Sunday 13th November 2005

End of the road for Fleet

Gravesend and Northfleet's run in this season's FA Women's Cup came to an end yesterday when they were knocked out by Colchester United in the second round proper, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Essex visitors were a strong, well organised outfit, playing neat and often concise passing, which made it difficult for the Kent side to settle into the game and find any pattern of normal play.

Although the Fleet were far from disgracing themselves with the final score reflecting the effort and work rate they put into this game, losing 1-0.

Colchester had the early and opening pressure in the game creating early chances, through corners and shots that should have warned the Fleet ladies team of what was to come, but some stout defending and some fine saves from goalkeeper Tania Law kept them at bay in these early moments to give the Fleet ladies a chance to settle into the game.

Gaining some confidence in this Fleet ladies started to get into the game, but it is probably fair to say although they were coping with Colchester attacks Fleet had very few opportunities of their own in the first half, with midfielder Sally Appleton coming closest after latching onto a loose ball outside the box which forced a fine save from the keeper tipping it over the bar with outstretched hands.

Colchester scored their opening and only goal of the game mid way through the first half after a well placed through ball allowed the Colchester forward to break through the back line and force the Fleet keeper to come out 1 on 1, where the forward was able to take the ball round and slot it home.

Gravesend and Northfleet ladies came out strong in the second half, applying some early pressure onto the Colchester defence, which was met strongly as they cleared their lines and created there own attacks.

A fairly quiet half from both teams, led to a more patient and tactical game, with limited chances created.

Fleet goalkeeper Tania Laws was in excellent form for the match and stopped any further Colchester attempts on goal.

Although disappointed a lot of positives could be taken from the match by the home side, currently sitting at the top of their regional league, this is where they are aiming to go and a 1-0 loss reflected that perhaps they are not far away.

Next Sunday, the Fleet travel to Kent Magpies in the first round of the Kent Cup.

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