Reserves vs West Brom Development Match Report

24th July 2019

CTLFC Reserves 2
WBA Women Development 3

Cheltenham Town Ladies Reserves’ slow starts in either half were a deciding factor as they lost out 3-2 at home to a well drilled West Brom Women’s Development side.

West Brom saw the lion’s share of the ball in the opening stages and pressured the Cheltenham backline, with goalkeeper Molly Ripley called into action to collect through balls.

The visitors rattled the bar on the 4th minute and that woke Cheltenham up as they dug in and won a corner through Sophie Griffiths down the right. The corner was delivered perfectly for Jess Wadey to get a free header at the near post but she couldn’t keep it down.

The visitors opened the scoring on the 11th minute after some confusion in the Cheltenham ranks. The final shot was superbly placed, right in the corner, leaving Ripley no chance.

Cheltenham picked themselves up and went on another attack down the right but couldn’t make things click and and West Brom were able to test Simpson and Young in the centre of the home side’s defence.

Cheltenham’s defence diving into attacks made life easy for the visiting side who couldn’t put the finishing touches to their attacking moves.

As the clock ticked on, Cheltenham got more and more of a hold of the game and started to put some pressure of their own with Marron and Griffiths causing issues for their markers on the wings.

West Brom had one last roll of the dice in the first half but had their quick sweeping move on the left cancelled out by the assistant referee’s flag.

Half Time: Cheltenham Reserves 0-1 WBA Development

Cheltenham shuffled the pack at half time with Catherine Reilly and Hannah Marshall coming into the game and they linked well with Reilly able to win the ball in the air against the West Brom defence and feed the fast winger but the visitors always had an answer.

The away side extended their lead from a looping cross on the right hand side. Ripley was caught underneath the ball and couldn’t get a hand on it which allowed the striker to bundle it home at the far post.

But it wasn’t long before the Robins got themselves on the scoresheet after some good play. With Cheltenham causing problems, Jess Wadey unleashed a looping shot which caught the goalkeeper flat footed and settled right into the top of the net.

Both sides tried to play quick, passing football in the warm conditions and after a run away on the left, Roxy Smith was called to charge down a whipped shot from just outside the box, with the striker getting a second chance and Smith repeating her block, throwing herself in front of the stinging shot.

The pressure eventually told as a fizzing cross from West Brom was flicked away but the resulting shot was perfectly placed into the corner, with just a bit too much on it for Ripley.

It only took ten minutes for Cheltenham to chalk up a second. Some back and forth play allowed Cheltenham a chance to throw bodies forward and a wonderful ball for Leonie Gough to run onto saw the young striker slot past the rushing ‘keeper to close the gap.

West Brom went hunting for a fourth but the home side’s defence stood firm with Ripley making some good saves to keep them out.
Cheltenham started throwing everything at West Brom in search of an equaliser, with Gough and Marron causing problems, but unfortunately for the home side, time just ran out on them and West Brom picked up the win.


After the game, Reserve Team Manager Cam Cheal was still happy despite the scoreline:

“Pre-season is about giving the players a chance, to see what they’re about in a match situation, and the idea is to give the players the minutes and everyone a chance. The performance from the first half wasn’t great but we asked a few questions at half time and the second half was a great response and it’s great to see they’re taking on board what we’re saying, because they’re a young group and it shows they want to get better as players.

“It’s really great to see the moves that we’re working on coming through, that’s ultimately what it’s about. This side is a development side, and it’s my job, and the other coach’s jobs in this team to make these players and its to give them their best opportunities either to push on to bigger and better things or to push up into the first team, whether this season or next. And from tonight, I think there’s a couple that have done that.

“There’s a couple that have put in good shifts and have really asked a few questions from myself and Alex [First Team Manager], who was come down to watch, so in terms of that it’s really good to see and we’ve worked on a lot in training and sometimes you do worry if they take it in cause a lot of them are so young, and we’ve worked on so much, it’s just a matter of whether they can put that into practice. But in terms of certain parts of the game today, they have shown that and they have put it into play which is great.”

The Reserves are back in action at home to Plymouth Argyle Ladies Reserves this Sunday. 2pm kick off, location TBC.

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