Poole Town Ladies Report

18th August 2019

Poole Town Ladies 0

Cheltenham: Butler ’51, Bevan ’65

With a last-minute reshuffle due to debutant, Kerry Bartlett, failing a pre-match fitness test, Cheltenham took to the field unsure of how Poole would perform, with the visitors being fairly active during the off-season.

After a bit of to-and-fro football between the two teams, it didn’t take long for the home side to make chances, with Criddle, Fensome and Kempski busy in the centre of midfield and Bevan forcing an early corner.

Debutant, Paige Stewart, kept Poole’s defence on their toes as the home side grew in confidence. With the midfield duo of Fensome and Kempski limiting Poole’s creativity in the midfield, Cheltenham’s own attacks looked threatening but the final pass was lacking.

Sally Butterfield (pictured), who was loving life on the right wing set up Cheltenham’s first real chance. Her cross into the box found Stewart, who under pressure, set up Abby Bevan but the left-midfielder couldn’t capitalise.
Minutes later Butterfield was on the loose again, spinning away from her marker and going one-on-one with the goalkeeper, forcing the Poole stopper to pull off a fine save.

Bevan would call the goalkeeper into action again not long after, in another one-on-one situation, but the ‘keeper was equal to it once more, pulling off a fine stop at the expense of a corner.

The Robins kept pushing and chalking up corner after corner, eventually carving out two fantastic opportunities to score. The first saw a fantastic header swatted away by a strong hand from the Poole ‘keeper, the second saw Abby Bevan rattle the crossbar from only a couple of yards out.

Captain, Cerys Dolloway, also had a great chance at the end of the first half but her looping finish from a corner landed on top of the net.

Half time: CTLFC 0 – 0 Poole Town Ladies

Cheltenham restarted the game and looked to get underway quickly, playing fast passing football with Fensome and Butterfield in the driving seat.

Bevan’s constant running forced a corner for Cheltenham on the left. Criddle’s ball to the far post evaded everyone except for Butterfield, who put it back across the face of the box. Debutant centre-half Mai Butler beat her marker to the ball in the air and guided it into the net.

Poole responded sharply and put pressure on the Cheltenham defence with Panniers being forced to clear a long ball into the Cheltenham box out into the proverbial row Z.
After this, Cheltenham turned up the heat and went asking questions of Poole once more. Kempski had two chances within minutes but her shots from the edge of the box were not much of a challenge for Poole’s goalkeeper.

Abby Bevan would double Cheltenham’s lead after a sweeping cross-field move saw it fall to striker Stewart in the box. She opted to set it back to Bevan instead of shooting herself, and the hard working midfielder got herself on the score sheet with a well placed finish.

Cheltenham, now backed by the down-field breeze, took total control, with Bevan, Butterfield, Criddle, Fensome and Kempski all dictating the play to Poole, supported by fullbacks Dolloway and Leask.

Cheltenham kept exploiting the wings, attaining great success from Butterfield and Bevan winning numerous corners as Poole had no reply.

Poole had a rare chance from a counter attack, drawing a foul from Cheltenham scrambling back. The free-kick was misused and Hateley dealt with the danger well, allowing Cheltenham to get back to routine going forward.

Back on the front foot, Cheltenham were still searching for a third goal, with Dolloway and Butterfield forcing corners and Kempski linking defence and attack well to keep the Robins in possession.

With Cheltenham bodies flooding forward, Poole had the chance to break away but their chance flashed across the face of goal.

Cheltenham resumed pushing for a third, with Dolloway, Bevan and Stewart all coming close. Eventually time ran out, and the Robins Ladies were forced to settle for just two goals.

Attendance: 92


Assistant Manager, Tom Davies stood in at the helm in the absence of Alex Cheal and he was very proud of the first competitive performance.

“Delighted with the way we played, the results are important now as we’re into the competitive campaign and the clean sheet is very important too. But if you look at the amount of chances we created compared to the ones we gave up, it’s more important that we’re playing in a style that we’re happy and comfortable with. That and a little bit of finishing and adjusting here and there, that extra touch, and it’ll come with the games we’ve got coming up.

“We’ll keep going. We’ve got a way that we train and a philosphy that we’re abiding by. But the finishes will come, it’s the first game of the season and there’s always a bit of nerves cause everyone wants to start off well, the touch wasn’t always there and we’ve had a few injuries, but the last minute changes didn’t disrupt things too much. Very pleased.”

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