Robinesses 2-3 Portsmouth Women

22nd April 2024

Report by Grace Gunn

Cheltenham Town Ladies fell to a 3-2 defeat to newly crowned league champions Portsmouth despite a first half brace from Henna Butcher.

The Robinesses found themselves ahead after just five minutes as Butcher (pictured) pounced on a loose ball at the back before slotting it past Hannah Haughton. 

Portsmouth hit back 15 minutes later as Emily Pitman took it round Aimee Watson in the Cheltenham goal before squaring it back to Ella Humphreys who slotted it into the empty net.

Butcher netted her brace on the stroke of half time to give her side the lead but a hattrick for Humphreys wrapped up all three points for the freshly promoted side.

First Half

A rapid start from the hosts saw Butcher strike early following a mistake at the back before calmly dispatching her effort for her side. 

The high intensity continued to Tom Davies’ side as winger Emily Allen looked feed the ball through to Phoebie Poole,but the Pompey defence were alert to it.

Despite early chances from the hosts, Portsmouth began to work themselves into the game as Nicole Barrett drove down the wing, before crossing it to the box but Watson rushed out to take the claim. 

Their high pressure paid off as they found themselves level just after the 20-minute mark after Pitman unselfishly passed the ball back to Humphreys who converted into the empty net. 

Cheltenham looked for an instant reply as Poole wriggled through and around the defence before taking aim, but Haughton prevented the number nine’s effort. 

The Robinesses’ chances continued to flow as Emily Allen sent in a corner before Butcher rose above all to head the ball home on the stroke of half time.

Butcher’s brace put the hosts ahead at the break.

Second Half

Cheltenham came out firing after the break with Ackerman launching an effort goal bound but captain Haughton produced a strong save to deny the wingback. 

The champions were back on level terms just 10 minutes into the half as Sophie Quirk surged down the left before pulling it back for Humphreys who slotted it in at the near post. 

The attacking duo combined once again as the visitors went ahead for the first time with Quirk pouncing onto a loose ball before threading it through to Humphreys who secured her hattrick. 

Despite a strong spell from Pompey, Cheltenham continued to fight back as Maisy Collis barged through the defence before striking an effort, but Haughton again was there to retain their lead. 

Portsmouth looked to put the game out of sight, baring down goal with just Cheltenham’s Ffion Llewellyn to beat but the defender stood her ground, taking on both attackers before producing a crucial tackle. 

Despite a resolute display from the Robinesses, Portsmouth held on to their 3-2 lead as they departed with all three points. 

The Robinesses go again at Kayte Lane for the final day of the season on May, 5 against Hashtag United.

Cheltenham: Watson, Owen, Llewellyn, Buxton (Jones 67), Ackerman (Harding 70), Allen, Collis (Taylor 77), Pemberton, Attenborough (Davies 85), Poole, Butcher.

Attendance: 229

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