Chesham United 0-1 CTLFC

20th December 2021

Report by Jamie Cameron

Substitute Tamzin Hayward scored the winner as Cheltenham beat Chesham 1-0 to go into the Christmas break five points clear at the top of the league.

It was a closely-fought game in Buckinghamshire where the hosts arguably had the better of the chances, but Hayward (pictured) reacted quickest to a mistake just moments after coming on to earn a big three points.

After scoring her first goal for the club in last week’s 6-0 win over Poole Town, the forward scored one of the biggest goals of the season so far in a resolute away performance.

With no other league games played on Sunday, the Robins extend their lead at the summit, but several teams have games in hand.

Tom Davies made four changes to the side that dispatched Poole, as Charlotte Criddle, Jade Grove, Amy Wathan and Courtney Jones all came back in.

Cheltenham could only name two substitutes, with the likes of Holly Rogers, Kate Bowden and Georgie-Marie Barbour-Gresham unavailable.

The two sides felt each other out in the early stages, with any forays forward being snuffed out by good interceptions or tackles.

Chesham went close with a couple of long-range efforts, before they forced an excellent save out of the in-form Amy Watson with a looping header.

Just before the break, Grove had one of Cheltenham’s only attempts in the first half as she hit the crossbar from 12 yards out.

After a gruelling schedule in recent weeks, the Robins may have settled for a point going in at half-time goalless, but came out of the blocks quickly at the restart.

Top scorer Lacy-Jai Liggett drove into the area past several defenders as she’s done so many times this season, curling just wide of the post.

Watson then made another good save, before Chesham hit the post from close range from the rebound.

After a slight lull in proceedings, a cross from Sammy Hallsworth was spilled and five minutes after entering the play, Hayward was there to tap in and give Cheltenham something to hang on to.

Hayward came close to a second, but the Robins saw the game out without too many worrying moments to make it nine unbeaten in the league and go into the Christmas break with yet another fantastic result.

After the game, Davies said: “I thought Chesham were fantastic today, they caused us a lot of problems. It took us a long time to deal with them.

“Ultimately, in the second half, we found a bit of drive and a bit of motivation, and from that, we started to look like we could create chances.

“The goal’s a fortunate one, Tamzin’s done very well to follow in and I’m delighted for her, but we need to be creating better chances for our forwards.

“I’m delighted with how we kept working hard and come up with a very pleasing result in the end.”

On the break, he added: “The players will be working hard to make sure they don’t lose fitness, but we’ve been lucky in that we’ve been playing week in, week out, so we need a couple of weeks to re-set and make sure that we’re going into the back end of the season with everything in place.

“We need to keep going the extra mile when nobody else is and make sure that in every game we go into, that we’re strong enough to go and get the three points.

Cheltenham: Watson, Colley, Butler, Jones, Hallsworth, Criddle (Hayward 69), Liggett (Donnelly 85), Bevan, Haynes, Grove, Wathan.

Robins’ Player of the Match: Aimee Watson.

Image courtesy of Bart Day.

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