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Basingstoke Town 3 Cheltenham Town 0
Basingstoke Town achieved their first win at FAWPL level with a 3-0 success over fellow Division One South West team Cheltenham Town in the FAWPL Cup Determining Round at the Ark Cancer Charity Stadium.
A strong team performance and good finishing won the day for the hosts against opponents who had a lot of possession and pressure but found a resolute Basingstoke defence difficult to break down.
Cheltenham's best chances came early on, Ella Hitchcox denied by a fine reaction save from Erin Davis-Donne and Chloe Lawrence nearly capitalising on a defensive mix up, shooting just wide. In between these chances Katie Randell had given Basingstoke the lead on seven minutes, latching on to Helen Ogle's cross and firing high past Rebecca Panniers.
Basingstoke soon doubled their lead when Ogle sent in a curling free kick from just outside the left edge of the area. The ball flew beyond Panniers and was headed home by Josette Pearmine on the far post. Emma Lawrence was alert on the right, seizing on a clearance before firing just wide on 34 minutes but Cheltenham were well in the game, putting on the pressure as the match reached the break but unable to fashion a clear opening.
The visitors continued to press the Basingstoke defence after the break and it was from a solo breakaway that Ogle notched the third on 58 minutes, running clear down the left before cutting in and firing powerfully past Panniers.
Cheltenham went close to reducing the arrears on 64 minutes. Louise Fensome was fouled on the left edge of the area, Emily Skipp rolled the resulting free kick to Fensome and her low shot was cleared off the line by Lauren Butler.
Cheltenham pressed hard with Skipp's well delivered corners proving testing, Sophie Wyatt having an effort just over from a 30-yard free kick on 66 minutes, whilst Hitchcox went close from the edge of the area. At the other end, Ogle fired over from close range on 72 minutes after good build up down the right.
With a historic victory in sight, Basingstoke finished the match with determination, every player having contributed a strong display in a well organised unit. They will await the FAWPL League Cup draw whilst Cheltenham will complete in the Plate competition. Ironically, the two clubs meet again at the same venue next Sunday, this time with league points at stake.
Basingstoke Town: Erin Davis-Donne, Ayala Truelove, Zoe Maylin, Lauren Butler, Josette Pearmine, Charlie Powell, Michelle Kimber, Katie Randell, Katie Donegan, Emma Lawrence, Helen Ogle. Subs: Megan James, Lindsey Beverley, Hannah Bramley, Jenna Macbeth, Kelly Rutledge.
Cheltenham Town: Rebecca Panniers, Rose Knuckey, Jenny Brown-Wealls, Amy Leask, Louise Bull, Sophie Wyatt, Louise Fensome, Ella Hitchcox, Chloe Lawrence, Emily Skipp, Natalie Berry. Subs: Ria Salleh, Anna Dennis.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Rose Knuckey in pursuit of Helen Ogle
(middle) Josette Pearmine heads in Basingstoke's second goal
(bottom) A grounded Chloe Lawrence under pressure from Lauren Butler
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