Wiltshire hits brace in Ladies' win at Gillingham
Mon 24 July 2017, 11:01|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs Ladies’ 2017-18 pre-season campaign started in emphatic fashion at newly-promoted FA Women’s Premier League outfit Gillingham on Sunday, following a perfect six in a first half to remember, writes Khalid Karimullah.
Wendy Martin and new arrival Sarah Wiltshire bagged two goals each, while Ryah Vyse and Bianca Baptiste were also on the scoresheet in a 6-1 win.
Renee Hector sent Ronnell Humes away with a deep pass, leading to her cross hitting the crossbar early on.
Summer signing Wiltshire – making her debut in Spurs’ colours – broke on the right, distributing a cross to the far-post, Baptiste laid-off to Vyse who smashed her strike inside the near post after three minutes.
Coral-Jade Haines then popped possession off to the overlapping Georgie Morton, who played in Baptiste to slot home down the middle to double the advantage inside 10 minutes.
Wiltshire exchanged with Morton whose byline cross found Martin to skim wide and 14 minutes had passed when Jenna Schillaci’s corner was met by Martin, who powered her header across from centre for three.
A carbon-copy link-up between Schillaci and Martin led to the latter guiding her header against the underside of the crossbar on the line – but the ball didn’t enter the goal and it stayed at 3-0.
Gills’ Kallie Balfour set up a counter for Danni Farmer, who blazed over from the edge of the box while at the other end, Wiltshire shimmied down the right and fired at goal, Ahern blocked towards Martin who sent her looping header onto the crossbar before edging the ball over the line to double her tally inside 19 minutes.
Humes’ deep cross then found Wiltshire, whose double-volleyed attempt was blocked by Ahern. Lucia Leon’s subsequent one-two with Wiltshire saw her strike roll off the post and Humes’ follow-up towards a gaping goal was denied by Grace Seely.
Just past the half-hour mark, Baptiste cut in off the left finding Wiltshire, who from 20 yards had a slice of good fortune with a slight deflection swerving the ball past Sarah Cooper to open her account.
Balfour curled onto the crossbar before former Yeovil Town maestro Wiltshire hit the goal of the game on the stroke of half-time. Picking up possession centrally, she sent a sailing dipper past Cooper from 35 yards.
Following the restart, Kelly Smith’s bombarding run and cross found Katie O’Leary, who headed inches across the face of goal. Wiltshire, looking for the perfect hat-trick, subsequently hit a 25-yard swerving strike which was tipped away by Courtney Shanly.
Maisie Jerrim was controversially adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area with Farmer converting from the spot into the top right on 53 minutes, meaning Gillingham denied Chloe Sansom a clean sheet.
As the game progressed, Eden Bailey slipped O’Leary to the inside right, whose cross was inches away from meeting Lauren George six yards out. Late on, Farmer pinpointed Jenny Newman who latched onto possession and struck the post.
Spurs Ladies: Chloe Sansom, Lucia Leon, Jenna Schillaci, Renee Hector, Ryah Vyse, Coral-Jade Haines, Georgie Morton, Sarah Wiltshire, Ronnell Humes, Wendy Martin, Bianca Baptiste. Substitutes: Kelly Smith, Shania Leacock, Beau Parker, Eden Bailey, Lauren George, Maisie Jerrim.