Women's Preview: Cheltenham vs Saints

By SFC Media time Fri 18 Dec
Photo by Isabelle Field

It’s a first National League south west game since October for Southampton FC Women, with Cheltenham Town hosting Sunday’s action.

THE MATCH

Cheltenham Town vs Saints
National League South West
Tewkesbury School
Sunday 20 December, 12pm GMT

It’s been two months of enforced stoppage and FA Cup success for Saints since their last league outing at the start of October.

Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side's previous league outing was at Snows Stadium, a 3-0 win over Exeter City with Lucia Kendall and Rachel Panting scoring either side of an own goal.

The result meant Saints continued their perfect start to the league season, winning all four of their games and sitting top of the division on goal difference ahead of Chesham United.

Cheltenham Town have similarly had two months filled with cup success; beating Portishead 3-1 in the final qualifying round before seeing off National League South West counterparts Exeter City on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Last time out in the league they enjoyed a dominant afternoon at Poole Town, winning 5-0 with goals from Abby Bevan, Charlotte Criddle, Lauren Kayll and a double from Jade Grove.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 11: Rachel Panting of Southampton goal celebration during FAWNL match between Southampton Women and Exeter City at Snows Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Rachel Panting celebrates during Saints' last league outing.

LAST MEETING

Saints and Cheltenham last came together at the end of September at the start of the 2019/20 National League south west season.

In front of a crowd of 237 at Snows Stadium Saints enjoyed a comfortable afternoon, as Shannon Sievwright and Ella Pusey scored a quick-fire double just shy of the half-hour mark.

Kirsty Whitton added a third four minutes before the break, before the scoring was completed late in the day by Panting.

The 4-0 result secured fifth clean sheet in six games in all competitions at the start of the season, scoring 24 goals along the way.

MANAGER'S NOTES

After a long wait to resume league action, Marieanne Spacey-Cale is looking for her side to carry on where they left off.

"We are looking forward to returning to league action on Sunday against a strong Cheltenham team. We've been excited to resume our league campaign but need to replicate the approach we had before the suspension of games.

"The squad are looking forward to the challenge of this game and will be fully focused on maintaining our strong start to the league programme.

"Everyone has remained motivated and worked very hard during the break, and we're now looking forward to getting back out onto the pitch with three points to play for."

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