Match report: Cheltenham Town Ladies 2-3 Portsmouth Women

31st July 2018

Cheltenham Town Ladies took the trip to the south coast to take on Portsmouth Ladies of the National League Southern Premier in tough conditions on Sunday.

With a few senior members of the squad missing, Cheltenham played into the wind initially however they were unable to get into the rhythm of the match and Pompey were quick to make them pay. A poor clearance by Cheltenham’s defence allowed a Pompey triallist to smash home from the edge of the area.

It didn’t take Cheltenham long however to get themselves back into the game and it was the link up play from Martin and Robbins that caused Pompey problems. Having won the ball back, Martin set Robbins away for the striker to pass back to the advancing Martin to take aim and fire in a strike that nestled into the bottom corner.

This settled Cheltenham and they began to have some joy by countering their opposition. For all of Pompey’s neat and intricate play, Cheltenham were able to pick off their final pass and counter through Berry and Ellis in wide areas. So often the case however was Cheltenham’s poor decision making in the final third that would let them down from taking the lead.

At the other end Pompey continued to pose questions of Cheltenham’s defence with their fluid attacking line pulling Dolloway, Dance, Brown-Wealls and Wilkins away. It was half an hour in that Portsouth would re-take the lead with a fine flowing move that carved open Cheltenham’s defence and gave the easiest of strikes on goal to give Bingham no chance.

HT – Pompey 2 v 1 Cheltenham

The second half saw wholesale changes as Cheltenham introduced a trialist of their own, along with Briggs, and Welling for her first team debut. Cheltenham started on the front foot with a change in formation an they continued to win the ball back high up the pitch.

Chances would be on offer and Hitchcox was unlucky not to latch onto a ball over the top, while Martin shot wide following a high press. However their reward would come when Robbins won the ball back and played in Briscoe. Briscoe’s initial touch looked to of taken her too wide, however the forwards looping shot found its way into the back of the net.

The half was Cheltenham’s, however Pompey continued to look threatening on the attack, however Welling, Dance, Briggs and Trialist continued to remove any danger. It was however Pompey who had the last laugh as in time added on a cross into the box was not dealt with and it was scrambled home by the home team to give them win.

FT – Pompey 3 v 2 Cheltenham

‘Again, we have to be pleased with the workout for the girls. We have purposefully put in tough games for our pre-season and the girls have approached all of the games in the right manor. This one was by far our toughest game yet as they moved the football so quickly, however we more than matched them and stood firm to the test.

‘We are still in a transitional phase and pleasing thing is that we are competing for large periods of these matches. We have to cut out conceding late goals as we have now let in 4 in our last 4 matches, however that will come when we have settled down as a squad and the defence stays the same for 90 minutes.

‘We look sharp all over the park at the moment, however going forward we have four or five strikers that are showing a hunger to score goals. This is something we didn’t have last season and as a result we know that we will always create chances.’

D2 Interactive