Report | First defeat of the season for Southampton

Cheltenham Town scored in both halves winning 2-0 against Southampton Women's ending their 100% record in the FA Women's National League Division One South West.

Anne Martin scored early for the Robins firing home a cutback pass for the opener.

Despite some intense attacks by Southampton Cheltenham held on and found a second late on through a stunning long-range Charlotte Criddle shot.

It has been a great start to the season for Aaron Smith's side and following the previous weeks 8-2 win over Exeter City he opted to keep the same starting lineup.

A positive for the squad saw the return of Laura Vokes who started on the bench after a year out having a child.

Both sides started the game with intensity a Cheltenham were denied twice first by Gracie White and then the captain Tash Angel blocking another.

EJ May was played in for a first time shot with her left foot but it curled wide of the mark.

Cheltenham soon gathered themselves for the quick breaks and they found Martin to run in behind the Southampton defence but couldn't get a shot away as White raced across to meet her and deflect the shot wide.

With 12 minutes played the visitors' early pressure paid off.

Ella Hitchcox broke into the box and dragged Rose Kite off her line before setting the ball back for Martins who smashed the ball into the net despite the defence tracking back quickly.

Town continued to press and launch several attacks keeping Kellie Warren and Angel on high alert.

It was a very warm day in September and drinks breaks were in play which Southampton nearly found a way in after the first stop.

Emily Wernham struck a great shot at goal that just went over Robyn Levett's goal, Áine McKeever held the ball up before getting it wide to the forward.

Neither side seemed to be able to settle on the ball but the visitors were always looking for the long ball and playing in behind.

Heading towards half-time and Wernham tested Levett lofting the ball high for the keeper who caught well and managed to stop herself from crossing the line as she fell to the ground.

Southampton started brighter in the second-half but the passes into the final thirds didn't find their intended target.

55 minutes played the game saw it's first corner which Levett pushed round her near post at the first attempt.

Janes Yeates and Wernham hadn't been the busiest in the game but tried to create a chance but the former was unable to control her shot properly.

Yeates quickly followed it up controlling a lovely ball from Hannah Samuels shooting across goal but could only watch it graze past the post.

The Southampton defence was being put through its paces as time tick down, plenty of strong blocks being put in to keep the hosts in the game.

With five minutes of normal time to play the Robins doubled their advantage and almost certainly wrapping up the game.

Substitute Criddle found herself with space and time out wide to go straight for goal burying the ball into the top right-hand corner of the goal.

There was still time for Southampton to get something from the game with an expected six minutes of injury-time to be played.

Vokes went close but was unable to turn the ball in at the back post off of Lauren Cheshire's free-kick.

Levett was called into action with virtually the last kick of the game, as she denied Samuels a goal direct from a corner.

The whistle came to roars of delighted for the visitors who maintain their 100% undefeated start but a disappointing afternoon for Southampton.

Smith's side lost their first game of the campaign and drop to third in the National League Division One South West.

Full-time: Southampton 0 Cheltenham Town 2


Next up Southampton will be looking to bounce straight back as they return to the Bypass Ground and host Buckland Athletic in the league.

Kick-off is 2pm on Sunday, September 22nd at Romsey Town FC with entry £4 for adults, £2 for concessions and all accompanied under-16s get in for free.

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