Plymouth Argyle WFC 4-1 CTLFC

26th February 2023

Report by Kieran Neller.

The Robinesses fell to a 4-1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle in the National League Southern Division.

There was a good crowd at the Manadon Sports Hub as Cheltenham prepared to play Plymouth for the third time this season.

The first game between the two teams kicked the Robinesses’ season off with a win, when two goals from Izzy Cook pushed the side ahead.

The second match was in the FA Cup first round. The first half finished 3-1 to Plymouth and despite a fight-back from Cheltenham late on including a 93rd minute Amy Wathan goal, the game ended 4-2.

The game started well for Cheltenham, the team were playing quickly and with intensity. Kylie Nolan found herself with a chance to cross in the fourth minute.

The Wales International put a low cross to the near post for Laura Holden, which was blocked off by the home side. The loose ball looked tempting as it bounced in the box, but Plymouth managed to clear before the on-rushing Cheltenham attack could pounce.

Plymouth scored their first goal of the afternoon in the 11th minute. Georgia Wilson caught the Robinesses on the break and played a long ball into Amber Pollock to take the lead.

Cheltenham came close to levelling the scoreline just two minutes later. Nolan passed to Cook (pictured) who immediately tapped a ball into Issy Newns, shredding open the Plymouth defence. Newns’ shot was well placed in the corner, but Argyle keeper Jasmine Read managed to tip the chance out for a corner.

In the 17th minute, the visitors came close to scoring in an unorthodox fashion. Cook closed down Read with the ball in the box, and blocked the clearance, but the ball went out for a goal kick.

Cheltenham had the ball into the back of the net in the 20th minute, but it didn’t count. The Robinesses charged forward and cut through Plymouth, with Cook finding the goal.

The referee saw an offside in the build-up and he pulled the game back to a free-kick for Cheltenham due to a foul prior to the offside.

It didn’t take long for Tom Davies’ side to equalise. Cook played the ball past a defender at the byline, ran the around her and regathered the ball. The attacker played a quick ball into Holden on the edge of the six-yard box who converted cooly.

The home team reacted before the end of the half. The Pilgrims scored two goals in quick succession.

The first was scored by Lily Greenslade, in a similar way to the first. A ball came over the top and caught Cheltenham on the break. The striker finished strongly past Shawna Hannam in goal.

Plymouth’s third goal of the half was struck by Pollock from range. The shot hit the crossbar and came down awkwardly, contacting with Hannam before going in.

Cheltenham came out unchanged for the second half, but came out with intensity.

Cook connected well with a half-volley but couldn’t find the target.

Just after the hour mark, skipper Emily Owen got on the end of a pin-point corner by Holden, and redirect the ball on target. The header was cleared by a wall of green shirts on the line.

Plymouth scored in the 85th minute of the game. Charlotte Whitmore rounded the keeper and scored to round off the scoring.

The result drops Cheltenham to 6th in the league, with goal difference being the only thing putting them below 5th place Billericay.

Cheltenham Town are off to the other side of the country next as they face Gillingham WFC on Sunday, 5th March.

Cheltenham: Hannam, Finch, Fallon, Owen, Holden (Congrave 75), Cook, Collis (A. Davies 57), Taylor, Haynes (Butcher 57), Newns, Nolan.
Subs not used: Jones.

Cheltenham Player of the Match: Izzy Cook.

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