Despite an undoubtedly improved performance for an hour another appalling start cost Oldland certain points away to Cheltenham Civil Service last Sunday.
Once again, no defensive cohesion throughout the team meant that the hosts strolled to a comfortable 3-0 lead within the first 10 minutes, something that frustratingly cost the Abbots at least a share of the spoils as for the last hour of the match they more than matched their opponents.
Once Oldland had worked out that they needed to be stronger off of the ball and get a lot tighter to the players that they were supposed to be marking they actually started to get a foothold in the game and their passing and movement were starting to cause the home team problems. Stand in keeper Jess Phillips wasn't getting much bell from the players in front of her but after Nicky Hawkins-Hoare and Beth Dale swapped positions with Hawkins-Hoare moving into the middle of midfield and Dale moving to a wing back position the game swung back into Oldlands control a little as both players started to assert much neededcontrol in midfield.
Cheltenham went 4 up minutes before half time, slightly against the run of play but it was Oldland that had more of the chances with Amy Street,Romany Cochrane, Annie Hawkins-Hoare and Jade Scammell all having efforts saved.
Oldland played some their best football of the season so far in the second half but once again were denied by good goalkeeping and/or poor finishing.
With 12 minutes to go,Dale was unfortunate not to pull a goal back when she slotted the home keeper out of position but her 30 yard chip hit the post.
To compound the visitors misery, once again against the run of play, Cheltenham went straight up the other end to make it 5-0.
The minimum that Oldland deserved was a goal and it came in the 83rd minute as Dale placed a header over the keeper from a pinpoint cross from fellow wing back Laura Elphick.
Oldland are their own worst enemies at the moment with the way they are starting matches but there were positives despite the final score with some decent football played and on the whole, their best performance of the season so far.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH---NICKY HAWKINS-HOARE--Powerful midfield performance in trying to drive the team forward.Linked play well and won some great tackles.
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