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Keynsham Town 4 Gillingham 1
Keynsham Town advanced to the Fourth Round of the FA Women's Cup win a convincing 4-1 win over Gillingham.
Having lost both League matches to the Gills, Keynsham, bottom of the Southern Division, went behind to an early goal but dominated the rest of the encounter to the extent that the margin of victory was in no way flattering.
Gillingham started the brighter and went in front in the fifth minute when Natalie Crinean won the ball fifteen yards out and placed the ball wide of Amber Thornell. Suzanne Grant nearly equalised straight away with a 30-yard lob which just cleared the bar and the home team quickly established an impressive rhythm of passing and movement which created a series of dangerous attacks.
The equaliser was not long in coming. Gills could not cope with Polly Wardle, who was sent clear on the right and her cross was turned in by Grant at the near post on 15 minutes.
Gillingham nearly restored their lead when Emma Tune hit the bar with a dipping free kick from distance Gills' young keeper, Charlotte Stevens was soon tested by Wardle who broke free on the right to fire a vicious low cross which she just managed to smother. A rising close range Wardle shot was pushed impressively over the bar and another fine save denied Kelly Aldridge crossing low from the left wing.
Keynsham continued to dominate and a Grant shot from the edge of the area rebounded clear off the left hand post on the half hour. A minute later the hosts took the lead when Ashley Reinecke was sent clear by an exchange of passes and finished coolly.
Gills must have welcomed the break as Keynsham twice went close to extending their lead in the closing seconds with a corner bouncing around in the six yard area before being hacked clear..
The visitors needed a positive start and again they briefly looked the brighter side. Danielle Carlton fired a long range shot just over on 47 minutes but soon the lively Keynsham attack was back at work. Wardle was unable to find Grant with the goal wide open after beating the defenders and keeper. However,the impressive Aldridge stormed through two challenges to beat Stevens for Keynsham's third on 59 minutes.
Carlton had a free kick well dealt with by Thornell as the visitors sought a way back into the game. Keynsham had two efforts ruled out for offside but Gillingham went close when Deanna Cooper's free kick from wide on the left just failed to find Bryony Smith at the far post on 81 minutes. A fine Louise Hutton challenge denied Crinean an opening on 86 minutes and the hosts protected their lead with determination. Any lingering nerves were settled by a classy Grant goal two minutes from time as she turned and fired high past Stevens from 10 yards.
Keynsham will host either Portsmouth or Sheffield FC on their impressive Crown Field 3G pitch in the next round and, with another display like this one, Barrie Newton's team will give either high flying opponent a real test..
Keynsham Town: Amber Thornell, Agnieszka Ziolek, Louise Hutton, Becky Tweed, Tracey Rouemaine, Kelly Aldridge, Ashley Reinecke, Brianna Oeser, Polly Wardle, Suzanne Grant, Kayleigh Sage. Subs: Gwyn West, Audrey Moore, Naomi Clipston.
Gillingham: Charlotte Stevens, Lauren Williams, Danielle Carlton, Deanna Cooper, Sarah Jones, Vicky Ashton-Jones, Natalie Crinean, Emma Tune, Bryony Smith, Laura East, Katie Hardaker. Subs: Lauren Phillips, Amy Taylor.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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