Robinesses 3-2 Bees

3rd September 2023

Report by Grace Gunn.

Cheltenham Town Ladies came from behind to earn their first three points of the FA Women’s National League season against London Bees.

The Robinesses found themselves behind inside just 10 minutes after a penalty was given with Taylor O’Leary dispatching her shot to put the visitors ahead.

However, the hosts drew level soon after through Lily Billingham, who smashed the ball home to grab her first league goal of the season and bring her side back into it before half time.

Moments after the second half commenced, Emily Allen put the Robinesses into the lead for the first time in the match, following her stunning curling effort.

The hosts weren’t done there as captain Emily Owen (pictured) helped herself to a goal after rising above the defence to head the ball home, however just minutes later the Bees gave themselves a lifeline through Davis, but it came too late as Cheltenham saw out the 3-2 win.

It was the Bees who started brighter after an early chance saw Kayla Potter strike wide of the post but soon after, the high pressure from the visitors, saw them win a corner.

The Robinesses looked to clear the ball but the scramble in the box led to a penalty following the signalling of a handball. O’Leary slotted it past Aimee Watson to put her side ahead.

Despite falling behind, the home side remained calm and looked to push after Daisy Ackerman tried her luck from range, but the number three couldn’t keep her shot on target.

The Robinesses were soon warned again, after Bees sent in a looping corner which wasn’t dealt with, but the effort blazed over the bar.

Cheltenham continued to grow into the game as Ackerman applied pressure to the Bees defence, winning back possession, but Phoebie Poole couldn’t capitalise.

Again the hosts posed a threat to the opposition after Owen sent a low through ball into the feet of Allen before skipping past her defender but the number seven drifted offside.

It wasn’t long until the Robinesses pressure broke the Bees defence as Billingham picked up the ball and struck with precision to pull her side level.

A positive end to the first half from Tom Davies’ side as Allen went close following Ackerman’s free kick but her effort rolled just wide of the post.

Both sides headed in level at the break.

Davies kept the same starting 11 going into the second half but the visitors made a change which saw Jemma Woodcock depart for Francesca Tilbury.

The Bees came out strong as they looked to break early on, but Ffion Llewellyn provided a perfectly timed challenge to block any chance of attack.

Soon after, the Robinesses found themselves ahead after Ackerman drove through the midfield to lay it off to Allen, who’s curling effort nestled into the top corner past Amber Webber.

The Robinesses didn’t take their foot off the gas as Billingham was close to a third but her narrow position made it difficult to get her shot on target.

Pushing once again, Owen came close to her second goal in two games after meeting Ackerman’s corner, but the captain couldn’t keep her effort down.

Just moments later, Owen gets her goal after the defender rose above all during the corner routine to head the ball home giving her side a two-goal cushion in the closing stages.

The two-goal lead was short lived as the Bees got one back through Davis just three minutes later, to provide a nervy final stage.

 The Robinesses looked to see the game out with Holly Finch coming on for Charlie Taylor before Una Lue made her league debut, replacing goal scorer Billingham.

Lue wasted no time in getting involved as she continued to win back possession and battle hard high up the pitch.

Goalkeeper Watson retained her focus throughout the final minutes after coming off her line to claim the Bees’ final attempts.

A well-fought three points for the Robinesses as they saw out a 3-2 victory over London Bees to claim their first three points of the season.

Cheltenham: Watson, Jones, Owen, Llewellyn, Allen, Lewis, C. Taylor (Finch 85), Collis (Davies 74), Ackerman, Poole, Billingham (Lue 87).

Cheltenham Player of the Match: Ffion Llwewellyn.

Attendance: 104

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