the first half it was goalless at the break, and it was captain Helen Ward who started off the scoring in the second period. Andrea Carid added to her goal total this season too, adding another two to her tally, and it was defender Emily Hill who secured the win with the fourth goal.
It was a second half performance to remember, with the Ladies completely dominating the game and coming out with a well-earned win. It meant the Hornets moved into their seventh game unbeaten and helped their promotion push in the FA Women’s National League as they now sit top of the table.
It was a slow start to the game as Watford couldn’t seem to find their feet and Gillingham took advantage of this with some good build-up play. Opportunities were missed by both sides and Gillingham had a good hold of the ball in the middle of the park, but couldn’t quite make it through the Watford defence.
But soon Watford started to show what they were made of and, in the 15th minute, Adekite Fatuga-Dada had her first chance of the game as she just missed a low cross driven in by Carid.
Lancaster’s team spent a lot of the first period in the opposition’s half, Megan Chandler frequently getting into scoring positions with a constant willingness to move the ball forward.
However the first half was full of missed opportunities, with Anne Meiwald, Carid, Ward and Fatuga-Dada all missing the target. The closest the Ladies came to opening the scoring before the break was when a free kick was awarded just before half-time. Beckett took it from 30 yards out but was denied by the woodwork, something the Golden Girls are becoming very familiar with.
Just before the whistle blew there was another chance for Watford as Meiwald put a perfect cross into the box for Fatuga-Dada but it just missed her foot.
Gillingham opened up the second half very strong and within minutes Harrison was storming towards Nina Wilson in goal, but her shot just went over the bar.
Watford were quick to react though and regained possession well. You could feel the Watford goal was coming and it was well deserved when Ocean Rolandsen made a run down the line and put a perfect whip into the box – Ward jumped through the defence and headed the ball into the net.
This kicked Watford into another gear and not long after, with a great run from Fatuga-Dada down the right, the ball was passed along the floor into the feet of Carid, who tapped it home.
The dominance from the Golden Girls was showing through and throughout the second half chances kept coming. Another met the crossbar as Elle Richards – who came on for Ryah Vyse – smashed the ball against the woodwork.
Watford were closing in on the win and, earning an assist to add to her goal tally, Ward broke past two of Gillingham’s defenders, crossed the ball and found Carid in the box, who beat the keeper again.
The Golden Girls sealed the win when a looping cross from Beckett found Hill, who rose high to head the ball into the back post.
In credit to Gillingham, they didn’t stop at 4-0 down and Powell had a long distance shot hit the crossbar. But Watford held on and it was a well-deserved win for the Golden Girls which saw them take away three points, four goals and a clean sheet.
GOLDEN GIRLS: Wilson (GK); Hill, Beckett, Meiwald, Rolandsen, Chandler, Stojko-Down (Scanlon 78), Vyse (Richards 73), Fatuga-Dada (O’Leary 65), Ward(C), Carid.
Subs not used: Wiggins (GK), Harney.