Brislington Vitality Women’s FA Cup Match Report

19th October 2020

Brislington 0

Cheltenham: Haynes 28′, Kempski 43′, Criddle 46′

A lobbed Billie Haynes shot from out wide on the left, a low drive from outside the box by Alice Kempski (pictured) and a Charlotte Criddle free-kick sealed the deal for Cheltenham as they progressed into the Third Qualifying Round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.

The visitors would come out of the blocks first, with an immediate attack from kick-off, calling Cheltenham’s defence into action, who were on hand to see it out for a goalkick.

The home side responded in kind and go about working forward from the midfield. Winger, Sarah King, saw herself involved in the early action with a couple of crosses being cut out in the Brislington danger area before being brought down in the penalty box. The referee waved away claims for a penalty, granting only a corner kick.

Cheltenham continued to push the button with Grove and Bevan combining multiple times to release Haynes into space on the left, but the final ball back into the area was lacking.

Brislington were able to fashion a chance as they pressured Cheltenham into a mistake. An interception and a sweeping cross-pitch ball forward allowed for an opportunity to shoot but it wasn’t a threat to Levett’s goal.

Haynes would again be involved in Cheltenham’s attack, running through on goal but firing wide of the target before the home side were able to force another corner.
Brislington would clear their lines with Cheltenham recycling possession and restarting from the back. Some fancy passing cut the Brislington defence and found Haynes, who had time to set herself and lob a shot into the far side of the net to send The Big Local Stadium into raptures.

The visitors needed a big reaction and they got it with some good passing and a corner for their efforts. The short corner and low driven ball into the box being lashed away by Criddle inside the area.

Continuing the pressure, Cheltenham probed forward and found themselves on the edge of the Brislington penalty area. Two shots in quick succession were blocked, with Cheltenham players demanding a penalty for a handball at both attempts but the referee wasn’t interested in hearing appeals.

Cheltenham’s fancy passing opened up space for King on the right as the clock ticked down to halftime, but the winger’s cross was diverted out of the Brislington box. Alice Kempski strode forward and had time to compose herself before firing through the crowd and past the ‘keeper.

HALF TIME: CTLFC 2 – 0 Brislington

Grove restarted the game for the home side and some more controlled play forward saw the strong striker fouled at the edge of the Brislington area. Up stepped Criddle, to strike the dead ball over the wall and under the goalkeeper. The shot stopper getting a hand to the ball but not enough of a contact to keep it out.

Whatever was said at the break resonated with Brislington who weathered the Cheltenham storm and looked to get a foothold in the game as they battled away in midfield.

Good link play between King and Hallsworth would see the fullback overlap and cross, only able to find the top of the netting for a Brislington goalkick.
Courtney Jones and Jess Hood would come off the bench to help Cheltenham cement their midfield presence.

This was shortly followed by the introduction of Kayll, Morris and Lambe from the bench as Davies exploited the new substitution rules for the Women’s FA Cup to get minutes back into legs.

The visitors would exploit the home side’s changes, and would look to mount a comeback and play some good football in the Cheltenham half.
Cheltenham would become their own worst enemy for a second as some loose passing almost opened the door, but the referee’s whistle removed the danger as he awarded a handball against the Brislington striker.

A string of set-pieces saw Cheltenham work their way back up the field, with Hallsworth on the receiving end of a heavy challenge. Electing to play quickly, she played Jones into space who would then be floored by an equally heavy tackle.

Cheltenham would go on to win a corner from Jones’ free-kick, but the final ball ended up on top of the net. Minutes later, Bevan would give chase to a through ball and bag another corner kick – this time the ball evading everyone. Butler would keep the ball alive but couldn’t create much out on the wing.

The match ended on a sour note with Jones receiving yet another heavy tackle. Thankfully for everyone backing the home side, it wasn’t an injury and the home side would be able to smother a last Brislington attack to book their place in the next round.

Cheltenham: R. Levett, S. Hallsworth, M. Butler, R. Halford (Morris 65), L. Ellis, C. Criddle (Jones 59), A. Bevan, A. Kempski, S. King (Hood 59), B. Haynes (Lambe 65), J. Grove (Kayll 65).
Subs not used: R. Scahill

Attendance: 64


After the game, Tom Davies welcomed the chance to use extra substitutes in a cup competition:

“With five subs in the FA Cup it’s nice to be able to use those. We’ve got a big squad, and we’ve not hiding that and it’s nice that we can get players on and utilise that and we’ve had a little change of shape as well, with gives us different options and different ways we can go about it. The players knew that when they came in, that it was going to be competitive and we’ve got a big squad. So everyone is fighting for that shirt and it is important that people are putting performances in and like I said, we’re about developing and we’re going to make sure we keep going and keep stepping on. Some will rotate in and rotate out, but it’s for the benefit of the team and that’s always at the forefront of everyone’s communication and input.

[On Brislington coming back into the game in the second half] “We’ve been deeper in our half, but we didn’t look in threat of conceding a goal, so I think we were in control of that in terms of a defensive point of view. Like I said, we changed shape and players have adapted to that, there are times where it’s worked fantastically and times where it hasn’t, and that’s in the adjusting phase. It’s about us developing in those key areas and changing shape is one of them and being adaptable is another. So we’ll keep doing that, but I felt we were still in control of the game even without possession of the ball, which is a key thing moving forward.

[On Jade Grove’s substitution] “Lauren is a fantastic player and can play in wide areas as well as a nine, and she does that for her college as well, so we gave her that opportunity to go and play in a shape she understands quite well and Jade’s quite new to. So the reason for everyone coming off today was just cautionary, in terms of everyone getting minutes and and everyone working really hard. And some players, like Jade, have played a lot of minutes, so it’s about making sure we’re resting her up and ready to move forward. But there’s no injuries that I’m aware of, so we’ll keep pushing forward.

[Next weekend] “It’s a different game, and it’s a big pitch, a 3G pitch as well so it’ll be a big game. And from when we played them the first game to when we played them midseason last year, they had a massive upturn, and they were playing a lot better and looked a lot more comfortable.
I expect the same, I expect them to be a good footballing side and I expect them to work hard. And it’s about adapting to a different side, cause Brislington and Poole are potentially different sides, and we have to adapt to each game and make sure we put our best performance in, and highlight key areas for us. So moving forward that’s what we’ll try and do. Like I said, it’s a building block, with the FA Cup the weekend after that, it’s competition places and people making sure they are pushing forward.”

For the digital match programme for this game, click here.

D2 Interactive