Norwich City Ladies crash out of Women’s Premier League Cup as Gillingham run riot

Action from the clash between City, green, and Gillingham. Picture: JULIAN HART/KENT PRO IMAGES

Action from the clash between City, green, and Gillingham. Picture: JULIAN HART/KENT PRO IMAGES - Credit: Archant

Norwich City Ladies were blown away by their strong and well-organised Gillingham counterparts at Chatham.

Although Chelsea Garret went close in the first 10 minutes of the Women's Premier League (WPL) Cup first round clash, sadly for the Canaries it was against the run of play.

And indeed eight minutes later, the Gills' Amy Taylor opened the scoring. Just six minutes later Emma Tune made it two and a further four minutes later they netted their third when April Bowers met Jade Keogh's low ball across the box to score.

A rare break by Norwich proved fruitful on 42 minutes, when Garrett pulled a goal back for the visitors.

But the response from Gills was quick and they scored on the stroke of half-time when Emily Symonds turned in Felicity Gibbons' pass.

The second half started with substitutions for both teams. Ellen Swift went off through injury for City, replaced by Emma Faux, and Harriet Chapman came on for Amy Taylor for Gills – who play in the same South East Division One (SED1) as the Canaries.

Norwich enjoyed a spell of possession with Kate Parsons' going close from distance, her effort tipped over the bar by Courtney Shanly.

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On 65 minutes, Gills made their second substitution with Bethany Nugent coming on for Vanisha Patel. And one minute later Keogh scored her side's fifth, and her first.

Within four minutes Keogh doubled her tally before the hosts, who finished runners-up last season, made their final change with Ellie Manning coming on for Symonds.

After Ellie Bird had replaced Fiona Coombes in the City goal, Nugent reacted first to a ball spilt in the penalty area and scored.

However, on 84 minutes, the travelling Canaries scored a consolation when Garrett completed her brace with a long-range effort.

There was still one more goal in the game for the Gills with Keogh completing her hat-trick to make it 8-2 just before the final whistle.

Norwich, who won their first two matches of the campaign but have now lost three on the spin, return to league action on Sunday when they visit Old Actonians.

Lowestoft Town lost a seven-goal thriller in WPL SED1 on Sunday. The Trawlergirls were beaten 4-3 at home by AFC Wimbledon. Gemma Moore (2) and Hannah Waters scored for the Blues. Their next match is at Gillingham in the league on Sunday afternoon.

Gillingham: Shanly, Thurston, Ahern, Patel (Nugent, 65), Tune, Seely, Symonds (Manning, 70), Bowers, Keogh, Gibbons, Taylor (Chapman, 45). Subs not used: Hardaker and Willis

Norwich: Coombes (Bird, 74), Radley, Wilson, Parsons, Wiseman, Osborne, Swift (Faux, 46), Snelling, Garrett, Drake, Love.

Referee: Peter Cruise