After working very hard during
pre-season, Gravesend & Northfleet's Ladies team finally got their
season underway yesterday in the newly formed London and South East
Regional League, writes Stephen McCartney.
Their first match of the season took them to Hendon Ladies, a team that
were promoted from the London Premier League last season, and were unknown
to the Kent side, who were similarly promoted but from the South East
Counties Premier League.
On a scorching hot summers day, Fleet got their season off to a great
winning start, although the score line was a close 1-0, which did not
reflect the gap between the two sides with Fleet being by far the stronger
team in all departments, but slightly under performing on the day.
The first half, however, was a scrappy start for the team, maybe first
game nerves creeping in or the fact that the opposition were playing a
kick and rush type of game that the Fleet found difficult to take early
control of the game.
Their normal flowing passing game that the team enjoy was absent, although
Fleet still managed to create some scoring chances, putting the home side
under pressure and keeping them deep in their own half.
Fleet ladies, however, limited Hendon to a couple of half chances in the
first half easily dealt with by defence and goalkeeper.
A disappointing 0-0 score line at the break gave the Kent side a chance to
regroup and for manager Valter Antunes to discuss where the team needed to
improve and raise their standards to get control and win the game.
The second half saw Fleet ladies react positively to the managers comments
and the first twenty minutes they dominated the game, playing much
improved football, passing the ball superbly and much more comfortably
around the team, creating many more chances to open the scoring.
It was the new midfield signing Becky Merritt that finally broke the
deadlock with a superb cross-field shot from the right that flew over the
keeper, dipping into the far corner of the net.
Fleet ladies continued to progress through the half as the stronger team
and comfortably took the 1-0 win on the day, although knowing they can
play much better were more than pleased with an opening day win and clean
Next Sunday the Fleet have a break in the league already and begin their
FA Cup campaign.
The draws for the early rounds of the FA Women's Cup have already been
made, with 224 clubs taking part, which is an increase of 14 from the 210
that entered last season.
The Fleet travel to MK Wanderers in the first qualifying round next
Sunday, kicking off at 2pm.
London and South East
Results: Sunday 4th September
Hastings United 6-2 Clapton Orient
Hendon 0-1 Gravesend & Northfleet
Lewes 4-3 Carshalton Athletic
London Women 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Whitehawk 4-1 Long Lane
For further details on
the team please use any of the following contact methods. Club website: www.intheteam.com/gravesendladiesfc
Club contact Tina Martin: 07732 148011 -
Club Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.