Robinesses 2-3 Plymouth Argyle

21st January 2024

Report by Grace Gunn.

Cheltenham Town Ladies suffer a disappointing 3-2 home defeat in tough weather conditions despite leading at the break.

Tom Davies’ Robinesses broke the deadlock on the half hour mark after captain Emily Owen (pictured) struck past Plymouth’s Jasmine Read. 

A quick start from the visitors saw Fern Orchard pounce on a misplaced pass, slotting it past Aimee Watson and drawing her side level.

Despite a positive spell from the hosts, it was Plymouth who netted their second after Charlotte Whitmore produced a back-heeled flick, rooting Watson. 

Two became three after Whitmore struck a long-range effort but the deficit was halved by substitute Phoebie Poole following the number nine’s clinical finish.

First Half

A bright start from the Robinesses saw an early chance after Emily Allen’s in-swinging corner was met by the rising Owen but the defender couldn’t keep the header down.

Another chance came and went for the hosts as Lily Billingham took aim from range, but keeper Read got down low to prevent the opener.

Cheltenham’s dominance continued as Henna Butcher drove down the field, skipping past the sea of green shirts before sending in a looping ball but her cross was cut out for a corner.

The flurry of corners continued for the Robinesses as Allen looked to swing in another one, but the number seven’s high ball was unable to meet a red shirt. 

The Robinesses’ constant pressure from the corners eventually paid dividends as Allen’s low ball was met by the feet of skipper Owen who drilled the effort into the back of the net. 

Cheltenham weren’t looking to stop there as they pushed for a second, but Daisy Ackerman’s audacious effort was met by the hands of Argyle’s number one. 

Plymouth looked to equalise on the stroke of half time as Giota Papaioannou struck from the edge of the area, but her effort was met by the cross bar, but it was Cheltenham who remained ahead at the break.

Second Half

A lively start from the Greens saw them equalise after just two minutes following a misplaced pass at the back, allowing Orchard to slot it into the back of the net. 

Davies’ side looked for an instant response after Ackerman whipped in a pin-pointed ball, landing into the feet of Una Lue but the striker was unable to keep her effort on target. 

The first change of the afternoon saw Libby Waylen enter the field, making her debut for the Robinesses and wasted no time in getting involved as the defender cut out Argyle’s through ball.

It was Plymouth who went ahead after Orchard charged down the wing before crossing it into the feet of Whitmore who flicked it beyond Watson. 

Moments later saw Whitmore grab her second of the game after her long-range strike drifted into the top corner.

With Cheltenham looking to half the deficit, Davies made a double change as striker Poole and Annabel Davies entered the fray with 20 minutes remaining.

The substitutes got straight into the action, combining well as Poole calmly dispatched a low driven effort into the back of the net following Davies’ perfectly weighted through ball. 

It was almost a second for Poole in the final minute of normal time as the number nine broke through the Greens’ defence, driving towards goal but her low effort stuck into the arms of Read. 

Despite the resilience of Davies’ side, it was the visitors Plymouth who departed with all three points as the Robinesses now look ahead to a trip to face MK Dons next time out.

Cheltenham: Watson, Finch, Owen, Lewis (Waylen, 57’), Ackerman, Allen, Taylor, Pemberton (Davies, 71’), Billingham, Butcher, Lue (Poole, 71’).

Attendance: 171

D2 Interactive