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Gills retain Kent Cup
 Women's Football News 12 Apr 2013
Gills retain Kent Cup - 12 Apr 2013 - Women's Football News

Gillingham remain as holders of the Kent FA Women's Cup after a 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic Reserves at a rain soaked Sevenoaks on Wednesday. 
The Premier League Southern Division side trailed to a Harley Bennett goal before finding a way to overcome their Premier Reserve League Southern Division One opponents.
A very even contest took place on an increasingly heavy surface. Katie Hardaker went close with a shot from the edge of the area for Charlton whilst Gills' Emma Tune set up Natalie Crinean for a shot which flew wide of Kelly Cooper's goal.
A fine move created Charlton's opener. Cooper's throw out released Kylie Manktelow down the right. Her pass found Jenny Newman who set up Bennett for a half volley from 30 yards which flew past Gills' keeper Charlotte Stephens' dive on 31 minutes.
It seemed that Charlton would hold the advantage at the break but a foul awarded 30 yards out allowed Danielle Carlton to fire a low free kick which Amy Taylor converted at the far post.
Jade Keogh matched Bennett's spectacular opener with Gills' second on 58 minutes, cutting inside before curling a long range effort into the top corner. Charlton nearly equalised from the kick off but Stephens made an acrobatic save to deny Newman. Liz Ejupi went close with a header deflected wide from the resulting corner as Charlton pressed hard.
Carlton had another free kick deflected over by the defensive wall and Gills saw out the match with reasonable comfort despite a couple of late corners. Both sides had entertained a crowd of 371 with a fully committed display in increasingly testing conditions and there was little to choose between the teams. 
Gillingham: Charlotte Stephens, Lauren Williams, Emma Wood, Jay Blackie, Rachel Ahern, Vicky Ashton-Jones, Natalie Crinean (sub Deanna Cooper), Emma Tune, Amy Taylor (sub Nicole Pepper), Danielle Carlton, Jade Keogh. Subs not used: Danielle Farmer, Kallie Balfour, Ruth Jackson.

Charlton Athletic: Kelly Cooper, Louise Duffy, Stef Simmons, Alice Singyard, Attena Yennaris, Harley Bennett, Katie Hardaker (sub Gemma Shepherd), Liz Ejupi, Kylie Manktelow, Annabel Prior (sub Megan Chandler), Jenny Newman. Subs not used: Courtney Shanly, Emily Symonds, Gemma Hyland.

(Report by Patrick Higgins)

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