Gillingham (H) 18/19


Coventry United Ladies remain top of the FA Womens’ National League Southern Premier Division with a 9-0 victory over Gillingham.


Due to an unplayable pitch at Communications Park, the fixture was switched to the 4G surface adjacent to the main ground, but one thing that didn’t change was United’s dominant form, as Jay Bradford’s side gained retribution on the only side to avoid defeat to Coventry in the league this season. Jay made two changes to the starting 11, with Helen Dermody and Tash Merritt replacing Shannon O’Brien and Beth Merrick.


It didn’t take United long to establish a lead, 3 minutes to be exact. Amber Hughes’ corner was met by Lois Jefferies in a crowded penalty area. Gillingham would keep the home side at bay for 20 minutes, until a sliding Hughes turned home Jade Brook’s cross to make it 2-0. As the first half drew to a close, Coventry’s dominance began to show with 2 goals in a minute. Jefferies fired into the far bottom corner from the edge of the box on 41 minutes. Straight from the kick off, United broke away again, with Amy Wathan latching onto Brook’s through ball, and finishing the job with a low drive home.


The second half saw United pick up where the left off immediately. 20 seconds from the kick off Hughes grabbed her second of the game with an unstoppable run ending with goal number 5. 6 came in style off the boot of Maz Gauntlett. A powerful strike from 20+ yards nearly burst the net, leaving Gills keeper Courtney Shanly helpless. After another impressive day, Hughes was subbed and replaced by Beth Merrick. The ex Villa youngster fired another long range spectacular into the top corner on 62 minutes as the advantage was extended to 7-0. Wathan was next to seal her brace with her 19thgoal of the season, putting her body on line with a diving header from Dermody’s right-sided free kick. The striker was able to continue after treatment. Things went from bad to worse for Gillingham, with the loss of their manager and a player. Gills boss Jack Wheeler was sent to the dressing room following a verbal altercation with the referee. With the manager still making his way off the pitch, Breon Grant received a second yellow card for decent, leaving the visitors a player down for the final 10 minutes. The Red and Green Girls rubbed salt into Gillingham’s wounds with a 9thand final goal late on, with Gauntlett scoring another contender for Goal of the Month. With Chichester victorious at Basildon, United’s lead at the top of the FAWNL Southern Premier Division remains at one point,


The highlights of this match are now available to view via the link, courtesy of Coventry United TV.