Winger Ria Salleh found the net as Cheltenham Town Ladies were narrowly edged out 2-1 by Maidenhead United Ladies as they played a first-ever FA Women’s Premier League clash at the LCI Rail Stadium.
The home side took a deserved half-time lead in the South Western Division encounter with a fine low driven finish from Salleh after good work from Ella Hitchcox.
Clare Rogers levelled the game up for Maidenhead twenty minutes from time with her strike bulleting into the far corner from the edge of the area.
Both teams had late chances to win it and it the visitors who decisively struck five minutes from time when Alex Dover raced ono a long ball and poked it home.
The result was harsh on Cheltenham who created several good openings only to be denied by Maidenhead goalkeeper Eleanor Parker.
Cheltenham always looked the more threatening in the first half with Holly Kay and Sally Butterfield both going close before the opener arrived on 25 minutes.
Hitchcox saw her fizzing shot touched onto the bar by visiting stopper Parker, but the ball fell to the feet of the ever-alert Salleh who showed great composure to riffle home a shot home.
Salleh almost returned the favour with a threaded pass through to Hitchcox before Louise Fensome drove wide of the target.
Maidenhead looked to break quickly when opportunities arose with Tina Brett and Alex Dover testing Bec Panniers while Hannah Summers struck a free kick over the bar.
The second half started with Kay and skipper Jen Brown-Wells shooting powerfully from range as Cheltenham looked to double their advantage.
Holly Rogers was unlucky with a superb turn and shot that flew into the midriff of Parker before namesake Clare did find the net at the other end for Maidenhead as her low effort flew over the greasy turf and into the corner.
A quick break saw Holly Rogers thwarted again by the onrushing Parker while at the other end Panniers produced a brilliant one-on-one save to deny Brett when clean through on goal.
However, she could do little minutes later when a long ball found Dover who chipped the ball home.
Cheltenham had late chances to take a point, as Rogers was denied by the Parker after bursting through on goal.
And in the dying seconds it was Parker again who denied the home side as she turned over a free kick from Brown-Wells.
CHELTENHAM TOWN LADIES: Panniers, Walters, Brown-Wealls, Morris (Bull 45), Purvis, Salleh, Fensome (Taylor 74), Davies, Butterfield, Kay (Rogers 66), Hitchcox. Subs not used: Marriott, Briscoe.
MAIDENHEAD UNITED LADIES: Parker, Barnes (Thompson 17), Summers, Callaway, Bloor, Langston-Lloyd, Saunders, Brett (Carty-Duhaney 90), Reid, Dover, Hester (Rogers 59). Subs not used: Casey, O’Brien.