County Cup Victory – Match Report

20th November 2017

Cheltenham Town LFC 1-0 Forest Green Rovers LFC

GFA County Cup 

Location: LCI Rail Stadium

Attendance: 148


Written by: Alicia Turner, Media Student at University of Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Town Ladies knocked out local rivals Forest Green Rovers 1-0 in what was a well-deserved win in the Gloucestershire FA County Cup at the LCI Rail Stadium.

Ella Hitchcox scored a fantastic counter-attacking goal in the 16th minute, after Jade Wiltshire played a brilliant through ball splitting the defence.

The ball rebounded off the post but Hitchcox managed to recover quick enough to produce a powerful shot.

It was a special day for Cheltenham goalkeeper Bec Panniers after receiving ‘Player of the Match.’ She produced some magnificent saves in the second half, naturally increasing the frustration for Forest Green as they couldn’t seem to find the back of the net. Panniers was confident on the ball and never let the score line get the better of her.

It was an intense start for both teams as they tried to secure their place in the quarter-final of the County Cup. This match being particularly significant with it being a local derby game.

Cheltenham Town formed a solid defensive line, Sam Morris and Captain, Jen-Brown-Wells worked together to stop Rovers attackers getting a chance in the penalty box.

The Robins certainly picked up their game after this goal, all the players became more confident which showed in their passing, creating more opportunities and isolating Forest Green’s defenders.

Throughout, the Robins were consistently smooth in their positioning around the back, creating space for the midfielders to move into.

Robins player Louise Fensome had a superb game, out-letting the ball cleanly in midfield and staying very relaxed on the ball. There was no sign of panic or frustration as she controlled the middle of the game, the rock of the team.

Brown-Wells was also incredibly solid in the centre of defence, stopping balls being played into the Rovers forward line and she made some strong tackles near and around the goal.

After Cheltenham Town’s goal, Rovers came out harder and swiftly got the ball in their half of the pitch which created a shot on goal. However, Panniers saved the day with another save after what was a powerful shot from Forest Green. She frequently stayed calm and composed, playing an excellent ball to Kayleigh Hateley who then set up the ball nicely down the line.

Forest Green attacker, Ashley Watson, hit the crossbar just before half-time, but the score remained 1-0 to Cheltenham.

In the second half, both teams were fighting for the win, there was no sign of giving up in this match.

Forest Green Rovers forward line were very quick on their feet, testing the Robins defence but they managed to hold on. Rovers put the pressure on, but for all their efforts Panniers came out on top every time.

Forest Green Captain, Jess Philips, was taken off on a stretcher after a strong tackle from one of the ladies, giving the Cheltenham side a few minutes to recompose themselves.

With only a few minutes left, both rivals were fighting it out for their place in the next round of the cup. Both teams looked very equal in all areas of the pitch, but Cheltenham managed to pin point the weak spots and took advantage.

Securing their place in the quarter finals Cheltenham Town Ladies will play Downend Flyers away.





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