Youngsport: Leckhampton Rovers Cheetahs top-five hopes are dashed in defeat to Charlton Rovers Reds
Leckhampton Rovers Cheetahs U-12s 1 Charlton Rovers Reds U-12s 6
CHEETAHS' hopes of a top-five finish in the Cheltenham Youth League were well and truly ended as they were beaten by Charlton Rovers at a bitterly cold Naunton Park.
The home side produced their most disappointing performance of the season and only heroics from goalkeeper Ben Lawrence and fantastic defending from man of the match Tom Gregory kept the scoreline down.
The Cheetahs' cause wasn't helped by the first-half departure of winger Hal Richards, who was taken to hospital with a leg injury, while leading scorer Vittorio Rogazzo had to be substituted at half-time because of illness.
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Charlton Rovers started brightly and Lawrence was forced into early action – coming off his line bravely to stop one attack and then producing a fine save from a direct free-kick.
Rovers took a deserved lead with a close-range finish, but Cheetahs then produced a period of pressure that saw Harry Locke shoot narrowly wide and Rogazzo denied by a goalline clearance.
Rovers doubled their lead with a penalty to lead 2-0 at half-time, but a second spot-kick, converted by Jay Morris, gave Cheetahs a lifeline at the start of the second half.
Locke came close to equalising with a shot past the far post from a Morris through ball, but Cheetahs paid the price for a series of missed chances when Charlton Rovers made it 3-1.
The rest of the game was one-way traffic as Lawrence and Gregory did their best to prevent a cricket score. Fittingly, it was the Cheetahs' goalkeeper who produced the final action of the game, with a flying save to prevent a seventh goal.
Leckhampton Rovers Cheetahs: Ben Lawrence, Liam Stockton, Tom Gregory, Patrick Moares, Jack Mustoe, Harry Locke, Jay Morris, Matthew Gilchrist, Hal Richards, Vittorio Rogazzo, Jamie King, Drew Lipscombe, Elliot Hall, Joseph Rowsell, Adam Chappell.