CTLFC 0-0 Gillingham WFC

3rd April 2023

Report by Kieran Neller.

Cheltenham Town Ladies draw with Gillingham WFC despite a dominant performance in their National League Southern Premier Division match.

Cheltenham were playing a side they had recently lost to 2-1 away from home. Tom Davies’ outfit have endured a spell without a win and a strong performance was important, especially entering the run-in.

Izzy Cook (pictured) came close in the third minute with an effort at the near post. The chance was saved by Gillingham ‘keeper Cara Davies.

Cheltenham came close again in the sixth minute. Laura Holden struck the post directly from a corner and forced a save with her second corner moments later.

Skipper Emily Owen came close just two minutes later with a shot from the edge of the box. Owen caught the chance well, but the effort flew just past the top left corner.

Henna Butcher was next to challenge the Gillingham defence. The attacker shot from the edge of the box, but a deflection took the chance high and out for a corner.

Butcher had another effort five minutes later. The forward dribbled into the box, but was dispossessed by the Gillingham centre-back.

The next Cheltenham player to have a shot on Gillingham’s goal during the Robinesses’ dominant spell was Laura Holden. The midfielder shot from range, but the ball flew narrowly over the bar.

The ball fell to Butcher again as the game approached half time. She just missed the target from the edge of the box as the home side peppered the Gillingham net.

The closest chance of the first 45 minutes came in added time. Owen struck the upright with a volley from a corner. As play stopped for half time, Cheltenham were unfortunate to still be level.

The Robinesses put out an unchanged side for the second half, and manager Tom Davies was looking for a repeat of the dominant display from the first half.

Cook threatened the Gillingham net within two minutes of the restart. The striker forced a save from Davies.

Holden attempted another shot from range. The player attempted her signature 25-yard shot, but the effort wouldn’t dip fast enough as it sailed narrowly over the crossbar.

Aimee Watson was pulled into action in the 70th minute. After a very quiet game for the Cheltenham number 1, Gillingham hit the post before regaining possession and threatening Cheltenham’s net again. Watson made a stunning save, tipping the Gillingham chance onto the bar and out to maintain the side’s clean sheet.

With just ten minutes to go, Cheltenham came the closest they had come to scoring in the game. Courtney Jones rattled the underside of the bar with her free-kick. The chance bounced down into the box and out to safety.

The shot saw the end of a controlled performance from the home team, yet the side was unable to convert any of their abundance of chances.

The game sees the side go eight games without a win, but the point pushes them further away from an end-of-season relegation struggle.

The Ladies next game is against promotion candidates Portsmouth Ladies next Sunday back at the Corinium Stadium at 2pm, 9th April.

Cheltenham: Watson, Jones, Finch, Owen, Ackerman (Newns 74), (Wathan 67), Buther, Holden (Congrave 74), C. Taylor, Haynes, Cook
Subs not used: Hannam, A. Davies

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

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