CTLFC 1 – 3 Southampton Women

15th August 2021

Report by Jamie Cameron

Cheltenham Town Ladies fell to an opening-day defeat against Southampton Women in the club’s first game at their new home in Cirencester.

Two Sian Wylie goals in a matter of minutes had given the visitors a half-time lead that reflected the pattern of play, but the Robins came back firing after the break.

They came close on several occasions, before a fortuitous third goal for Southampton knocked the stuffing out of Cheltenham. However, Lacy-Jai Liggett did get one back in the last ten minutes to give the team some positives to take away from the performance.

It was a new-look starting 11 selected by Tom Davies, with Amy Wathan, Monet Legall, Lois Colley and Aimee Watson among the debutants.

The game at the Corinium Stadium began with Southampton on the front foot, and Rachel Okoro and Hannah Samuels both came close.

The visitors continued to enjoy more of the ball, and took the lead when Emily Wernham drove towards the byline, pulled the ball back, and after her initial effort was blocked, Wylie found the net at the second time of asking. The shot had just enough power on it after more valiant defending.

Just a couple of minutes later, Wylie found the net again as Samuels got down the left and put in a low cross that was confidently finished by the striker.

Cheltenham started to get a foothold in the game after Aliss Wheeler was denied a third by the offside flag, but they suffered another blow just before half-time as new signing Legall had to be substituted.

It was nearly the perfect end to the half for Davies’ side, but Billie Haynes’ (pictured) expert turn and shot came off the post to ensure the two-goal deficit remained at half-time.

Another unfortunate moment for the hosts saw Lois Colley pull up on the edge of her own box, leading to a one-on-one chance for Rachel Okoro, but the Southampton player missed the target.

Once again, the Robins responded well to adversity as Haynes played in substitute Holly Rogers, whose shot was well-saved by Ellie Parker.

After a teasing ball into the box went all the way through, Southampton went up the other end and scored a third as the rebound from Wylie’s effort was cleared straight into Emily Wernham and it bounced into the net.

Cheltenham had a couple more efforts through Liggett, and found their goal on 85 minutes as Rogers played an excellent through ball for the former rugby player, who finished well past Parker.

The Robins ended the game well, threatening to get another back, but a couple of stoppages in the final moments halted their momentum.

The second-half display will certainly be encouraging for Cheltenham fans, and will give them hope that the trip to Poole Town on Sunday, 22 August will produce a more fruitful result.

Cheltenham: Watson, Hallsworth, Walecki, Colley (Jones 54), Butler, Criddle, Bevan, Liggett, Legall (Rogers 44), Haynes, Wathan.
Subs not used: Dix, Goodwin, Donnelly.

Robins’ Player of the Match: Charlotte Criddle.

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

D2 Interactive