An entertaining game in the first round if the FA Cup saw Cheltenham progress to the next round after winning 4-3 on penalties.
In the early stages of the game Exeter had a lot of possession and looked very threatening. They had some good spells but weren’t able to get past Cheltenham’s defence. Rebecca Halford was doing well to keep Cheltenham out of danger.
Cheltenham began to have a few more chances as the game progressed but one of them troubles the Exeter goalkeeper! Jade Grove had a good ball sent through and was in a good position to score but the offside flag went up.
After the 20th minute the Robinesses seemed to settle into the game more. They had a free kick in a good position but it went beyond the far post were no players were waiting.
The deadlock was broken on the 34th minute when the visitors put themselves ahead. Billie Haynes found space and slotted the ball into the net to give Cheltenham the lead.
Exeter where then trying their hardest to get an equaliser, they had a free kick but Levett did well to save it. They had a lot of corners as well but none of them came to anything.
Half time: Exeter 0-1 Cheltenham
Luckily in the second half the wind and rain had died down a bit! cheltenham had an attack early on after some nice play, but the assistant raised his flag. Rebecca Halford had to make a tackle not long after. There were a few appeals for a penalty from the Exeter players, but the referee didn’t think anything of it.
The Cheltenham keeper Robyn Levett (who had a really good game) pulled an amazing save to keep Exeter out and she put it behind for a corner which didn’t come to anything.
The second half was more even than the first, with both sides having chances. Substitutes were made due to knocks and to bring on some fresh legs.
On the 90th mine an Exeter player went to the ground after a challenge from Cheltenham and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Abbie Britton made no mistake firing home and it made the home side level.
There were an additional 5 minutes added onto the second half. On the 95th minute Cheltenham scored and the referee gave it before going to have a talk with his assistant who said it was offside. There was controversy between players, fans and coaches about whether the goal was onside or not but nothing changed the decision meaning it remained 1-1. As the game ended in a draw it went straight into extra time.
Exeter created a lot of chances and had a lot of space in extra time. They were trying their luck but Cheltenham did well to clear the balls and there was some good defending to make sure Exeter didn’t take the lead. From a Cheltenham perspective extra time was tense as a lot of defensive work had to be done.
Full time in Extra time: Exeter 1-1 Cheltenham
As no team scored during the extra time period, the game went to penalties.
Exeter stepped up first and slotted it to the keepers right.
Cheltenham were next and fired the ball high into the back of the net.
Exeter then made no mistake with their second.
Cheltenham kept themselves in the shoot out and scored.
Again, Exeter scored their next.
The ball was slotted into the corner by Cheltenham.
The Exeter player stopped up next and took her penalty but Cheltenham’s goalie made the save!
Rebecca Halford was confident and stepped up and she had no problem finding the net.
The last penalty was taken by Exeter, the ball hit the crossbar and went over meaning that was it for Exeter,
Penalties: Exeter 3:4 Cheltenham
It was a hard way to loose for Exeter as they had put in a good shot, but it was all joy for Cheltenham as they progress into the next round and will face Portsmouth.