Report | Argyle Women 1 Gillingham Women 3
Russ 7’ 83’ 85’
Argyle fell to a very late 3-1 defeat against Gillingham Women despite an even end to end game.
Argyle were on the back foot before a ball was kicked, with first team regulars Natasha Knapman, Rebecca Dandridge and Rosie Train all unavailable for selection. Despite this, Argyle started the game well and patiently used the ball to work a chance against their more direct opponents. Against the run of play, Gillingham took the early lead in the seventh minute. Thomas gave the ball away at the back, and Gillingham worked the ball wide before the cross found Russ to tap home at the near post.
Argyle responded well to the early setback, with Crawford and Ireland both firing wide from distance and captain Zoe Cunningham running the game from midfield. Then in the fifteenth minute, Argyle found their equaliser. After a bursting run from midfield, Cunningham was fouled at the edge of the Gillingham box. Cunningham dusted herself off and fired a trademark freekick past Davies into the bottom corner for her second goal of the season.
The game settled as the first half went on with a few half-chances for both sides, but neither could find the goal to take the lead, and they went in deservedly level.
Argyle started the second half well, and Cunningham’s set-piece expertise nearly created a goal through a corner that found an Argyle head but was well held by Davies. Then Argyle should have taken the lead after Cunningham played top scorer Gabi Alphous in behind, but she fired uncharacteristically wide.
Then after an injury to Alphous, central defender Panagiota Papaioannou was forced upfront for the depleted Argyle side. It nearly worked for Argyle however, as late in the game, Papaioannou had a snapshot from the edge of the box, which went narrowly over the bar.
Then Gillingham hit Argyle with the sucker punch. A wide cross from Gillingham was pushed out by Soper but Russ was there to tuck home for Gillingham to give them the late lead. Then with Argyle chasing the equaliser, Russ completed her hattrick with an incredible 30-yard strike to add gloss to the scoreline for Gillingham and inflict a very frustrating defeat upon Argyle.
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Soper, Perrin, Huntley, Rose, Thomas, Crawford, Cunningham (C), Cross, Eaton, Alphous, Ireland
Subs: Ramsey, Kowalski, Papaioannou
Davies, Pearch, Griffin, Keogh, Parker, Fordjour, Maslak, Russ, Cook, Leitch, Haynes
Subs: Waud, Chapman, Jestin
Photo Credit: QuinnKJPhotography