Cheltenham Town Ladies were denied a historic second round FA Cup tie after narrowly losing out 1-0 to Leyton Orient on Sunday
A victory at the DN Fire Stadium would have seen them go through the opening round for the first time and travel to Portsmouth in the next stage of the competition.
Alex Cheal’s side conceded the only goal of the game in the second half but he insists the Robins should have been ahead and in control early on.
“We had chances in the first half that had they been taken we would’ve been out of sight and it might have been a different story,” he said.
“But the goalie was fantastic for them and kept them in it and then in the second half we didn’t really create enough.
“So it ends again at this stage – we’ll never get past this stage! We just need to move onto next week now to be honest.”
The visitors dominated the early possession but were unable to create any clear sights of goal.
Cheltenham’s first chance fell to Ella Hitchcox but the winger pulled her shot across the face of goal after she was played through by Annie Martin.
Kerry Bartlett then called the goalkeeper into action with a strong effort from just inside the box, only to see it parried wide.
More chances went begging from a succession of corners, with the hosts failing to convert a goalmouth scramble before Cerys Dollaway headed Martin’s corner just over.
Leyton Orient managed to grow back into the game, keeping hold of the ball for longer and testing Bec Panniers in the Cheltenham goal from distance.
They then found the back of the net just before the break, but play was halted by the offside flag.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 63rd minute as the Robins were punished for expecting another offside call and allowing the opposition to react quickest to an effort that rebounded off the post to put them in front.
Despite enjoying the majority of possession as they searched for an equaliser, the ladies were restricted to long-range shots by a resilient defence as the clock ran down.
Cheltenham will now look to get back to winning ways at home to the Bristol Union Ladies Development side next weekend.