Luton Cup Victory Match Report

3rd September 2018

Cheltenham Town made the 100-mile trip to South Eastern side Luton Town with a contrast in results for both teams to date. Luton have opened with two losses while Cheltenham have won their opening games.

Manager Alex Cheal took the chance to shuffle the group with Amy Leask (pictured), Kayleigh Hateley and Bec Panniers all coming in.

It was the home side that came flying out of the blocks with their midfield winning the early exchanges. Cheltenham however settled and it was Wilkins that had a strike on goal that flew wide.

The home side continued to push and any chances came from their left hand side where Walters and Ellis struggled to cope with overlapping runs. Despite the home team getting into good positions however the final ball was lacking.

It took half an hour for the deadlock to be broken and it was a great team goal. The superb Briscoe worked her magic down the left and delivered a ball into Hitchcox who in turn spun a ball round the corner for Martin to strike home.

Cheltenham’s vulnerability would eventually make them pay however and it took Luton only five minutes to claw themselves back into the game. A succession of corners would lead to a far post headed goal to draw level before half time.

HT: Luton 1 v 1 Cheltenham

The game followed suit of the previous two matches for Cheltenham with a poor start, however it took just two minutes in the second half for them to get back in front.

It was the returning Amy Leask that took her chance when a ball delivered in to the box was not cleared and the centre half fired home, in off the bar.

The game continued to ebb and flow with both teams rushing possession. Cheltenham continued to force chances via Martin, Hitchcox and Hateley but they could not extend their lead.

The half continued to fly by but it was Cheltenham that would score the third when Hitchcox set Butterfield free down the right. Butterfield’s perfect cross found the feet of Annie Martin who spun and struck home with her left foot.

Cheltenham were in charge however they were being caught on the counter and it took a superb save from Panniers to deny the opposition.

FT: Luton 1 v 3 Cheltenham

‘Today was always going to be tough. It’s difficult to gauge the levels of the other leagues but Luton showed today that although they have lost their opening two, they are a strong side.

‘We were not at our best today but we have got a superb result away from home. Given that we have changed four and given injured players valuable minutes is vital. The pleasing thing for me was that at half time the girls knew what went wrong first half and they set about to make it right in the second.’

Team: Panniers, Dance (Dolloway), Morris, Leask(French), Walters, Wilkins, Hateley, Ellis (Butterfield) Briscoe, Hitchcox, Martin.
Subs unused: Rogers, Norman.

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