Maidenhead United Match Report

30th September 2019

Maidenhead United Women 2

Cheltenham: Martin 39′, Hitchcox 59′, Fensome 61′
Maidenhead: Nelson 5′, Striepecke 51′

By Tom Sansom

A high quality and quantity of goals were on offer as Cheltenham Town Ladies earned the three points in a home win on Sunday, as they narrowly saw off  Maidenhead United Women, for a hard fought 3-2 victory.

Louise Fensome executed an extravagant 30-yard strike that
flew into the top left corner and was the deciding goal between the two sides.

However, the game did not start in favour of the home team. Cheltenham
failed to clear an early Maidenhead corner, which came into the path of striker
Steph Nelson, who calmly headed home at the front post, after only six minutes
of play.

The Robins soon switched on and forced shots on goal. A handful of chances were lashed at, and were either sent wide, or saved by Maidenhead’s Goalkeeper Ellie Parker, who was a standout player between the posts.

Cheltenham’s Abby Bevan believed she had put her side level, after a skilful side foot finish found the top left corner, yet it was ruled out by the linesman’s flag.

The home side continued to pepper shots away at the visitor’s
goal. Parker was called into action once more, as she performed a double save
following a Cheltenham corner.

It was Annie Martin who managed to equalise, as a low drilled free kick was sent into Maidenhead’s penalty area and was tucked away at the back post, the score line level just before half time.

Half Time: CTLFC 1 – 1 Maidenhead United Women

The second half began, and it was the Berkshire side who hit back first. Annika Striepecke picked up possession in midfield and was unopposed as she connected sweetly with the ball from outside the penalty area, and then watched it glide past Cheltenham’s goalkeeper, Bec Panniers, into the top corner.

Yet the lead was short lived, as just three minutes later, Ella Hitchcox (pictured) ran on to a nicely waited chip over the Maidenhead defence, and neatly tucked away an effort passed a goalkeeper who had done little wrong all game.

The Robins took the lead only two minutes later, through an amazing 30-yard strike from midfielder, Louise Fensome, who had only just come into the game off the bench. A goal of the highest calibre rocketed into the top left corner past a stranded goalkeeper, who could only stand and watch.

The sparring match continued as both sides were denied by great saves throughout the remainder of the game. Robin’s defender Amy Leask took control at the back, with several well-timed tackles stopping any chance of a late equaliser, as Cheltenham walked away with the win.

Attendance: 89

Cheltenham: B. Panniers, L. Ellis, A. Leask, M. Butler, K. Rendall, A. Kempski (L. Fensome 60), C. Criddle (G. Brown 60), A. Bevan, S. King (K. Bartlett 63), E. Hitchcox, A. Martin


While manager, Alex Cheal was pleased to get another win, he wasn’t as happy with the performance on show.

I think twelve months ago, we’d have said ‘yep, happy with that’ but not today. The performance wasn’t good, maybe too many changes and we shoulder the blame for that, but the performance wasn’t there and we were there for the taking to be honest and Maidenhead can walk away knowing they were in the game. On the flip side we’ve created a few chances, but we just weren’t at the races and we’ve got away with one today like I said to the players after the game.

“For me it’s about a complete package now and I think Tom [Davies, assistant manager] would say the same that it has to be performance as well as results. And teams like Maidenhead, the likes of Southampton are putting five or six on them and we aren’t, so we need to adjust something and adapt. We’re disappointed, but ultimately we’ve won the game, but the performance wasn’t there.

“The upcoming cup games allow us to rotate a bit more. Brislington and Poole allow us that, and it’s better than having to go away. So we will change little bits, but today shows that if you change five or six at a time it can affect the rhythm of the team. So we will make changes but certainly not wholesale like today.

[On Kerry Bartlett’s long awaited debut] “Kerry will probably be kicking herself for not making it four, but she’s coming off the back of a long-term injury and she got through a half an hour today which is really good. We’ll up that playing time over the next few weeks with cup fixtures, but we have to find the best way to fit everybody in! But a positive debut from her without having to do a massive amount, and we’ll see what next week brings for her”

Cheltenham Town Ladies are at home again next week, October 6th, in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round vs Brislington Ladies. DN Fire Stadium, 2pm kick-off.

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