Classy Argyle Brush Cheltenham Aside In Title Quest

17th May 2018

Cheltenham Town Ladies were shown what it will take for them to win the South West division by a dominant Plymouth Argyle LFC last night at Strode College.

Despite fielding a near full-strength side Alex Cheal’s side were left trailing in the wake of an unbeaten Argyle side that has swept all before them. With two games left to play the lady Pilgrims sit top of the table and will secure the league title if they win one of their last two games. To date they have scored 94 goals and conceded just 11. Nash Knapman leads the division’s goal scoring chart with 38 in the league and 58 overall.

Cheltenham started with 4-5-1 formation hoping to win the midfield battle but at times it felt that the opposition had an extra player on the field. Any chance of establishing a steady rhythm of play was hampered by a first half injury to Suze Berry and then to Holly Kay at the break and Ella Hitchcox in the second period.

The best periods of Cheltenham play came, in fact, in the second 45 with Charlie Rowlands doing well as the sole striker and Louise Fensome driving through from midfield. However, those moments were rare and it was the Robins’ back five which were under persistent pressure and striving to keep the scoreline respectable.

First team manager Alex Cheal commented: “We always knew that this would be our toughest game of the season while Plymouth knew a win would virtually seal the title. They destroyed second placed Southampton Women’s 7-1 in their previous home game and they were brimming with confidence.

“We gave away an early goal which would have steadied their nerves and thereafter it was a case of limiting the opportunities for a very strong side.

“This has been a very difficult period for the players. We have played a mere six league games in the 15 weeks since the turn of the year and again tonight it showed. I congratulate Plymouth on a superb season and wish them every success for the future.”

Full time: 9-0.

Panniers, Dance, Morris, Walters, Purvis, Brown-Wealls (Captain), Berry (Kay – Rowlands), Fensome, Wiltshire, Hitchox (Amarquaye), Butterfield.

D2 Interactive