YOUNG striker Grace Rapp grabbed two wonderfully taken goals as Yeovil Town Ladies grabbed a superb 3-0 victory over Gillingham Ladies at Wells on Sunday. Laura Bray also scored a cracker with her tenth strike of the season, as the Glovers rose to third in the FA Woman’s Premier League, Southern division table.
“It was an excellent result,” joint Glovers boss Nigel Williams said after the game. “Sarah (Lawler) and I are delighted to have got three more points on the board, with the team playing well, having kept to the game plan.
“We were confident of this one. However, we knew Gillingham were a strong side and the formation that they play could catch us out if we were not on top of our game. As expected Gillingham came out all guns blazing and they were putting a lot of pressure on us for a good ten minutes.
“I wanted the players to get hold of the ball and settle by keeping possession and start playing to their strengths. As the first half went on we became stronger, and as we had asked the girls to do they were getting in around the back of the full back. Both right and left wings were playing as we wanted, and some great deliveries saw us come close a couple of times.
”Gillingham did not give up on the pressure they had started, and were spreading the ball around well. They were playing three up front and their forwards were using their speed to stretch us. However, our left and right backs were having good games and managed to delay the attacks with some great defending.
We went a goal up on 17 minutes following some good some great interplay between Stacey Pearson and Justine Lorton that drew the Gillingham defence into giving away a free kick. Justine put the ball down and delivered a ball into the box. Laura Bray, coming in from the right wing connected with the ball and cracked it into the back of the net.
”The goal came at the right time as it settled us as a team and we showed some good play, making sure that we kept possession, playing simple football, not doing anything difficult and gradually building play. Again, this time from the right, we saw a ball delivered from the right and Grace (Rapp), who showed her ever growing confidence in the team by connecting with the cross and directing a header into the net. We have been working a lot over the last few weeks on delivery of crosses and connecting appropriately. Two goals with headers in the first half of this game shows something is working in training.
”You can easily rest on being 2-0 up. However, we knew that Gillingham had nothing to lose and would come out attacking at all costs. I was very pleased today with our back four and Beth (Goalkeeper Beth Howard) in between the posts, with some really good defending and some great saves in the first ten minutes of the second half. It was one of those ‘heart in your mouth’ times, but again we stood up to the test and made sure that we kept them at bay.
A couple of changes early in the second half put more pressure on Gillingham, and a delivery from the right saw Grace claim her second goal of the game to take it 3-0.
”I think I have said in previous reports that in games in this league you may only get a few chances to win. Today we took our chances. We played as a team, we worked as a unit to control where Gillingham should play the ball. But the most pleasing part of our game for me today was the way in which we played the game out. This result has seen us climb the league, but we still want more, and will aim high. We have the ability and the squad is talented.
This week our reserves won away at Reading, and with strength in depth we have a great future. Again I would encourage fans in the area to come across and support us in our next home game which is on the 16th December, with a 2.00 pm kick off.
Yeovil Town Ladies: Howard, Brazell, Edwards, Hannam, Grogan (Keehan – 35), Radburn, Wensley, Pearson, Bray, Lorton (Tibbs – 80), Rapp (Sage – 65)
Referee: Declan O’shea (Somerset)
Next Match: Away to Portsmouth Ladies League Cup) – 09 November 2012
Nigel Williams was talking to Ali King