Manager Draws Positives From Final Match Of the Season

21st May 2018

Cheltenham went into their final game of the season with plenty of pride still to play for. On the other hand, their opponents had one eye still on the title and knew nothing less than a win would be sufficient.

Before a great crowd in glorious sunshine, Cheltenham started the game slow and indecisive and poor passing cost them early territory in the game. The opening goal came after 25 minutes and it was another gift from Cheltenham.

The Ladies contrived to lose possession from a routine goal kick and gifting Southampton with a tap in for the opening goal.

Despite the set back Cheltenham worked their way into the game with Davies and Hitchcox gaining a foothold in the match in wide areas. A long range effort from Rowlands however was all Cheltenham had to offer first half in an attacking sense.

A second goal would come before half time for the visitors as another direct ball caused problems for Cheltenham’s defence. A failed attempt to clear led to a square ball and finish to give Panniers no chance in the home goal.

HT: CTLFC 0 v 2 Southampton

The second half saw a drastic improvement from Cheltenham as they went in search of goals to get them back in the game. An early goal was needed and it duly came as Brown-Weals expertly crossed free kick was fumbled by the keeper and tapped home by Annabel Davies (pictured) to cap a superb game.

The goal lifted Cheltenham and it looked like they would go on and score a second. Long balls into the box were causing problems and the introduction of the direct running Briscoe (pictured below) further emphasised Cheltenham’s intent. It was Briscoe and Davies combining that nearly brought about another opportunity as the two youngsters forced their team forward.


As Cheltenham forced the issue a chance came and went for Hitchcox as she headed past the post from a corner. It was however the opposition that were to score the next goal as a speculative long range strike passed through the hands of the Cheltenham keeper and into the net.

FT: Cheltenham 1 v 3 Southampton

After the game Manager Alex Cheal said: “I am proud again of our performance, despite no reward. The players put in so much effort today and at 2-1 I thought we may have got something from the game as we looked dangerous. That said, Southampton proved why they are near the top, their play was a level above ours and they took their chances.”

“It’s been a crazy start to managing this side. We have picked up some major positives with results against St Nicks and Brislington and running Southampton close on two occasions. I do not believe we are a million miles away from the other clubs and it’s now down to me and my staff to go away and plan. We will be in a much better position in 12 months time, that I am certain of. Judge me from this point forward because I am confident in the team I have around me and the approach we have planned for next season will see a change in fortunes.”

The result means Southampton Women’s finish runner’s up in the West division with Cheltenham in ninth spot.

Panniers, Purvis, Walters, Morris, Wiltshire, Brown-Wealls, Fensome (Rankin), Hateley (Briscoe), Davies, Hitchcox, Rowlands (Knuckey).

D2 Interactive