Ladies Lose Unbeaten record:Match report by Bobby Vincent

6th November 2018

Cheltenham Town Ladies have lost their first home game of the season, after narrowly losing 1-0 to Chesham United Ladies.

There was a last-minute venue change for the game, with the DN Fire Stadium proving unavailable to play on, and the game being moved across Cheltenham to Seasons.

Tash Smith’s second-half strike for the visitors have put Chesham just a point behind Cheltenham in the league table.

Cheltenham started the better in the early stages of the match, with Annie Martin’s clever lobbed shot forcing a save out of Lucia Delves in the away goal.

Chesham then had two chances in quick succession, testing Bec Penniers on two separate occasions.

The game was being played at Cheltenham Town FC’s training ground and the crisp condition of the pitch was evident to see, with the game being played at a considerably quick-pace.

Both teams were attacking with intent but neither side could break the deadlock as the game headed into the half-time break.

Early in the second-half, Ella Hitchcox had a fine half-volleyed effort that just whistled past the post for the home team.

It was the visitors who made the crucial breakthrough just over an hour, when Smith struck past Panniers for the opening goal of the game.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, Martin had the ball in the net, but Ellie Briscoe was deemed to have fouled the ‘keeper Delves in the build-up.

There was lots of protest from the home side who believed Briscoe had got the ball.

In stoppage-time, Cheltenham were dominant and they so nearly forced in an equaliser, but after a scramble in the six-yard box; Chesham somehow cleared the ball.

It just wasn’t to be for Town today, who received a huge test in the form of Chesham United.

Cheltenham manager Alex Cheal admitted his disappointment from his side and claimed they didn’t deserve a win from the game.

“I’m disappointed,” Cheal revealed after the game. “They (the team) were the ones who said themselves, at half-time, that they’re not playing anywhere near their best.

“The last couple of weeks (13-1 and 7-0 wins against St. Nicholas and Poole, respectively), perhaps we weren’t tested enough. We didn’t earn the right to win that game today.”

Cheal does believe that Cheltenham can take some positives from the performance against Chesham, despite the result.

“The last 15 minutes was really good,” Cheal said. “The way the girls reacted to going a goal down, it was really good.

“We had to take some risks; and without risks, you don’t get reward! The chances we created were good, but we just couldn’t score.

“We scored 13 a couple of weeks ago and seven last week, but couldn’t score today! You know, that’s just the way it goes sometimes…”

Team: Panniers, Dolloway, Walters, Morris, Hitchcox, Wilkins(Robbins), Brown, Fensome, Butterfield (Briscoe), Knuckey(Newns), Martin.
Subs unused: Purvis, Dance.

Player of The Match(selected by Dani): Sam Morris

Bobby Vincent is a sports journalism student at the University of Glocestershire and gives his time free of charge.

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