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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

26 November 2023 Venue Bishops Cleeve FC Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Cheltenham Town
3 - 2
Exeter City FC
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Match Previews

📝 Women's Match Preview: Cheltenham Town (A)

24 November 2023

Exeter City Women will rekindle an old rivalry on Sunday as they head to Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup Second Round, City aiming for a place in the third round for only the second time in the past twenty years.

The two sides have met with regularity over the past few seasons, particularly in Cup Competitions. Town knocked the Grecians out of the FA Cup in 2018 at the Second Round stage, before a penalty shootout victory at the Sports Hub in 2020 sent City tumbling in the First Round. The Robins dominance in this fixture continued in 2021/22, two league wins in their march to the Title and a victory in Gloucestershire to dump the Grecians out of the League Cup Plate in a Quarter Final clash. 

Tom Davies side have enjoyed a steady campaign in the Southern Premier Division to date, wins over London Bees, Billericay and Milton Keynes have consolidated their league position in seventh, while the previous round’s 3-0 victory at Cardiff City Ladies was an impressive statement from Davies’ side. 

Phoebe Poole, a summer signing from Cardiff City has impressed with seven goals this season, she has been supported in the hunt for goals by Emily Allen (3) and Emily Owen (4.) Teenage forward Una Lue hit a brace against Cardiff last time out, she will be a threat the Grecians will be familiar with after a hat trick at the Sports Hub against the City Reserve Team back in September. Town have also recently added the experienced Natasha Harding to their squad, Harding’s career includes 100 Caps for Wales and spells at Manchester City, Liverpool and Reading. 

Sunday’s clash represents the perfect opportunity for City to find top gear, although their form has been outstanding in raking up eleven consecutive wins, there have been some comfortable afternoons along the way and this weekend will be anything but. With AFC Bournemouth on the horizon, Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side will be looking to make a statement with victory against higher league opposition and to do so against a team that they may just be due a positive result.  

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Match Reports

📝Women's Match Report: Cheltenham Town 3 City 2

27 November 2023

Exeter City Women suffered late heartbreak as three goals in the final minutes dumped the team out of the FA Cup at Cheltenham Town on Sunday afternoon.

The Grecians started in confident mood, Zoe Cunningham, Jenna Markham and Ishbel Zuurmond testing home Goalkeeper Aimee Watson from distance, all efforts lacking the required power to provide an opening goal. Town broke in between the City defence for their first effort, the shot from wide of the penalty area directed at Abbi Bond who kept the ball away from danger with the save. 

The Grecians were looking comfortable in possession and organised defensively, Cunningham, Zuurmond and Zoe Watkins winning the midfield battle and Sarah Stacey and Markham applying pressure to the home defence at every opportunity.  

Zuurmond struck an effort from the edge of the penalty area, her shot deflected wide off the head of Stacey as City pushed for the goal their play deserved. Markham glanced a Jess Sandland corner wide of the target, Zuurmond then flashing an effort narrowly wide before Bond was forced into two strong saves to deny Town on the counter. 

With half time looming City found their shooting boots, Mollie Taylor raced clear on the right and played in Markham, her cross was controlled by Stacey who fired into the net on the turn for the lead with a sublime finish. 

The second half began with Cheltenham creating a good chance to level, Una Lue failing to connect with a cross into the danger area, the ball looping up into the grateful hands of Bond. 

The game then settled into a scrap, Town looking to set up Ffion Llewellyn for a searching ball into the Grecians backline and City struggling to find the composure in possession that had seen them control the first half. 

With the game not following any real pattern it would be City who had a big chance to seal a place in Round Three, the impressive Zuurmond racing clear of the home defenders but putting her effort the wrong side of the post. 

For the majority of the half the contest looked set to go the Grecians way as they had dealt combatively with the Town attack, but it was a moment of real quality that would throw the tie back open. Emily Allen chased a ball over the City backline, cutting inside and hitting a curling effort into the top corner with a stunning strike. 

From relative comfort to despair, Phoebie Poole outmuscled the City defence moments later and her effort from the edge of the penalty area found the bottom corner as the game headed into injury time.  

As City pushed forward, a penalty then came, a clear foul and the spot kick dispatched by Emily Owen. Stacey pulled one back as this cagey contest came to a bizarre conclusion, but it was too late for Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side as they exited the Cup. 

A disappointing result, but certainly not a disappointing performance as City more than held their own against higher league opponents. Rueful of missed chances and some questionable officiating, the Grecians can consider themselves slightly unfortunate not to be in the draw for Round Three. With a top of the league clash this weekend against AFC Bournemouth, a repeat of the level of performance from Sunday will surely see them go close to achieving the result that they want to achieve.  

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