Ladies Put In Best Performance But to No Avail

3rd October 2016

This FAWPL South West Division match was staged at Conference South Maidenhead United’s excellent York Road ground and the game certainly proved to be an exciting affair, between two evenly matched sides.

Cheltenham, sporting their new EI-sponsored away kit, started the game well, passing the ball well, and putting the home side under pressure. Cheltenham continued to impose themselves on the game, and it was a surprise that it took until the 33rd minute for Ella Hitchcox to put the away side in front with a cool finish. Cheltenham could have been three up at half time, but good saves from the home keeper thwarted chances from Rose Knuckey and Sophie Wyatt.

Half Time 0-1

The second half started with the home side working really hard to impose themselves on the game, and while they did create some chances, the Cheltenham defence, well marshalled by captain Jen Brown-Wealls, and keeper Bec Panniers kept them at bay. It was a surprise having weathered the storm, for Cheltenham to concede from a free kick that rattled in after hitting the underside of the cross bar. Cheltenham continued to take the game to Maidenhead, but spurned six clear chances, to win the game comfortably.

With the game heading for a draw, Maidenhead won a corner, and the ball was initially cleared, but it fell to Maidenhead’s Megan Lovelock, who somehow produced the shot of the game to win it for the home side.

Cheltenham Town Manager, Graham Fletcher was very philisophical after the game. “My team were excellent, I changed the system slightly, to allow the full backs to push on, which made our passing game come to the fore. We created lots of chances, and should have been clear before they even had a shot. But 1-0 is always a tricky lead to defend, and again set pieces were our downfall. It wasn’t clear from the touchline how their first goal went in, but it appeared it was deflected into our net. And for the second we cleared the initial corner, but the shot from their player, was so unexpected and before we knew it, it was in the net. Sometimes you have to accept when its a great strike that beats you, but we still made chances, and again I felt if we got level we would have won the game. We created so many good chances, but you have to score, that’s football. I was really proud of the team, they are a good group, they stick together, and in my opinion they certainly deserved a draw, probably all three points”

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