Maidenhead United Report

10th March 2020

Maidenhead United 1

Maidenhead: La Cumbre 21′
Cheltenham: Hitchcox 2′, 70′, Martin 83′

Cheltenham Town Ladies travelled to Mill Meadow with a handful of first team regulars missing from the squad but still managed to pull a win out of the bag.

Despite the home side kicking the fixture off, it was Cheltenham who would hit the net first, with Sarah King’s cross being turned away before Bevan’s longrange shot was charged down. The loose ball would fall to Ella Hitchcox (pictured) on the edge of the Maidenhead box with the winger setting herself before finishing well.

This would light a fire under Maidenhead, who would put Cheltenham under pressure with young centre-back Elle-Mae Simpson on top form to remove the danger.

The hosts’ direct play called the Robinesses defence into action, with Hallsworth and Simpson combining well with goalkeeper Alyta Norman to keep the Magpies out.

After a spell of back-and-forth football, Maidenhead’s short passes pinballing around outside the Cheltenham box eventually opened up into space, allowing a looping shot to find the back of the net despite Norman getting a right hand to it.

Cheltenham would respond strongly, looking to play all of the football in the Maidenhead half but the home side stood strong and managed to burst away with a counter attack before Walklett would get a foot in and bring it to a stop.

Maidenhead would go on a quick attack again, winning a corner from Hitchcox. Cheltenham would deflect the ball away at the near post, only to allow the Magpies another looping shot, almost identical to the one that hit the net minutes earlier, but it was wide of the mark.

Despite being on the receiving end of Maidenhead’s physical play, King was still able to swing a perfectly weighted cross into the danger zone for Hitchcox but the pacy winger couldn’t provide the finish with her first-time strike against the goalkeeper.

The home side would have the final say of the half as Cheltenham sent players forward to overload the defence. A break away and a well-placed pass opened up a one-on-one opportunity for the Magpies but the forward dragged the shot wide.

Half Time: Maidenhead United Women 1-1 CTLFC

Cheltenham would restart the second half and go on the attack immediately, looking to recreate their start to the first half. They managed to win a corner which was cleared at the near post. Bull was able to pull the trigger from distance but the shot was stopped and held well by the ‘keeper scrambling across the face of her goal.

The home side would find an opening despite being under pressure. A free-kick into the box calling for Simpson to nod away at the expense of a corner. The in-swinging kick would evade everyone before Hallsworth cleared the ball up the field on the far side of the 18-yard box.

Cheltenham would continue to turn the screw with Martin and King linking well. King, now on the right would cross in and find Hitchcox, who set the ball back for Rendall on the left. The cross was again a danger but Maidenhead would clear well. They would fashion an opening with a counter but couldn’t stop the ball going out for a goalkick.

Hitchcox would hand Cheltenham the lead again after swapping wings with King, who again turned provider with a fantastic diagonal ball into space for her wing partner to run onto. Hitchcox would then provide a cool finish and dodge the on-rushing ‘keeper who would then be clattered by her own defender in a nasty collision.

King would open up Maidenhead’s defence again with another dangerous cross which was too high for Martin and Hitchcox but sat perfectly for Bevan. The midfielder timed her run well and unleashed a monster of a shot across goal but couldn’t find the target.

Not long after, Annie Martin would kill the game off for Cheltenham, after The Robinesses played from a Rendall throw-in. Cheltenham would work the ball into space for Martin to run onto before unleashing a perfectly placed top-corner finish over the outstretched gloves of the Maidenhead ‘keeper.

Caitlin Marron and Hannah Galpin would come into the fixture in the late stages as Cheltenham looked to calmly see the game out. With the final play of the game, the substitutes would be involved in one last attack but Galpin couldn’t keep her shot down.

Cheltenham: A. Martin, H. Lambe, E. Simpson, S. Hallsworth, K. Rendall, J. Bull (Galpin 87′), A. Bevan, K. Walklett, S. King (Marron 85′), E. Hitchcox, A. Martin.

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