Gillingham 6-0 Herne Bay
Gillingham duly reached their second cup final of the season, beating Herne Bay in the semi-final of the Ryman Cup.
The Premier League title contenders fielded a strong side against a team four levels below them in the women’s pyramid.
And it paid dividends as they won with something to spare, mindful of a tough FA Cup fourth round tie against Preston North End this Sunday.
Lisa Fulgence helped herself to a second-half double after Emma Tune and Rachel Ahern had given the Gills a 2-0 half-time lead. Jay Blackie and Nikita Whinnett scored the others.
Manager James Marrs was delighted his players carried out the coaches’ game plan to reach another final.
He told the club’s website: “It’s always nice to get to a final of a competition. We set out our stall from the start and made sure that we had specific targets that we wanted to hit.
“We’ve been working with the girls in training and they did do that in the second half, which is really pleasing, and it helps erase the defeat from last Sunday (against Portsmouth).”
Herne Bay manager Anthony Deer was equally pleased with his charges. He told Sent Her Forward: “I’m very proud of my players. They kept their shape extremely well and worked hard under difficult circumstances.
“The fact [Gillingham] put out their strongest team should reflect on how well we actually did.”
Gillingham, the holders, will now meet Enfield Town or Haverhill Rovers in the Ryman Cup final. They also have a date with Charlton Athletic Reserves in the Kent County Cup final, and are still in the Premier League Cup, as well as the FA Cup.
Herne Bay now return their attention to SECWL Division One East, where they are four points behind leaders Long Lane.
They, too, are in two cup finals – the League Cup, against Bexhill United, and Kent Women’s Plate, where they face Bromley.