CTLFC 6-0 Poole Town Ladies

13th December 2021

Report by Jamie Cameron

Cheltenham Town Ladies moved back to the top of the table with a resounding 6-0 victory over Poole Town Ladies.

Having been out of league action for more than two months due to the Robins’ progression in cup competitions including the FA Cup and National League Plate, Cheltenham returned to the bread and butter with a bang, putting bottom-of-the-table Poole to the sword.

With the game only arranged at late notice, Town played this home fixture in different surroundings, at Evesham United FC.

However, that made no difference to their performance as six different players got on the scoresheet to wrap up a convincing win in the penultimate game before Christmas.

Tom Davies made four changes to the 11 that beat West Bromwich Albion on penalties last week.

Holly Rogers and Tamzin Hayward were among those to come back into the side, with Charlotte Criddle, Jade Grove, Amy Wathan and Courtney Jones all starting on the bench after the team’s last two matches had gone to extra time.

Abby Bevan (pictured) was named captain on her 50th appearance for the club.

It only took 10 minutes for Cheltenham to open the scoring as Lacy-Jai Liggett netted the type of goal that everyone has become accustomed to seeing from her.

She made a chance out of nothing, dribbling through the defence, before slotting home calmly from a relatively tight angle.

Opportunities kept coming, and the lead was doubled on 26 minutes when Hayward bagged her first for the club. A brilliant through ball from Sammy Hallsworth set her free, and although she still had a lot to do, Hayward finished superbly over the ‘keeper.

Almost straight from the kick-off, Cheltenham were awarded a penalty, which Rogers dispatched with aplomb.

There could have been more goals before the break, but the Robins had to settle for a 3-0 half-time advantage.

On 59 minutes, a good save from Poole’s ‘keeper was diverted in by Hayward, but after some deliberation, the referee disallowed the goal for handball.

Hallsworth was sin-binned for dissent in the aftermath, but it didn’t affect Cheltenham’s mentality as Rogers crossed for Billie Haynes to score the fourth just moments later.

After a slightly quieter period, the introduction of Grove from the bench saw the chances start to arrive again.

Grove was almost creating excitement single-handedly, and after going close twice, she made it five with a brilliant turn and shot from range.

After Hayward hit the post, another substitute, Criddle, rounded off the scoring with a sensational lob.

That completed a 6-0 win for the Robins, the first time they’ve scored more than four in a league game this season.

After the victory, manager Davies said: “We played fantastically well, especially in possession. The way we played through the thirds and the way we played some of the patterns we’ve been looking at was really pleasing to see.

“It was just a little bit disappointing that we didn’t score as many as we could’ve done.”

On the variety of scorers, he added: “It’s nice for everyone to get that confidence boost. We’ve not really got one person scoring all of our goals, we’ve got that across the board and we’re creating a variety of chances for different people.

“Tamzin [Hayward]’s been in really good form for Hartpury University and she’s been working really hard. It was a fantastic finish and hopefully in the games to come she’ll keep adding to her tally.”

The Robins travel to Chesham next Sunday, 19 December, and ahead of the game, Davies said: “Chesham are a fantastic side with some fantastic individual players, especially their forward players. We’ve got to make sure that we’re resolute and we’re organised.

“It’s two teams that are fighting near the top of the table, so it’s a game that we’ll enjoy being a part of. We’re looking forward to getting there and getting the game on after the frustration with the weather last time.”

Cheltenham: Watson, Colley, Butler (Jones 75), Barbour-Gresham, Hallsworth (Wathan 75), Bowden (Grove 64), Liggett (Criddle 64), Bevan, Haynes, Hayward, Rogers.

Robins’ Player of the Match: Lois Colley.

Image supplied by Jon Harris

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

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