Larkhall Athletic Preview

8th February 2020

Cheltenham Town Ladies return to FA WNL action a week after a real battle against Buckland at The Big Local Stadium.

Alex Cheal’s side included a number of young players coming in from the Reserve team and put in an incredible team performance to pull out a 1-0 victory, despite being up against it in the second half as Buckland threw everything at them.

Commenting on the inclusion, and promising performances, of the younger players in the squad, manager Alex Cheal believes that those in the Reserves can really start to put the pressure on the regular First Team players during the rest of the season.

“We’ve taken stock of where we are at the moment, and the experienced players we had that are now either ruling themselves out or moving elsewhere, we’ve now decided that this is the route we want to go down” Cheal stated following the Buckland game “So the younger players will get more chances this season. Granted, we’re missing four or five from today that are aware for whatever reason, and they’ll come back into contention next week against Larkhall. But today, the young ones have done well, and given us a reason to think about things.”

Team News

Cheltenham maintain a strong team entering into the Larkhall game.

Robyn Levett remains between the sticks following last week’s clean sheet, while Elle-Mae Simpson stays in the squad following a confident debut last week.

Midfielder Georgia Brown and defender Kirsten Rendall return to the squad after being absent last week to bolster Alex Cheal’s side.
Young winger Caitlin Marron is included in the squad after coming off the bench last week and showing glimpses of quality.

Centre-back and vice-captain rejoins the squad after being out since picking up an injury in the Chichester game.


Sunday’s visitors have been in decent form so far in the campaign, finding themselves in fifth place for their efforts. They also have the bragging rights as being one of three teams to be undefeated on home turf, with three wins over Maidenhead (6-2), Chesham (2-1) and Poole (3-1), with one draw (Cheltenham 1-1).

They also have a 50/50 split in their away form, picking up wins over Swindon (4-2) and Maidenhead (2-0), while losing out to Exeter (3-0) and Southampton FC (7-1).

Much like Cheltenham, Larkhall come into this fixture off the back of a win, Carly Bryant and Adele Hooper bagging a goal each as the Bath side returned from Maidenhead with all three points.

Previous Meetings

The first meetings in the FA WNL between the two teams saw Cheltenham pick up a 2-1 win, late goals on the 77th and 82nd minutes from Katie Walker and Adele Brown getting the job done for the visitors.
The return fixture saw both teams come to a stalemate, 0-0 at Petersfield Park.

The following season saw a struggling Cheltenham outplayed on both occasions, falling 4-0 at home and 4-1 on the road. Rhona Donaldson with Cheltenham’s only goals against the Bath side.

The teams met three times in 2016/17, with Larkhall doing the treble over the Robinesses. An Ella Hitchcox goal was the only saving grace as Cheltenham lost 3-1 at home in late September, before a much-changed Cheltenham lost 9-1 in the cup. In May 2017 the sides clashed again, with the home side overcoming a Sally Butterfield brace to pick up with a 3-2 win.

The following season, the two teams produce a nailbiter of a clash, with Larkhall again coming out on top. Sam Morris, Kayleigh Hateley and an Ella Hitchcox brace were cancelled out by five from Larkhall. The Robinesses bucked the losing trend later in the season, grinding out a 1-0 victory with Holly Rogers netting the winner.

Last season the teams didn’t meet until after the Christmas break. Annie Martin and Annabel Davies hitting the target as Cheltenham ran away with the three points at home. The final day of the season at Plain Ham saw the teams battle away, only to etch out a 1-1 draw, Annie Martin’s goal for Cheltenham cancelled out by Amanda Blakely.

Earlier this season the teams worked out a 1-1 at Plain Ham, with Cheltenham goalkeeper Alyta Norman red carded for an alleged handball outside of the box. Midfielder Charlotte Criddle took over in goal and defended valiantly until Emily Harrington’s equaliser after Ella Hitchcox’s opener for the visitors.

Directions and Entry Price

Location: The DN Fire Stadium, off St. Peter’s Close, GL51 9DX. (Find it on Google maps here)
By car:
Turn off Tewkesbury Road onto Moors Avenue and take the first left, onto St. Peter’s Close. On St. Peter’s Close, keep left and go around the outside of the housing estate. Follow the road round and the car park and entrance to the ground are directly in front of you.
By bus:
The C, 41 and 42 buses from Cheltenham town centre all stop at The Range, or The Moors, opposite the Lexus dealership on Tewkesbury Road, both of which are a short walk from the stadium.

Entrance to the DN Fire Stadium is £2 per adult. Children, Cheltenham Town FC season ticket holders and Robins Trust members receive free entry.
Match programmes are available for £1 to those receiving free entry, or free of charge for paying adults.

Match Coverage

For real-time match coverage, follow our twitter page, @CTLadies. You can also check the club’s Facebook and Instagram for half time and full time scores.

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