Swindon Spitfires edge out by Cheltenham

SWINDON Spitfires’ erratic form continued with a 3-1 defeat at Cheltenham Town that leaves them in fifth place in the Wiltshire County League.

Kicking off into a strong wind, Spitfires conceded in the second minute with a fluke goal when an innocuous cross from the left hit a divot in front of Spits keeper Tamsin Kellett and skewed 90 degrees into the net.

Spitfires set about getting back into the game, and Sammie Smith fired a free-kick just over after six minutes.

Another flowing move in the 12th minute almost brought an equaliser, Debbie Rose finding Ria Salleh on the left who outpaced her marker and crossed to the far post where Hayley Huckin was just inches away from converting.

Cheltenham’s second came a minute later when a speculative, wind-assisted shot from 30 yards was tipped onto the bar by Kellett, only for the Cheltenham striker to get to the rebound first.

Further chances came and went for Spitfires, who still looked the better of the two sides, before the third goal came on 43 minutes when another preventable cross was tapped home at the far post. Rose then headed a Smith corner over as Spitfires went into the break wondering how they were three goals down.

Spitfires needed an early reply, and got what they were looking for three minutes into the second half when a Cheltenham goal-kick landed kindly for Huckin, who took full advantage.

However that was it as far as the scoring went. Spitfires had further chances, but found too many balls running away from them with the wind, and now driving rain, at their backs.

The closest Spitfires came to a second came in the 78th minute when the home keeper did well to tip an Emma Skinner shot round the post.

In the Oxford Girls League, Spitfires’ under 17s made it three wins on the bounce with a 4-1 victory at third-placed Kennington Athletic.

Sarah Uzzell opened the scoring for Spits before Amy Matthews added a second. Uzzell then hit the bar, while Matthews saw an effort chalked off for offside, before Kennington pulled a goal back.

Matthews had the last laugh, however, scoring twice in the final few minutes to round off an impressive Spitfires victory.

Meanwhile, in the Wiltshire Girls League, Spitfires’ under 13s won 7-0 at Derry Hill with goals from Lois Beer (2), Georgia Brown (4) and Gipsy Viveash.

The club’s under 12s went down 3-0 to FC Chippenham.

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