Ladies produce five-star show

West Ham United Ladies came from behind to thrash Gillingham Ladies 5-1

Vicky Kinsman was on target for Julian Dicks' side

West Ham United Ladies returned to winning ways with an outstanding 5-1 FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division victory over Gillingham Ladies on Thursday.

The Hammers suffered a setback after just four minutes when Ashlee Hincks was perfectly placed in the penalty area to put the visitors ahead, before Emma Sherwood’s left-footed volley and Vicky Kinsman’s precision strike turned the game on its head.

Into the second half at Aveley FC and Sherwood added her second of the game from Kelley Blanchflower’s low cross, before a volleyed brace from winger Lily Mellors rounded off a five-star performance from Dicks’ side.

Ladies manager Julian Dicks was pleased with the result, but is still demanding more from this team going forward.

“Over the whole game, I still think that my girls could’ve played better, but the second half was much better than the first half,” admitted Dicks.

“Gillingham came out quick and scored against the run of play. After that, though, my players worked harder and got themselves back into the game and pushed on to score more goals in the second half.

“There are still some issues around tempo and listening to advice, but we are getting there hopefully. I told my two centre-backs at the start that they had two potential threats going forward so get tight to them and don’t let them turn, but they let them turn. I told them again at half-time and they stopped letting them turn and marshalled them out of the game, which then in turn took all threat out of Gillingham’s play.

“Compared to the last couple of games, this was a much improved performance. The Plymouth and QPR performances were awful and we didn’t deserve anything from those games, whereas they did on Thursday so I’m happy with the difference in quality from Sunday.”
Compared to the last couple of games, this was a much improved performance
After Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers, manager Dicks made just one change to his starting eleven, with full-back Kerry Stimson coming in for Vicki King.

However, the change did not pay immediate dividends as Gillingham got themselves ahead when Louise Lorton was released down the right touchline she and crossed perfectly for the unmarked Hincks to finish.

Before long, though, the Hammers dragged themselves level when Sherwood managed to lob Gillingham goalkeeper Courtney Shanley with her left foot from the right corner of the penalty area.

The equaliser gave the Hammers inspiration to turn the game in their favour and they did so when the Gillingham defence failed to clear from inside their own penalty box, allowing Kinsman to step in and fire low into the bottom corner of the net.

After the half-time break, the game went from bad to worse for Kent side when Sherwood was on hand to bury home from Blanchflower’s low cross to make it 3-1.

The Hammers punished Gillingham further when Mellors was released down the right touchline and after making it to the byline, her teasing cross found its way past Shanley and into the back of the net.

With just 15 minutes remaining, Mellors doubled her tally for the game and made it 5-1 by lobbing Shanley from 18 yards out.

The result took the Hammers up to fifth in the FA Women’s Premier League South table, with 27 points from their 15 league fixtures 

West Ham have a weekend off before taking on the Gills in the return fixture at Chatham Town FC on Sunday 29 March. 

Ladies: Duncan, Stimson (King), Baxter, Revell, Bottom, Blanchflower, Little, Bowers (Sale), Mellors, Sherwood (Smith), Kinsman
Sub not used: Locke