Keynsham Ladies vs Cheltenham

Keynsham Ladies 6-2 Cheltenham Ladies
National League Div One SW
AJN Stadium

Keynsham beat third placed Cheltenham on Sunday 3rd March as they look to concentrate on the league at the business end of the season. Cheltenham have now slipped to fourth place but have a game in hand on Chesham who now sit in third.

The first chance of the game was on eight minutes for Keynsham. Kelly Aldridge releases Justine Lorton down on the right hand side. Her by-line cross finds Kerry Bartlett with a free header but it goes over.

Keynsham broke the deadlock a few minutes later with a break away on the left. This allowed Bartlett to cross to Aldridge who picks the ball out of the air to shoot with her second touch, which is too powerful for the Cheltenham keeper.

Bartlett goes over from after being released by Lorton as Keynsham start to gain momentum in the game. The home side almost got lucky with Ellis Hillman’s mis-hit cross hitting the inside of the post.

Eighteen minutes in and Cheltenham had a real chance to equalise from a freekick but no one could connect.

This missed chance was punished by Bartlett a minute later as Keynsham go 2-0 up. Nadine Grogan’s clearance up field holds up for Bartlett to run on to, with two defenders in tow, and she fires the ball past the keeper.

Charlotte Haynes keeps Keynsham’s two goal lead with a comfortable catch at the near post as the half goes on. The visitor’s keeper saves well a moment later after Lorton and Bartlett link well again.

Keynsham go 3-0 up just before the half an hour mark. There was a corner from the left by Grogan which finds Bartlett unmarked in the 6 yard box.

Both teams have half chances leading up to half time. The best of these chances falling to Laura Williams hitting the woodwork from Bartlett’s pull back on the left.

Kirsten Rendall has a long shot from Lorton’s lay off just before half time but Keynsham weren’t finished yet. Rachel Cullen’s through ball to Bartlett who makes it 4-0 with a confident finish, whilst Cheltenham had a player off of the pitch injured.

HT 4-0

Lorton hits the outside of the netting as the second half gets underway.

Five minute in and both teams have had half chances with Keynsham’s Corinne Yorston and Williams testing the Cheltenham keeper, whilst Keynsham clear a chance off of the line at the other end.

On fifty nine minutes Keynsham’s pressure tells again as Williams makes it 5-0. Bartlett played through Williams after a decent passing move up the pitch. The winger applies a cool finish past the advancing keeper.

Cheltenham pull one back two minutes later, much to the delight of the travelling fan base. Georgia Brown dispatches her spot kick with ease after Martin was fouled in the box.

There was a great save by Cheltenham’s number one moments later to deny Bartlett a tap in from a Lorton low cross.

On sixty six minutes she pulls off another excellent save to keep Keynsham at bay again. Yorston has a long shot after a cleared corner yet the shot stopper saves one handed this time. The resulting corner leaves Williams cursing after hitting the woodwork from Lorton’s delivery.

Ten minutes later and Keynsham do score again.

Bartlett gets her fourth of the afternoon as Lorton’s freekick was spilled by the Cheltenham keeper in the wet conditions; with Bartlett reacting quickly to score.

The final goal of the game was Cheltenham’s second. A corner on the left found Ella Hitchcox with a free header.

This wasn’t the end of the action for both keepers as the game draws to a close. Cheltenham’s keeper saves another shot one handed from Bartlett’s free header to keep the score down.

Moments later Haynes saves from a one on one as the Keynsham defence gives away possession.

Finally Williams goes close at the death as Keynsham put in another all action display which was too strong for the visitors.

Before ending this match report I have to comment about the linesman. This isn’t a cheap swipe at the individual but a real concerning questions to the FA – Why was he allowed to run the line at this game?

The kit didn’t fit him on a cold and wet day. He wasn’t physically able to keep up with play and many of his decisions on line calls were wrong and were over ruled by the referee.

There must be some sort of minimal fitness test for this high level of Ladies football. It wasn’t fair on the individual, it doesn’t reflect well on the Ladies game, the professionalism of the FA and the overall reputation of both the league and Ladies football.

I would like to openly invite the FA to respond to this – honestly watching the game it was painful to see him in discomfort and the reactions and comments from everyone around me.

The players on that pitch, the fans who pay to come in, the managers, staff and coaches of both teams and the other officials as well all deserve better as they have all taken time out of their day to support your league. You would never, ever, have this at Western League level in the men’s game – so why allow it here?

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