Ladies v Cardiff City Match report

15th October 2018

Cheltenham Town Ladies took on their toughest test to date on Sunday in the FA Women’s League Cup, looking to upset the odds against Cardiff City Ladies.

Cardiff also found themselves undefeated since the opening game of the  season and play a league higher than the Robins. It was however the visitors that started the strongest and after two minutes Louise Fensome’s pass found Ella Hitchcox who scored with some aplomb.

The early goal should have settled Cheltenham however Cardiff’s fluid attacking line was carving open their defensive line. It was however the visitors that created the next opportunity as Hitchcox raced through again one on one, only to be foiled by the goalkeeper.

Despite missing that chance, Cheltenham continued to press forward and they had an excellent shout for a penalty turned away by the referee after 15 minutes.

The decision looked to be a turning point as Cardiff gained a foothold back in the game with a mix up between goalkeeper Panniers and centre half Dolloway leading to the simplest of tap ins.

One became two towards the end of the half when another decision seemed to go the way of the home side. This time, a free kick being awarded on the edge of the penalty area following a fouls by Annie Martin. The resulting free kick cannoned off the post and fell to a Cardiff forward to head home.

HT: Cardiff 2 v 1 CTLFC

The second half started how the first ended with Cheltenham gifting a soft goal. With a corner cleared, resulting in Naomi Purvis being left on the floor, a recycled ball back into the box found a forward in a position to tap the ball home and extend the home sides lead.

Cardiff were now on top and continued to waste chances, with Panniers having to save her side on numerous occasions.

Cheltenham’s spirit would not be deterred though and the introduction of Ellie Briscoe and Sarah Walters resulted in a shift in formation and a reaction. As the game entered the 85th minute, Cheltenham would get their reward following a delightful ball from Becky Wilkins to find the onrushing Hitchcox to fire home.

Cheltenham’s tails were up and belief was there to see and it took just two minutes for the away team to pull themselves level. It was again Wilkins and Hitchcox linking up, with Hitchcox this time finding Martin loitering on the edge of the box. The striker, who has scored double figures already this season would let fly with her left foot and score to draw the game level.

Cheltenham looked to have forced extra time however Cardiff were sure to make up for missed chances earlier in the game. As the game entered added on time, a delightful ball into the box was headed home to knock the wind out of Cheltenham’s sails.

Still Cheltenham refuses to give up though and a free kick from Walters was unfortunately headed at the keeper. With the final kick of the game, Cardiff extended their lead and confirmed their place in the next round with another corner that was poked home.

FT: Cardiff 5 v 3 CTLFC

‘Today was tough but the players gave absolutely everything, to the point where I don’t think we would have got through Extra Time. We can of course feel hard done by with certain decisions but we don’t want to, we want to reflect on the good things we have done today.

‘We needed this test to show what we are capable of doing this year. We have come up short but it shows that we have plenty still to learn. We look forward now to the next test and prepare this week for County Cup action.’

Team: Panniers, Purvis (Walters), Dolloway, Morris, Ellis (Briscoe), Fensome, Wilkins, Brown, Hitchcox, Martin, Robbins (Knuckey). Subs unused: Hateley, Butterfield.

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