Cheltenham Town Ladies took the short trip to Bristol rivals and high flying Keynsham Town Ladies FC last Sunday.
Cheltenham started the game bright with Kayleigh Hateley, Louise Fensome and Lydia Amarquaye trying to move the football. Defensively Cheltenham looked capable with captain Jenn Brown-Wealls taking her place back at centre half alongside Naomi Purvis and Sarah Walters.
Despite the early exchanges, it took until the 25th minute for Keynsham to open the scoring with Radburn profiting from a free header to score past stand in goalkeeper Samantha Morris. Cheltenham however were to have chances and forwards Rose Knuckey and Rowlands were unlucky, particularly the latter with a chipped effort that just went past the post.
The opening goal however was to open the floodgates as Keynsham added a further four goals before half time as their experienced front three of Lorton, Curson and Bartlett proved too hot to handle. Despite the scoreline at half time, Cheltenham could be pleased with their defensive display in the first half and their composure on the ball.
The second half followed a similar pattern as Keynsham continued to knock on the door and a further three goals were added in quick succession. Cheltenham still looked to continue playing from the back and they were having joy building their attacks. Sam Morris was called into action to save a superb strike by Curson, showing her goalkeeping prowess.
The final goal of the game was to come late on from the penalty spot as the Cheltenham goalkeeper was judged to have brought down Bartlett. Up stepped Keke who confidently smashed the ball home to complete the rout and assert Keynsham’s authority over Cheltenham.
Manager Alex Cheal said: "I am frustrated with the scoreline today but the overall performance was not too bad. It seems odd to take that as a positive despite losing the game 9-0, but we have to put into context where we are. We played better football today than on Tuesday night and yet we have conceded nine goals.
"The players gave everything in what was always going to be a tough afternoon. Our cause is not helped by players being unavailable due to injury, which of course stretched our resources but the twelve we had available showed they can play better football than the top sides. We get to a point on the pitch where we run out of ideas and gift the ball back to the opposition so that is something we need to work on, but we are ready for the end of the season and pre-season where we can set all of this right."
CTLFC: Morris, Purvis (Edmondson), Brown-Wealls (captain), Walters, Dance, Amarquaye, Fensome, Hateley, Berry, Rowlands, Knuckey.