Report | Argyle Women 4 Cheltenham Town Ladies 1
Pollock 11, Greenslade 39 Hannam og 43, Whitmore 85
Cheltenham Town 1
Argyle Women produced a second win in four days as they swept to victory over Cheltenham Town at Manadon Sports Hub, and climbed out of the relegation places in the process.
The victory followed a win over Bridgwater United on Thursday, and made it three victories from four in February for Ryan Perks’ side.
Amber Pollock, who scored the winner against Bridgwater, opened the scoring once more, and although Laura Holden’s goal for Cheltenham levelled the score, a strike from Lily Greenslade and an own goal gave Argyle a cushion at half-time, which Charlotte Whitmore added to late on.
The opening goal came from the first real chance of the game, when a Georgia Wilson long ball found the feet of Pollock who burst past her marker and fired Argyle into the lead.
Just minutes after the goal, the Robins came close to equalising from an Argyle goal kick, but keeper Jasmine Read was quick to react and her diving effort kept the lead in Argyle's hands.
After Pollock nearly doubled the lead but shot narrowly wide, Cheltenham equalised in the 28th minute through midfielder Holden. She received the ball from Kylie Nolan and placed the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Argyle reacted well and ten minutes later took the lead once again through Greenslade, who broke through after a Kayley Lane throughball gave her all the space she needed to blast the ball high into the net.
Argyle extended the lead late in the half, albeit with a touch of fortune. A shot from range by Pollock forced goalkeeper Hannam to tip the ball onto the underside of the crossbar. Unfortunately for the goalkeeper, the ball bounced down off the bar, ricocheted against the goalkeeper, and rolled over the line.
Cheltenham attempted to break down Argyle's lead through a series of close-range efforts in the penalty area. The closest of these came from Cheltenham skipper Emily Owen whose headed effort was cleared off the line by Panagiota Papaioannou.
After the Cheltenham period of bombardment, Argyle began to take the game to the visitors once again. Greenslade struck the post in the 62nd minute and had a huge chance in the area saved minutes later following a quality run into the 18-yard box. Beth Ireland also had a chance outside the area that just missed the top corner of the net after spinning her marker.
Manager Ryan Perks opted to make numerous substitutions in this period, with Imy Crawford, Zoe Cunningham, Taya Pomfret, Sam Cox and Whitmore all coming on to bolster the side in the final stages. With five minutes left on the referee's watch it was substitute Whitmore who secured the Greens’ victory.
After some high pressure from Argyle, Whitmore snatched the ball from a Cheltenham defender. Having caught the defence off guard it was only Hannam who could stop her, but Whitmore kept her composure and side-stepped the onrushing keeper, sealing Argyle’s biggest league win of the season.
This result now puts Argyle ninth in the league, moving the Greens out of the relegation zone by one point and with a possibility to go four points clear should they win their game in hand.
Argyle now begin a month of away fixtures, with the first taking place at the Goldstar Ground, home of Felixstowe and Walton United, where the Greens face Ipswich Town Women this Sunday, 5th March.
1 Jasmine Read, 3 Rosie Train, 5 Panagiota Papaioannou, 6 Lucy Hack (14 Sam Cox), 13 Katie Dickson, 4 Jemma Rose, 20 Beth Ireland, 16 Georgia Wilson (7 Charlotte Whitmore), 8 Kayley Lane (18 Imy Crawford), 11 Amber Pollock (10 Zoe Cunningham), 27 Lily Greenslade (15 Taya Pomfret).