Reserves v Army Medical Services Report

28th August 2019

Army Medical Services 4
CTLFC Reserves 1

A mad five minutes handed Cheltenham Town Ladies Reserves only their second pre-season loss.

In the early stages, Cheltenham dealt well with the Army Medic’s attacks, with Anna Barnes and Abbi Barker teaming well to snuff out the opening chance, while Hannah Galpin and Amie Boyce combined in the midfield to test out the hosts’ defence.

Both sides looked a threat going forward, with some end-to-end football that made for entertaining viewing. Boyce in particular looking a handful for the opposition defence.

The home side used their fitness to their advantage and looked to pressure the Cheltenham back line, but didn’t threaten Molly Ripley (pictured) in the Robins’ goal.

The game continued with a good pace and lots of direct passing, before a cross whipped from the left was claimed by Ripley. In the act of making the collection, she collided with the striker and without so much as an appeal, the home side were awared a penalty, which they converted.

Three minutes later, after a Cheltenham shot sailed over the bar, the Medics found themselves extending their lead with an absolutely sublime finish, finding the top corner with ease. Nothing Ripley could have done to keep that out.

With just 60 seconds passing on the clock, the home side bagged another after Ripley spilled a cross from the left. The ball squirmed out of the young goalkeeper’s grasp, allowing the rushing striker to tap home.

Following this, Cheltenham dug deep and gathered themselves. Boyce and Wadey partnering up again to cause the home side issues.
Sophie Griffiths and Breanna Young came off the bench to help provide Cheltenham with a much needed energy boost and Griffiths did just that, her pace and direct running a big thorn in the side of the Army’s defence.

Cheltenham were offered redemption after some messy defending resulted in a handball in the penalty area. Young winger Caitlin Marron stepped up and dispatched the penalty.

After this, Cheltenham changed gears and took the game to the hosts, forcing a number of corners in quick succession. They provided some good attacking, passing football and looked dangerous as they went toe-to-toe with the home side before the close of the first half

Half Time: Army Medical Services 3 – 1 CTLFC Res.

Cheltenham switched the team around during the break with Dix coming into the back line. It wasn’t too long before the young fullback was called into action, slamming the door shut on a quick attack down the right straight from the restart

The Robins were their own worst enemy in parts of the second half, not being able to escape the confines of their own half. Some wayward passing causing themselves problems, with Ripley on hand to keep the shots at bay.

Dix and Boyce asked questions of the opposition down the left, with Boyce constantly in the thick of things, but chances were limited as the Army Medics organised their defence well.

With Marron coming back into the game, replacing Boyce, and Leonie Gough re-entering the game in place of Jess Wadey, Cheltenham looked to put a second on the score sheet.

With the visitors sending bodies forward in search of a second, a well weighted pass over the top of the defence saw the Army striker finish well in the corner from the edge of the box, despite appeals for offside. Again, nothing Ripley could have done, it was perfectly placed.

With the game gone, Boyce returned to play, replacing Griffiths who had worked tirelessly down the right.
The Robins were able to get a hand on the game in the dying minutes and were able to fashion some half-chances, with the final ball forward always ever so slightly too hard.

Ripley was called into a dramatic save minutes from the end as a shot from distance took a couple of deflections as a mass of players took swings at the ball, which pinballed around the group on the edge of the box. The final deflection saw the ball divert to her left, forcing her into a lunging camera-save while not under much pressure.

The game continued to be focused in the Cheltenham half, with the visitors not able to make things click before time expired. A tough game against good opposition, but the result didn’t begin to tell the full story.

Cheltenham Reserves: M. Ripley, A. Barker, N. Sullivan, A. Barnes, H. Bingham, J. Wadey (c), H. Galpin, C. Marron, A. Boyce, L. Gough. Subs: H. Dix, S. Griffiths, N. Marshall, B. Young, E. Holford, J. Lepore


Reserves’ Manager Cam Cheal and coach Ben Ware were still able to find the positives despite the result:

[Cam Cheal] “We’re obviously disappointed not to win, we played some good stuff in patches today. First half wasn’t good enough and we made that clear at half time. We posed the questions to them and asked them why we weren’t as good as we have been before, or how we are in training, and credit to them they’ve done what we asked of them in the second half, which was a lot better. So positive overall, in terms of the second half, and that’s the level we need to be this season.

You have to accept the penalty, it’s frustrating, but you have to accept it. It’s killed us a little bit, but we can’t blame it all on that cause we’re guilty for other things too. But credit to the opposition, they built on it and took their chances. They were a physical side and a fit side and we didn’t quite match their standards.”

[Ben Ware] “We’ve worked a lot on our defensive play in training and we’ve been focusing on that so it’s good to see that come through. The penalty was debatable and disrupted things a little, but it was great to see the girls cope with conceding three so close together, come back from that, and show what we can do, so I’m very confident looking towards the start of the season.

“We’re happy with playing out of the back, we just need to stick to it. Today we saw quite a few long balls come into our play a little so we need to stick to the plan a bit more.
We know how want to play, and that’s the process we need to stick to and I’m confident if we can put in tonight’s second half performance in the future, we’ll play like this and we’ll win like this.”

D2 Interactive