Swindon Town Women Match Report

2nd October 2020

Swindon 3

Swindon: Attenborough 30′, Skinner 65′, Graham 75′
Cheltenham: Bevan 41′, Criddle 76′

It was certainly one for the neutrals in the Robins Derby as Cheltenham travelled to Fairford Town in their first away league game of the season.

The game started with a real pace as Swindon formed a strong attack down the right but the Cheltenham defence we able to clear their lines in the box.
Moments later Sarah King would create an attack for Cheltenham on their right wing but the Swindon goalkeeper came to collect, diving at King’s feet.

The end-to-end football dominated the opening phases as the teams exchanged opportunities and crosses, with King unable you find a Cheltenham player in the box.

Swindon would win themselves a corner on the left wing after some flowing passing and movement would allow a chance to cross. Hallsworth’s outstretched leg doing enough to stop the ball in.
Cheltenham would clear the corner only to concede a second, which was then dealt with at the near post. The resulting shot from distance not a problem for Levett in the Cheltenham goal.

The home side would open the scoring under some controversy. With a dangerous attack in the middle of the park, Swindon’s shot from outside the box rattle the frame of the bar before appearing to bounce back into play. With no appeals from anyone in a red shirt, and the home side’s strikers still trying to put the ball in the net, the assistant referee flagged for the ball having crossed the line.

Conceding would spur Cheltenham on, and the visitors managed to produce a couple of attacks as both sides looked to play good passing football.

Ten minutes after conceding Cheltenham would restore the scoreline to a level footing, with Grove able to shrug her marker off on the right side of the penalty area and send a good ball into the box for Bevan, with the tireless midfielder firing past the ‘keeper.

HT: Swindon 1-1 CTLFC

The visitors would start the second half strongly, mounting numerous attacks but were unable to find a way through the red defence.

With the pressure building, Cheltenham won a free-kick deep in the Swindon half, wide on the right. Haynes’ in-swinging shot making the ‘keeper scramble but high and wide of the target.

Minutes later they’d have a second chance, as King was brought down a few yards outside the box. Criddle’s free-kick again had the goalkeeper dashing but couldn’t find the net.

The home side would weather the Cheltenham storm and build back into the second half, nullifying the visitor’s chances to keep the score level.
With Cheltenham turning the screw, Charlotte Criddle managed to work her way past the Swindon defence only to be brought down in the box, the referee declining to award anything.

Courtney Jones would enter the match as Cheltenham looked to find a second but it would be the home side that would find it first. Some strong linking play down the right wing would see a cross whipped into the danger area, with the Cheltenham defence unable to remove the threat. The resulting finish being bundled in, in what could have been an own goal, as the away defence appealed for a free-kick.

Cheltenham would look to get a goal back but minutes later the home side would extend their lead. Some good forward passing would see them open up space in the box with an impressive strike past Levett.

Cheltenham would look to claw their way back into it, pushing bodies forward with creative passing. They would find their second from a set piece, as Swindon would commit a foul just outside their own penalty box. Criddle stepped up and dispatched the free-kick with a sublime finish.

The late stages saw both teams battling it out with Cheltenham unable to get out of their half. With one final roll of the dice, they threw everything at Swindon, with the home side able to stand up to the test and emerge victorious.

Cheltenham: R. Levett, S. Hallsworth, S. Morris, R. Halford, L. Ellis, C. Criddle (R. Scahill 86), A. Kempski (Jones 64), A. Bevan, S. King, B. Haynes (Kayll 75), J. Grove.
Subs not used: H. Lambe, J. Hood,


Manager Tom Davies was confused by a couple of the official’s decisions but made no excuses for his side’s performance:

“We’re a bit bemused by the decision, they didn’t appeal for it, but from the linesman’s point of view he’s given it and we just have to accept it. It’s not an opportunity for us to give an excuse. If it’s over the line then it’s over the line and we just have to make sure we don’t let the ball get into that area in the first place. And there’s a couple of individual errors going up to that point and those players have shown accountability for that. It’s about the errors going forward and decisions will be made whether they’re right or wrong and we have to accept those.

“Again, you’ll get a decision right or wrong and Crids [Charlotte Criddle] has got into a fantastic position and she’s felt contact, in her eyes, and then obviously the ref sees it from her perspective and hasn’t seen it or hasn’t given it for whatever reason and the referee has communicated that so fair play to her, but again we need to go and win those games without any excuses. We didn’t focus on them last week and we won’t this week either.

“Mai is out for this week, she has an eye injury, so she won’t be back in this week. And there will be naturally a rotation as we’ve got two games in four days and we’ve got fantastic quality. The message from Sunday doesn’t change, we have fantastic quality. Tonight wasn’t our night, and we just go again. We have to reframe it and it’s really important, the players are the first ones to speak about it and it’s really important that we absorb this feeling and understand it, and do everything in our power to make sure we doesn’t happen again.

“It’s important [the team react in the right way] but we don’t want to get caught into that ‘we win a game and everything is fine and we lose a game everything is wrong’. It’s a long season and when things happen we have to absorb it like I’ve said and we have to keep going. We’ve got a way we’re still building the squad, it’s going to be a long season and it’s going to be a difficult season and we need to make sure that every single performance we have we’re trying to build things in the right way. I’m not going to go out and just completely change and use this as a singular motivation, we’re going to make sure we focus on us and that continuously happens rather than riding waves and be happy when we’re winning. We have to make sure we’re doing the right things all the time.”

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