Robins 4, Brislington Ladies 1 (Women's FA Cup Second Qualifying Round)
Cheltenham Town Ladies’ strike partnership shone as the Robins booked their place in the next round of the SSE Women's FA Cup after this 4-1 win over Brislington at the DN Fire Stadium.
Annie Martin and Ella Hitchcox, who have already made the headlines numerous times this season, helped Cheltenham extend their unbeaten run on a wet afternoon.
The sides had already met in earlier in the season, with Cheltenham coming out 7-4 winners on the opening day of the Women's National League season – so goals were almost a given in this game.
Cheltenham took the lead about 20 minutes in, when Martin’s excellent lobbed through ball was met by her strike partner Hitchcox who finished excellently with a lob of her own.
Brislington responded well, though, with a prompt equaliser after a counter-attack was finished off by Paige Sawyer.
The visitors were back in the game and their play reflected this, reducing Town’s attack to
However, the hosts and more specifically Martin, weren’t to be denied for long with the striker making a good tackle on the away ‘keeper before chipping in to put her side back in the lead.
There was time for another Cheltenham goal before half-time as well, when Hitchcox’s speed was too much for the away side and she rounded the keeper and gave the hosts some breathing space.
The physicality in Town’s midfield was an important factor in the first-half with Kayleigh Hateley and Louise Fensome winning almost every loose ball.
As the second-half started; so did the rain and conditions out there meant for a scrappy
With Brislington pushing more players forward to try and rescue the game, the space in
their defence became deciding in the tie.
Hitchcox found plenty of space on the left hand side and tried to find her strike partner Martin, who couldn’t get there first time – but she made no mistake getting to the loose ball and finishing off the scoring.
The two strikers were far too much for Brislington, who were beaten by the better side on Sunday afternoon.
Town now await to see who they draw in the next round of the FA Cup as they extend their undefeated run to seven games in all competitions.
CHELTENHAM TOWN LADIES: Panniers, Walters (c), Purvis (Durham), Dolloway, Ellis, Fensome (Leask), Hateley, Wilkins, Hitchcox, Martin, Knuckey (Butterfield). Subs not used: Briscoe, Bingham.
STAR PLAYER: Cerys Dolloway (as chosen by a junior supporter)
Match report by Bobby Vincent (sports journalist at University of Gloucestershire)