Cheltenham Town Ladies’ Rebecca Halford has described the support the team received ahead of and following their extra time defeat against Gillingham in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup as unbelievable and amazing.
Halford was awarded the sponsor’s Player of the Match during the 2-1 defeat on Sunday for her performance and spoke to Severn Sport on Monday to look back a week where the team received a wave of social media and online support.
“The support we received was unbelievable and the backing we got via social media was amazing.
It meant so much to us as players, just knowing that everyone was behind us!” Halford said.
The game itself saw Cheltenham go in front during a tough and end-to-end 90 minutes via an own goal, before Gillingham equalised to force extra time.
It was evident during extra time that both sides began to run on empty, having left everything on the pitch and a second half strike saw the Gills take the tie and advance into the Fourth Round against Arsenal this weekend.
Despite defeat there were a number of stand out performances, including Halford’s and the defender believes the experience of playing the game at Whaddon Road is one the squad can be proud of and remember going forward.
“It was a really good game and for the second week in a row took a team in the division above to extra time and at times I think we looked like we could go on and win the game. So it was tough to take.
I think we were unlucky not to make it to the next round, but credit to Gillingham, they were more clinical in the final third.
It was a great experience for the whole team though, there was a great atmosphere around training last week and pre game on Sunday. We as a team believed we could go and cause an upset and we very nearly did!
I’m sure that the excitement and experience of playing at Whaddon Road will be something that the whole squad will remember for many years to come,” Halford added.