Bridgwater Utd WFC 3-3 CTLFC

17th March 2023

Report by Kieran Neller.

A goal-filled first half saw Cheltenham Town pick up a point on the road against rivals Bridgwater in the FA Women’s National League Southern Division

The sides came out in a haze of rain as they met for the second time this season. The two clubs faced under the lights at the Corinium Stadium, where Emily Owen’s goal was cancelled out by then-Bridgwater midfielder Laura Holden who has since signed for the Robinesses.

The game started fast. Cheltenham had their first shot within two minutes. Izzy Cook floated a dangerous ball into the box. Jessie Taylor went to follow up, but Bridgwater keeper Ellie Mitchell came out to cover the danger.

The opener came just three minutes later. Billie Haynes (pictured) found space and buried a strong shot high in the net.

The home side reacted quickly. Striker Ellie Sara converted within two minutes of the first goal to level the game.

Bridgwater scored the next goal to take the lead. It was Sara with a well-taken finish to the far post.

Just five minutes later, Cheltenham were back on level terms with a goal from defender Holly Finch. The goal came from a clever set-piece where Finch popped up at the near post to head home.

Just two minutes later, in the 24th minute of the game there was a fifth goal. Bridgwater scored through their new signing Beth Everson.

Aimee Watson was forced in to action with an unbelievable save to stop the game getting away from the Robinesses. The keeper got a slight touch on a thunderous shot, redirected the effort onto the crossbar and out.

At the 30 minute mark came the last goal a frantic half. Laura Holden spotted the keeper lurking too far forward, and lobbed Mitchell with a spectacular long range shot.

The goal marked the end of a six goal half of football, with both teams fighting hard for three points.

The second half played out very differently to the first. Debutant Daisy Ackerman came on for Jessie Taylor after the break, her first appearance for Cheltenham since joining from Bridgwater.

The first 15 minutes were played in the middle of the pitch, with far less shots than the dramatic first 45. Cheltenham were getting set pieces in wide areas but were unable to convert them.

Henna Butcher came the closest to making the most of a free kick. The attacker headered the chance down into the ground and the bouncing ball missed the target.

A game took a controversial turn in the 82nd minute. Defender Kelcie Fallon was issued a straight red after the linesman had a discussion with the man in the middle.

Cheltenham, now down to 10 players, still pushed for the winner in a dramatic mid-week showdown.

Izzy Cook had an opportunity as she drove into the box from the right wing. The forward got the ball on her right and rifled a shot into the far post in the final minute of the game.

The match-up finished 3-3, with both sides having opportunities to finish the game ahead.

Cheltenham Town Ladies are back in action less than 48 hours after the game. The big double header with the men’s team takes place on Saturday, 18th March. The side faces London Bees with the men’s side playing Exeter City earlier in the day.

Cheltenham: Watson, Fallon, Finch (Collis 82), Owen, J. Taylor (Ackerman 46), C. Taylor, Holden (Newns 68), Wathan, Haynes, Congrave (Butcher 59), Cook.
Unused subs: Hannam.

Cheltenham Player of the Match: Izzy Cook

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