CTLFC 0-3 Portsmouth Women FC

9th April 2023

Report by Kieran Neller.

Cheltenham Town Ladies fall to a three-goal defeat in the FA Women’s National League Southern Division against promotion candidates Portsmouth Women.

The Robinesses started the day in 8th place in the league. Dependant on the results at the Corinium Stadium and in other games, there was a chance for Tom Davies’ side to mathematically secure a place in the league next season.

Portsmouth sat 4th in the league ahead of kick-off, and had already beaten Cheltenham earlier in the season at Westleigh Park.

As the game commenced, Cheltenham goalkeeper Aimee Watson (pictured) was forced into action in the 2nd minute. The home side’s number one made a reaction save to prevent Sophie Quirk from converting a snapshot from within the six-yard box.

Cheltenham held onto possession well in the opening stages of the tie but were struggling to break into Portsmouth’s final third.

Pompey’s Tierney Scott had an opportunity in the 6th minute, but Holly Finch put her body across the opposition attacker and shielded the ball to the safety of Watson’s gloves.

Portsmouth got their opener in the 25th minute despite Cheltenham’s strong start to the game. Quirk fired a low cross to Scott who tucked the chance into the bottom corner of the Cheltenham net.

The visitors doubled their advantage eight minutes later. Quirk’s cross was dealt with by Watson, but the parry hit Annie Rolf and the ball rebounded goalward. Rolf finished the chance in a scramble on the goal line.

Portsmouth finished their scoring through Quirk. The winger found space on the edge of the box and lobbed Watson for the travelling side’s third goal.

Cheltenham came into half time losing 3-0, with all of the visitor’s goals coming in a 12 minute spell.

Robinesses manager Tom Davies made one change at the break, bringing on Annabel Davies for Maisy Collis.

The Gloucestershire outfit started the second half well. Laura Holden drove through the Pompey defence in the 48th minute and fired a shot which flew narrowly wide.

Portsmouth earned a penalty on the hour mark when a shot ricocheted off of a defender’s arm.

Watson got down fast and make an excellent save to prevent Scott from converting from the spot.

The Cheltenham ‘keeper made another save minutes later, as she collected Scott’s low effort after a Pompey corner.

Davies brought on Emma Congrave and Issy Newns in the 75th minute to add extra energy to the Cheltenham attack.

Newns was close to having an instant impact, as she was sent through for a one-on-one with Pompey shot-stopper Hannah Haughton. The ball gets ahead of the attacker and Haughton does well to smother the ball.

The Robinesses finished the game with a three-goal deficit. Results elsewhere in the league mean that Cheltenham have secured safety in the National League Southern Division regardless of the results in the last two games of the season.

Cheltenham return to The Corinium Stadium for the last time this season as they face bottom-of-the-league Crawley Wasps on Sunday 16th April.

Cheltenham: Watson, Jones, Owen, Finch, Ackerman (Newns 65), Taylor, Collis (A. Davies 46), Holden (Congrave 65), Butcher, Haynes, Cook.
Unused subs: Hannam, Wathan.

Cheltenham Player of the Match: Aimee Watson

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

D2 Interactive