Reserves Match Report

15th November 2019

CTLFC Reserves 0
Frampton Rangers 0

After a rough week against Bristol Ladies Union, Cheltenham Town Ladies Development returned to the artificial field looking to right a few wrongs, and they did so in a real treat against league leaders, Frampton Rangers Ladies.

After a perfectly observed minute’s silence, Cheltenham got the game underway and looked for an early attack down the right through Sophie Griffiths but a well executed tackle from her marker halted the early charge.

The early stages saw Frampton heading forward with a number of attacks, but Cheltenham endured, with Elle-Mae Simpson and Anna Symanowski (pictured) on hand to repel any attempts.

After a few tough opening minutes, it would be Holly Fenton firing Cheltenham’s first warning shot, firing wide after a strong charge into the Frampton penalty area.
At the other end, Elle-Mae Simpson was under the cosh, as a number of mistakes caused frustration for the hosts at the back. Despite the slips, the centre-back was able to redeem herself by recovering, making some important tackles and firming up the host’s defence.

Cheltenham would grow into the game, with Marron, Griffiths and Fenton a threat going forward, with midfielders, Jess Wadey, Hannah Galpin and Jenna Lepore controlling the flow of the game in the centre of the park.

The teams would trade attacking moves, both buying corners from the other but lacking the converting touch. As the clock hit the half hour mark, Cheltenham would produce some fantastic passing football, taking their time and making Frampton chase. The moves only broken up by heavy passes forward.

The first real fright for either side came as Frampton weathered the storm and sent a fantastic through ball with neither Anna Barnes or Nicole Sullivan able to remove the danger. ‘Stormin’ Alyta Norman in the Cheltenham goal forced to come and meet the striker, pulling off a sharp reflex save low to her left.

Cheltenham had one final roll of the dice, as a Caitlin Marron corner was drilled in with venom. A small glancing blow could have resulted in it finding the net but it evaded everyone. Frampton would gamble at the other end, with Symanowski popping up once again to dispatch the ball into the theoretical Row Z.

Half Time: CTLFC Reserves 0-0 Frampton Rangers Ladies

Frampton would restart the game and try to put immediate pressure on the home side’s defence. Simpson and Sullivan however were able to take control and restore the flow of the game by recycling from the back.

Some champagne football from Marron and Fenton allowed Galpin and Lepore to operate in space in the midfield, as they sprayed passes to the wingers, looking to stretch the visiting defence. With Galpin showing great work rate and skilful touch to create from the left wing but was unable to find anyone in the danger zone.

Cheltenham’s bodies going forward would see little pockets open at the back, with Simpson and Symanowski again being relied on to charge down shots in quick succession. An early substitution would see Amie Boyce enter the game, replacing Anna Barnes, just seconds before the Robins would rattle the bar – one of many close chances they’d produce in the second half.

Frampton would use the scare as a wake up call and looked to play more football in the home half. A shot from an acute angle had Norman scurrying to her near post but the finish was lacking.

Wingers, Marron and Griffiths would again pull the strings for the Development team. A well-weighted ball into the box saw both Fenton and Griffiths go hunting, only for both to be stopped by some brave goalkeeping.

Taking further control of the game, Cheltenham would push for more changes. Breanna Young would replace captain, Jenna Lepore, with Hannah Marshall coming in to replace Marron.

Cheltenham would continue to limit Frampton’s chances, running rampant in the visitor’s half. Wadey, Fenton, Griffiths and Hannah Marshall all demanding the best possible defending from the away side, who were on form to match their opposition.

With two more changes, Diana Toth and Naomii Marshall were introduced to the game, at the expense of Sophie Griffiths and Holly Fenton. With the clock ticking down, Cheltenham would hammer the door down, Toth receiving a sniff at goal, thwarted only by an off-balance first touch before Naomii Marshall served Wadey the ball on a plate. The midfielder unable to get a solid touch under pressure from two markers.

In the dying minutes the Robins would secure a free-kick as Toth caused problems up front. Wadey would float in a perfect cross with Naomii Marshall just inches away. Had there been a connection, it would have proved a certain goal.
Minutes later Hannah Marshall would pounce on a great ball forward but could only force a superb when through on goal.

One final attack by Cheltenham would fizzle out before the referee had decided he’d seen enough and brought one of the most entertaining goalless draws to a close.

Cheltenham: A. Norman, A. Symanowski, E. Simpson, N. Sullivan, A. Barnes, H. Galpin, J. Wadey, J. Lepore, C. Marron, S. Griffiths, H. Fenton.
Subs (rolling): B. Young, A. Boyce, N. Marshall, H. Marshall, D. Toth


While Manager Cam Cheal was disappointed his side couldn’t convert, he was delighted to see a reaction from his side against the table toppers:

“Yeah I think overall, today was about the response and going back to basics, obviously based on last week. The girls were very good today. It says something when we go in after a game and give our feedback after the game, and the girls have come off the park looking like they’ve lost today. They left everything on the park today, I can’t be unhappy with them as they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them. We attacked in numbers, our set up was perfect and we defended really well. Disappointing we didn’t win but so many positives to take from this.

“We got the girls feedback at half time and for us it was exactly the same. We just wanted them to just push on a little more. The initial set up was to just sit in for twenty minutes and see what they were about and we did that well and controlled things. Then at the second half, we just told them to go out there a little more, first five or ten minutes go up against your opposite number and win your individual battles and by the girls did that, created a lot of chances and had a few chances to get a goal but have to be happy with that performance.

“For me, we say each week the performance is more important. If we play well and lose or play well and draw like today, then I can’t be too disappointed. And yeah we want to win every game, and if you’re playing well you’d expect to win games, and that should happen, and yeah ok we didn’t win today but it’s a learning curve for a lot of these girls. We’re still a young side and last week was a hard day at the office but we’re getting better each week, and we’re not a finished article but we’re improving. And it’s all about us building on those positives, I know it’ll be frustrating for a couple of days that we didn’t win today, but it’s about taking those positive points into training and stepping on from here.

“There’s always a selection headache, but that’s good, there’s healthy competition within the team so when the girls are performing like they are today it means there’s 15/16 that are always going to be in amongst it in the squad. The only down side for next week is that we can only make 14, so it will be difficult to decide but we know what we’re going to look at, and we want to win it and go on a cup run, so it’s a game away from the league and maybe it’s a chance for some players who haven’t had too much game time to show what they can do. So we’ll go into it with the same mentality, from the coaching staff as well and we’ll look to kick on from here”

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