23rd February 2023

Report by Kieran Neller.

Cheltenham fight back twice to share spoils with MK Dons after a physical 90 minutes.

The night started with a wardrobe malfunction, when MK Dons’ all white kit clashed with the Robinesses’ socks.

The floodlights lit up Evesham United’s ground as Cheltenham prepared to replay a tie that ended in heartbreak earlier in the season.

A 96th minute cross from Tricia Gould looped into the back post and gave the Dons the three points in October.

With the sock colour issue resolved thanks to a stripe of red tape around the home team’s socks, the game commenced.

It didn’t take long for Kylie Nolan to start making her mark. In the 10th minute, Maisy Collis switched out wide to the Wales International who chipped the ball over the defender, but Dons keeper Chloe Sansom was off her line to stop the danger.

Cheltenham number one Aimee Watson was forced into action quarter of an hour later, when she pushed a dangerous and awkward corner to safety.

At the half hour mark it was Nolan again with a chance for the home side. She received a bouncing ball in space, and Sansom was stuck in no-man’s land. Nolan’s lob skewed left and off-target, much to MK Dons’ relief.

Coming to the end of the half, Watson was again called into action. A full stretch dive to her right pushed the dangerous shot to safety.

Cheltenham were back on the offensive a minute from time, as Emma Congrave darted down the left flank and cut back to the edge of the box. Annabel Davies, making her first start for the Robinesses since her return, couldn’t connect strongly enough and didn’t trouble Sansom.

MK Dons scored the opener in the 46th minute, as the ball headed across the Cheltenham box and Angelina Nixon scored in the top right beyond the defenders on the line.

After the break, both sides were out in force, and it took until the hour mark for Cheltenham to get the goal their first half performance deserved.

Davies scored her first since returning from loan to level the game. The midfielder jabbed the ball past the defence and into the gaping net.

It took three minutes for the visitors to reinstate their advantage. Mollie Coupar had a deflection land at her feet and scored from close range, despite strong claims of offside from the Cheltenham back line.

In the last ten minutes, a chance fell to Henna Butcher. A ball to the near post flashed past her, and an attempt with her weak foot couldn’t find the target from the awkward angle.

With three minutes until the final whistle, Cheltenham found their way back level for the second time in the fixture.

Substitutes combined as Billie Haynes played a ball through to Izzy Cook (pictured). Sansom charged forwards to close down the angle but Cook stayed composed and tapped home past the Dons keeper with her left foot.

Despite an exaggerated plea for a penalty in the final moments, the game ended without a chance for either side to take three points.

A strong performance and a physical game saw Cheltenham Town Ladies draw with MK Dons Women.

Tom Davies’ side now turn their attention to their third game in eight days, as they make a second trip of the season to face Plymouth Argyle.

Cheltenham beat the Pilgrims in the first game of the season, but the Devon side were responsible for Cheltenham Town Ladies’ elimination in the First Round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.

Plymouth Argyle WFC vs Cheltenham Town Ladies is set to be played on Sunday, 26th February at 2pm.

Cheltenham: Watson, Jones, Finch, Congrave (Cook 66’), Taylor, Butcher, Owen, A. Davies (Holden 66’), Collis (Haynes 75’) , Newns, Nolan (Wathan 93’).
Unused subs: Hannam, Fallon

For the digital match programme for this game, click here.

D2 Interactive