Oxford City Women Friendly Report

21st January 2020

Oxford City Women 1

Oxford: Russell-Cartwright 52′
Cheltenham: Bartlett 19′, King 40′, Martin 61′ 64′ 67′ 75′, Brown 68′, Fenton 81.

Without a league fixture, Cheltenham Town Ladies made the short trip to Oxford City Women’s Marsh Lane ground for a mid-season friendly that would see the hosts go toe-to-toe with the visitors until an Annie Martin (pictured) hattrick took the sting out of things.

The pace of the game started in traditionally quick fashion, with both teams exchanging possession and looking to play some good passing football in each other’s half.

Kerry Bartlett would open the scoring for the visitors, finishing the fantastic, flowing move she had created. After feeding the ball back to Bevan, some sharp passing saw Sarah King square it across the face of goal for the striker to turn in from close range.

The teams would trade attempts back and forth, with Oxford putting on a good performance and really asking questions of Cheltenham when in attack and defence.

Oxford’s forward runners were a handful for Cheltenham’s defence, with the passes from midfield calling goalkeeper Robyn Levett into action to collect under pressure.

The competitive edge kept the pace high, with both teams looking capable of scoring, but shortly before the end of the half Cheltenham extended their lead.

A good run down the right from Georgia Brown saw a dangerous looking pass sent into the box with both Annie Martin and Bartlett waiting. Oxford’s defence cut the pass out, allowing King to burst into the penalty area and provide a wonderful sliding finish which left the goalkeeper no chance.

Half time: Oxford City Women 0-2 CTLFC

Cheltenham would restart the game and attack immediately with Lauren Ellis and Holly Fenton charging down the right but the Oxford defence stood strong.
Cheltenham would regain possession and play across the field from the right wing to the left and win a corner but weren’t able to convert.

Oxford were almost handed a chance after some underweighted passing across Cheltenham’s defence had Levett scrambling to collect under pressure, the goalkeeper doing just enough to keep things calm at the back.

Despite the warning sign, it was ten minutes into the second half that the hosts managed to close the gap on the scoreboard. Some wayward passes from the Cheltenham midfield in their own half opened the door for Oxford and they made it count.
A sharp run into the penalty area saw striker Tiana Russell-Cartwright cut back onto her right foot and place her shot just beyond the reach of goalkeeper Robyn Levett.

It didn’t take long for the goal to flick the switch in the Cheltenham minds, and after some tireless running from Abby Bevan, Annie Martin managed to latch herself onto the end of a floated pass and dispatch her shot tightly into the bottom corner, despite being off balance when striking.

Three minutes later and Martin was in again, getting onto another threatening ball in from the right wing and burying her shot with a cool finish. The second goal in quick succession would see Oxford heads start to drop.

After another three minutes, she’d chalked up a hattrick for the visitors. Finding time in the Oxford half with her back to goal, Martin was able to turn and test the goalkeeper from range. The shot just evading the outstretched gloves of the ‘keeper and finding space underneath the bar for a worldie of a finish.

A minute later than this and the flood gates were fully open. Georgia Brown would invade the Oxford half and after a crafty one-two with Bartlett, was able to slot past the onrushing keeper.

Martin bagged her fourth of the game with fifteen minutes from time after a wonderful Brown pass. The striker taking her chance confidently as she whipped it past the diving shot stopper.

With ten from time Holly Fenton finished the fine second half display. A good forward pass found her on the edge of the Oxford penalty area. A heavy first touch took the ball away from her but some razor sharp reactions saw her beat the goalkeeper to the loose ball, take it away from her and tap it into an open net unopposed.

Cheltenham: R. Levett, H. Lambe, S. Hallsworth, Trialist, K. Rendall, G. Brown, J. Bull, A. Bevan, S. King, A. Martin, K. Bartlett
Rolling substitutes: H. Fenton, A. Kempski, E. Simpson, B. Wilkins

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