Ambitious Chichester City pull off another coup as Wilson joins Green revolution

Sent Her Forward exclusive

Action from Portsmouth v West Ham United, 2014/15 (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

Wilson scored 16 goals for Portsmouth in her last full Premier League season in 2014/15 (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

Chichester City have made another stunning capture, adding former Portsmouth striker Charley Wilson-Blakely to a team already bulging with Premier League talent.

The ambitious Premier League South West Division One leaders have transformed their squad – which finished second last season – signing a host of players with Premier League top-flight experience. Continue reading

Gillingham save face but not points as clinical Brighton cruise to victory

Brighton 3 (Barton, Gibbons, Somes) Gillingham 1 (Crinean)

Simon Ratcliffe, Gillingham, and James Marrs, Brighton during Brighton v Gillingham 040914 Photo: Julian Hart

Gillingham’s new and old managers were in opposition for the first time (Photo: Julian Hart)

In the end the masters outdid the apprentices. Brighton, bolstered by five members of the Gillingham team who won the corresponding fixture last May, predictably beat those they left behind in the great exodus that followed manager Jamie Marrs’ switch to the south coast in the summer.

The win will come as no surprise to anyone who has witnessed the sensational close-season events that saw no fewer than 11 of the Gills’ talented squad switch to Brighton to play for the coach they regard so highly.

It was deserved – and could have been by a bigger margin. But it was not the annihilation that some might have feared, as Simon Ratcliffe’s mixture of senior pros, emerging youngsters, fringe players and reserves eventually gave a decent account of themselves in a match with a little more baggage and piquancy than your average Premier League game. Continue reading

Brighton given clear path through League Cup preliminary rounds

Charlotte Gurr in action for Brighton against Copsewood Coventry (Photo: Geoff Penn/BHAFC)

Brighton have played only one competitive match so far this season after being given a walkover in the League Cup (Photo: Geoff Penn/BHAFC)

Brighton are through to the first round proper of the FAW Premier League Cup without having to play in either of the preliminary rounds.

The Premier League Southern side have been given a bye in the official Preliminary Round, on September 14, which follows a so-called Determining Round in which they were handed a walkover.

The Sussex club had been scheduled to play Norwich City in the round last Sunday but were awarded the tie after their visitors failed to muster a side. Continue reading

Stakes high as Gillingham’s old guard play host to their successors

Collage of Jay Blackie, of Brighton, and Simon Ratcliffe, Ashlee Hincks and Emma Tune, of Gillingham (Photos: Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC/Julian Hart)

Jay Blackie is expected to captain Brighton against her old team, now managed by Simon Ratcliffe, which is expected to include Ashlee Hincks and Emma Tune (Photos: Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC/Julian Hart)

The much-anticipated, yet not so long-awaited, Premier League clash of the season takes place under the Culver Road floodlights on Thursday, with both Brighton and Gillingham struggling to convince anyone that it’s just another game.

It was the fixture that whetted the appetite ever since it emerged that Gillingham’s highly rated manager, James Marrs, had left the club that he led to second place last season for a new challenge at Brighton. Continue reading

Southern Premier League sides still being sent to Coventry

Coventry City players celebrate winning the Premier League at Furze Lane, Portsmouth

Coventry celebrated their Premier League Southern title after a fine season but will not be defending their title

Premier League clubs in the south will compete for a place in the Super League without last season’s champions.

Coventry City, who pipped Gillingham to the title on the final day, have been moved to the league’s northern counterpart for the 2014/15 season by a geographical quirk of fate. Continue reading

Derby joy perfect start for Gillingham’s big week

News from today’s Premier League Southern games

Gillingham celebrate a goal against Preston North End in the FA Cup

Gillingham are four points clear at the top of the Premier League (Photo: Julian Hart)

Gillingham kicked off the biggest week in their history in the best possible way, with a derby win over Charlton Athletic which puts them four points clear at the top of the Premier League South.

Charlotte Gurr, Fliss Gibbons and Jade Keogh all scored before half-time to put an end to Charlton’s tremendous unbeaten run that has taken them to the fringes of the title race.

Kit Graham grabbed a second-half consolation for the Londoners, but the defeat – their first in 13 matches – effectively kills off their title chances. Continue reading

Gillingham back on top on fine day for South East

Premier League highlights

Nikita Whinnett in action for Gillingham against Lewes on March 23 2014

Nikita Whinnett scored two more for Gillingham to help them back to the top (Photo: Julian Hart)

On a day when the South East’s Premier League teams were all unbeaten, Gillingham will be celebrating the most after returning to the top of the table with a 4-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

They took advantage of the fact that leaders Cardiff City and third-placed Coventry City were in League Cup action to overtake the Welsh side, courtesy of some clinical finishing.

Second-half goals by Nikita Whinnett (2), Emma Tune and a late penalty by Charlotte Gurr took the Gills two points clear – and boosted their goal difference to 29 – the best in the division. Continue reading

Pompey Ladies follow in superstars’ Fratton Park footsteps

Fratton Park (Aug 2013)

Pompey’s takeover by the supporters’ trust has marked a closer relationship with the Ladies

Five years ago high-flying Premier League Pompey hosted AC Milan in a Uefa Cup tie at Fratton Park.

Not much more than six months ago another near-capacity crowd flocked to the old stadium to watch the rather less romantic contest between a Pompey side already relegated from League One and Sheffield United, who were to miss promotion through the play-offs for the umpteenth time. Continue reading