It’s A Winning Start To 2017 For Ladies

9th January 2017

Cheltenham take all three points in first game of 2017
By Elliott Cuff

Goals from Ria Salleh and Ella Hitchcox saw Cheltenham Town Ladies claim their first win of 2017 against Basingstoke Town Ladies, writes University of Gloucestershire Media Graduate Elliott Cuff.

 Cheltenham welcomed Basingstoke to a mud-caked Petersfield Park in their first fixture of the new year, and enjoyed a lively game of good football – despite the unfortunate weather.

The home side started well and deservedly went ahead, with Salleh scoring the opening goal early in the first half with a fantastic strike from the edge of the box.

Shortly afterwards, Basingstoke equalised after Hitchcox was perhaps harshly penalised for handling in the box. Despite Bec Panniers’ initial save, Basingstoke were quicker to the rebound and it was tucked away to draw the away side level.

Hitchcox got retribution not long after however, slotting past the onrushing Basingstoke keeper to put Cheltenham back in front.

Cheltenham almost extended their lead by two after the ball was put in the back of the net but celebrations were cut short, courtesy of the lineman’s offside flag.

The Robins entered halftime the better side, and deservedly a goal ahead.

Basingstoke came flying out of the traps at the beginning of the second half, hoping to find an early equaliser, but were denied by the excellent form of Panniers in goal.

Captain Jen Brown-Wealls marshalled her defence with panache and Panniers turned in a star player performance to keep Basingstoke at bay.

Hitchcox came close twice in the second half, but just couldn’t find that two-goal buffer that the home side craved. Regardless, Cheltenham hang on to their lead and kicked off 2017 with a positive result.

Next week, the club take on league leaders Chichester City Ladies and will need to be at their best to come away with a result.

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