Redditch United Match Report

28th July 2019

Redditch United Women 2

An Ella Hitchcox brace after a Becky Wilkins’ opener secured Cheltenham’s third win on the bounce in pre-season.

Cheltenham started strongly, attacking directly from kick-off but the visitors dealt with it well. The early stages developed into a to-and-fro affair, with both sides trading possession in the middle of the park.

Cheltenham rode their luck at times as left-back, Sarah King, was drawn inside, allowing Redditch to overlap. The wonderful cross should have been steered home but it wasn’t to be and the home side were let off the hook.

King and Hitchcox connected well down the left and were soon causing problems, with the visitors unable to handle the pacey duo.
However, when it came down to the final ball, Cheltenham found themselves in a Goldilocks situation, with the pass always being too soft or too hard.

The visitors maintained their threat up front. During the first attempt Butler was on hand to put the resolute striker off, as she fired high and wide from inside the box.
Then minutes later, Amy Leask was pick-pocketed, resulting in a perfect opportunity for Redditch, except the finish was scooped high into the air, allowing Clark to collect comfortably.

This woke Cheltenham up as Butler, after snuffing out another Redditch move, fed Ella Hitchcox on the left wing. She stepped inside and set the ball back for Becky Wilkins, who struck it first time and buried it.

Redditch equalised less than ten minutes later, after Louise Fensome was adjudged to have fouled her marker. The free-kick was struck superbly and found its way into the top corner of Clark’s net.

What happened next stunned everybody, as Cheltenham restarted immediately, with Hitchcox gambling in the box. She was caught by her marker, but managed to get a touch. Expecting a whistle, both sides switched off and the ball found its way into the bottom corner from Hitchcox’s deflection and the goal stood. Less than 60 seconds after conceding, the Robins retook the lead.

Despite a late fightback by the visitors, Cheltenham weathered the storm and went into the break ahead.

Half Time: Chetenham 2-1 Redditch

Redditch restarted the game and didn’t take long to equalise. After being given a free-kick in their own penalty area, Redditch played some great football, resulting in a sweetly struck shot which found the far side of the goal.

Cheltenham made a couple of substitutions, with Criddle and Leask exiting the game, and Kayleigh Hateley and Sally Butterfield coming on.

The home side didn’t take long to get themselves back in front, Hitchcox again proving too much for Redditch to handle. A fantastic long goalkick from Clark in the Cheltenham goal sat just right for the pacey winger, who had plenty of space to run into before unleashing a sizzling strike into the far corner of the net, leaving the Redditch goalkeeper no chance at all.

Redditch settled back into the game as Cheltenham rang another change, this time Sophie Griffiths coming on for Lauren Kayll and it didn’t take long for Griffiths to make a statement, running at her opposite fullback and winning a corner.

Redditch managed to get a foothold as Cheltenham’s substitutions unsettled things ever so slightly. The game continued into a scrappy back-and-forth encounter with neither side being able to really take control for too long.

Cheltenham brought more fresh blood into the game with Leonie Gough and Hannah Galpin coming into the game, to replace Hitchcox and The Trialist.

Cheltenham continued to search for the goal to end the contest but couldn’t find a way through despite the best efforts of Griffiths and King on the left.
Gough linked well with Butterfield to create a shooting opportunity but it was steered around the post well by the onrushing goalkeeper. Butler almost converted from the corner kick but couldn’t find the target.

Not long after, Gough and Fensome’s tireless work saw them force a mistake from the Redditch defender, who’s pass back to her goalkeeper resulted in a corner.
The goalmouth scramble ensued but nobody in red and white could put it away.

With ten minutes to go, Cheltenham started to get the upper hand. Fensome shut the door on a promising looking Redditch attack before dancing her way through the midfield and feeding Griffiths, but the defender stuck a spanner in the Cheltenham works and cut off the young winger, allowing the goalkeeper to recycle quickly.

Both sides threw bodies forward in the final minutes but were unable to make things click, with Cheltenham’s final ball into the box not accurate and Redditch firing high and wide from the edge of the box.

Redditch gambled in the added-on time but Clark was on hand to clean up and secure the win for The Robins.

Attendance: 89

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