Cheltenham Town Ladies have progressed into the First Round Proper of the SSE Women’s FA Cup after a 1-0 win over Exeter City Ladies at the DN Fire Stadium.
The host’s captain Sarah Walters’ first-half free-kick was the only goal of the game as Town dug in deep against a resurgent Exeter side.
The opening 20 minutes of the game saw two teams who struggled to get settled in the game, and it turned into a scrappy and feisty cup tie.
Cheltenham had the better of the chances in the first-half with Sally Butterfield going close on multiple occasions and Ella Hitchcox having the best chance, with her dinked effort going millimetres wide.
The Robins eventually got the breakthrough on the brink of half-time, when Walters’ long-range free-kick forced Billie Denny into a mistake.
Cheltenham went 1-0 up at the break – knowing their performance levels would have to improve for the last remainder of the match.
Exeter started the better in the second-half, forcing BecPenniers into some fine saves.
City came very close to levelling the score when Sophie Gilles’ effort from outside the box cannoned off the crossbar, fortunately for Cheltenham.
Cheltenham knew they were on the back foot with Exeter pushing for an equaliser, but with Annie Martin and Hitchcoxup front – they were always a threat on the counter-attack.
Martin came close after some clever footwork on the left wing but Denny saved well for the visitors.
Town’s resolute defending was enough to keep Exeter out, despite the relentless pressure – and the home side now await to see who they’ll face in the fourth round.
CHELTENHAM TOWN LADIES: Panniers, Dance (Purvis), Walters (c), Leask (Wilkins), Dolloway, Ellis, Butterfield, Fensome, Hateley (Brown), Hitchcox, Martin. Subs not used: Robbins, Knuckey.
STAR PLAYER: (chosen by junior supporter, Bella): Bec Panniers
Report by Bobby Vincent