Sunday 11th September 2005

Fleet make progress in FA Women's Cup

Gravesend & Northfleet ladies set off on the road to potential FA Cup glory yesterday, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Kent side were drawn away to MK Wanderers in the first qualifying round, against a side that play their football in the Southern Region League division one, which sits a division below the Fleet in the league standings.

The start of the game began in typical cup style with both sides playing at a fast pace and very competitive football.

It was Gravesend & Northfleet that settled the earliest, creating some early chances in the opening minutes of the game keeping MK Wanderers on the back foot with some flowing attacking moves.

This led to a corner for Fleet Ladies, which Lorraine Grinyer crossed into the box, controlled by striker Jade McDermott and passed into the path of defender Rebecca Pattenden, who turned her defender and fired it low and hard into the bottom corner giving the keeper no chance.

At this stage Gravesend & Northfleet felt in control of the game, and maybe switched off, but credit should be given to the spirited performance of MK Ladies on the day, as they immediately mounted an attack knocking the ball beyond the Fleet defence and finishing with a well taken half volley strike into the corner of the net.

With the game tied at 1-1, Fleet ladies were learning not to underestimate this team, as Fleet netted their second goal after some crisp passing down the left flank, striker Kim Carey run clear on goal and after her initial shot was saved strike partner Jade McDermott pounced on the loose ball and slotted home.

This was again replied too immediately by another equaliser from MK Wanderers taking the game to 2-2 at the break.

The second half saw Fleet ladies rise in confidence, and improve concentration, playing some very fluent passing football, they created more goal scoring chances and limited MK Wanderers to a few chances during the second half.

MK wanderers never gave up and worked hard as a team, competing for every ball, but finally Fleet pressure paid off.

The winning goal was scored from another superb Grinyer corner, which picked out defender Rebecca Pattenden in space infront of goal, who powerfully headed home under the body of the keeper, for her second of the day.

The 3-2 win sees Gravesend and Northfleet Ladies into the second qualifying round of this prestigious competition, where they will face Oxfordshire team Carterton Ladies at home Sunday 25th September.

Carterton play their football in the premier division of the Southern League, which would be of equal league status to the Fleet ladies London and South East regional league.

Next Sunday, Fleet ladies are back in league action, against Whitehawk ladies form Brighton, playing this fixture at their home ground AEI Sports Club, Gravesend, which kick's off at 2pm.

Meanwhile, the Fleet Ladies side are currently seeking an experienced goalkeeper to enhance their squad and a linesman/woman to help out on home games, qualification not essential but experience would be good. Please contact the club for more details.

For further details on the team please use any of the following contact methods. Club website: www.intheteam.com/gravesendladiesfc - Club contact Tina ladies section: 07732 148011 - Club Email: spryamanda@aol.com. 

Their sponsors this season are S.E.A Limited, Secure Electronics Applications Ltd who are a local company specialising in access control and warden call systems and Accord Lift Services and specialise in the installation, maintenance, restoration and repair of all types of lifts.