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Home / News / MATCH REPORT / Women Claim Three Points At The Gallagher

Women Claim Three Points At The Gallagher

Women Claim Three Points At The Gallagher

By Steph Meek

It was a successful afternoon on the road for the Blues as the winning continued, collecting a vital 3 points and keeping a clean sheet in a Kent Derby!

Margate FC Women made the journey to The Gallagher Stadium on Sunday afternoon, where they faced Maidstone United for the final time this season. With the home side under new management and fighting to stay above the relegation zone, it was set to be a testing afternoon of football.

It was the ‘Gate who came out on the front foot, teasing the chance of an opening goal in the first minute of the game. Stand-in ‘keeper, Georgina Riley, did well to dissipate the threat and keep Maidstone from an early deficit.

The match continued to play in Margate’s favour, with strong link up play and pace on the wings playing to their advantage. This led to several threats for the Maidstone defence as Rebecca Niblett, Esmee Kew-Stroud, Katy Hyde and Paige Godden all placed shots on target.

It was Margate who broke the stalemate, when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the 18-yard box. From a tight angle on the left side, Niblett curled the ball into the box, which glanced over the heads of several players and beyond the reach of Riley, bringing the score to 1-0 in the 27th minute.

As the teams headed in for half time it was the ‘Gate who had the upper hand, taking a one goal lead with ‘keeper, JJ Speller having little to do, but the game was far from over and the team needed to remain focused in order to secure the points.

The second half saw more pressure put on the Maidstone defence, coming quickly out of the blocks Riley was once again tested on a number of occasions. In the 68th minute, Speller won the ball back, it fell to the feet of Kew-Stroud.

Kew-Stroud danced past 2 midfielders on the edge of the 18-yard box, before beautifully playing a through ball to Niblett who fired a shot at goal. Riley did well to block the shot, but the rebound fell to the feet of Godden who was able to slot the ball behind the keeper and into the bottom right corner, pushing the scales in Margate’s favour.

The 78th minute saw the Maidstone team fall under immense pressure once more as a number of shots headed for goal in quick succession. Emily Hall picked up a rebound in the six-yard box which looked set for goal when a Maidstone defender accidentally committed a handball. Penalty! Hall converted from the spot placing the ball down the right-hand side of the keeper and giving the gate a three-goal lead.

At the final whistle it was the ‘Gate who were victorious with a clean sheet and 3 goals in the bag leaving the home side with much to desire.

Manager Steph Meek said:

“For me, this win was unlike any other. It wasn’t a big fixture nor was it a cup or anything significant in our diaries but Maidstone for many years were a well-structured and dominant team. Today we dominated!

“With Maidstone now hovering above the relegation zone the match could have gone one of two ways. The side were either going to be low in their standards or under new management they were going to come out with fight and drive to push up the table a bit.

“We often see our own standard of football drop when playing sides that are less structured but this week, we didn’t see that. We were truly relentless right to the final whistle. I don’t think the ball entered our half in the final 15 minutes.”

Starting XI: Speller, Charman, Kemp, Coltham-Lai, King, Noblett, Slevin, Greetham, Hyde, Kew-Stroud, Godden.

Subs: Hall (’60), Scales (’75), Duff (’75), Meek

Goals Niblett 27'  Godden 70'  Hall 78'

POTM: Emily Hall

UP THE 'GATE





Wednesday, 20 March 2024
By Joshua Colect



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