MATCH REPORT: Poole Town 0-7 Cheltenham Town

29th October 2018

Cheltenham Town Ladies returned to league action at the weekend with a journey to Poole Town Ladies. The hosts, currently sat in the bottom half of the table, have under gone a major transformation this season with players leaving following their fifth place finish last year. Cheltenham however were coming into the South West Women’s Division 1 game off the back of a convincing win in the County Cup.

A depleted Cheltenham team looked to continue their unbeaten run in the league and they elected to kick into a strong wind in the first half. Similar to last week, Cheltenham started quickly with in form midfielder Louise Fensome smashing home a long range strike with her weaker left foot.

This early goal settled Cheltenham and their superiority shone as Brown, Wilkins and Fensome dictated the visitors’ play. In wide areas, Butterfield and Hitchcox caused problems with their direct running. It was Hitchcox who had the next chance as she was set free following a superb pass by Knuckey (pictured), however the Poole keeper pulled off a fine stop to keep it at one nil.

Leading scorer Annie Martin was looking dangerous in behind Poole Town’s defence and the striker added goal number two with good link up play with her strike partner Knuckey. With two goals on the board Cheltenham continued to pen their opponents in their half with chances coming and going.

The third goal would come however with the half drawing to a close. After a moment of controversy following Martin’s clever flick past the keeper and being caught, electing not to go down, Cheltenham were able to regroup and find Knuckey who struck well into the top corner.

The half was not to end there though and the impressive Knuckey continued to have a say on proceedings when her and Hitchcox linked well to find Fensome in the area. Fensome’s quick feet left the Poole Town defender with no option but to hack her down, resulting in a penalty given and the chance for Georgia Brown to open her League account for the club.

HT: Poole Town LFC 0 v 4 CT Ladies

Cheltenham began the second half with the wind at their backs, however the weather continued to affect any flow to a scrappy half. A similar pattern to the game emerged however with Cheltenham continuing to apply pressure on the home team’s defence, who had at this point resigned to losing the game.

Defenders Walters, Dolloway and Morris were rarely called into action and showed their abiity to remain switched on when the Poole forwards made the rare foray into the Cheltenham half. It was however Morris’ excellent play that led to goal five for the away team when her surging run was crossed by Martin to find Knuckey arriving to tap home.

At this point the returning Kayla Garland and Annabelle Davies were introduced for Fensome and Knuckey. Butterfield and Hitchcox’s influence on the game began to take its toll on the home team with the pair’s approach causing issues and both would go close to adding the next goal but were unfortunate not to score.

Winger Butterfeld would however get her goal that capped a fine display when she volleyed home following a corner by Annie Martin. It was the wingers first goal of the season and her tireless work epitomised Cheltenham’s play.

With time running out Cheltenham found enough time to add to their scoreline with Hitchcox continuing her fine form in front of goal. Once again it was a goal of real quality with the winger picking up a measured cut back from Brown to fire home into the bottom corner.

FT: Poole Town LFC 0 v 7 CT Ladies

Team: Panniers,Walters(c), Dolloway, Morris, Butterfield (Garland), Hitchcox, Brown, Fensome (Davies), Wilkins, Martin, Knuckey (Hateley).
Subs unused: Durham, Briscoe.

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