Ladies v Buckland Athletic Match Report

9th September 2018

Honours even at the DN Fire Stadium as now top of the table Cheltenham Town Ladies fight back to earn important point against Buckland Athletic. By Bobby Vincent, Sports Journalist, UoG.

 Cheltenham couldn’t quite carry on their 100% record this season, but fought back well nonetheless against a very solid Buckland side.

The hosts did take the lead early on when Ella Hitchcox (pictured) latched on to a loose ball played out from Abigail Bond before playing an excellent across the box cross for Annie Martin to open the scoring.

The poacher’s instinct was on display for Martin who bagged her tenth h goal of the season in all competitions.

Martin’s start to the season has been fantastic and it’s helped by how well she has linked up with Hitchcox, who has also started brilliantly.

The pressure the hosts were putting on Buckland from their goal kicks proved too much for the visitors, who stopped playing their normal game.

Buckland began to grow into the game and their physicality was causing the home side some concerns.

Their physical advantage proved pivotal just before half-time when Alex Sheppard headed in from a corner to level the encounter.

There was time for another goal for the visitors before the half-time break, when a great solo effort from Natalie Warman ensured the away side went in leading at the interval.

It was a big team-talk from Alex Cheal to try and get his ladies back into a game that looked like it could be drifting away from Cheltenham.

A change of system from Cheal meant a more attacking approach from Cheltenham, when they switched to three at the back.

The attacking intent saw Cheltenham regain dominance of the match and their pressure paid off when Hitchcox got in on the action to equalise for the hosts.

Hitchcox was through on goal and poked the ball around Bond in the Buckland goal before finishing from outside the box into an empty net.

The game was finely poised and both teams showed their intentions of winning the game but couldn’t find the important goal, and the game ended 2-2.

Cameron Cheal after the game said that he felt it was a point gained rather than two dropped against an impressive Buckland.

“Before the game, we would have taken a draw,” the assistant manager admitted. “They’re a strong side. It’s a positive point but we felt at the end, there were opportunities for us to win it.”

Cheltenham’s switch in formation had a huge impact on the hosts regaining control of the game and Cheal revealed that the switch was based on getting more bodies forward.

“Obviously we needed a goal,” Cheal said. “Thought we’d switch it up a little bit. Then we got the goal, and it was working – we were on top of them completely.

“If there were another ten minutes left, I think we’d have won it! There was only one team who really wanted it in the end.”

Team: Bingham, Purvis, Hateley (Briscoe), Dolloway, Walters, Fensome, Brown, Wilkins (French), Durham (Butterfield), Hitchcox, Martin.


Subs unused: Ellis, Dance.


Attendance: 51



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