CTLFC 0-3 Nottingham Forest Women

7th March 2022

Report by Jamie Cameron

The Robins’ historic run in the Women’s National League Plate was ended in the semi-finals by an impressive Nottingham Forest side, who claimed a 3-0 win at the Corinium Stadium.

Cheltenham had beaten Actonians, West Bromwich Albion and Exeter City to reach the last four for the first time in their history, but couldn’t see off another tier three opponent as Forest progressed to the final.

The Robins struggled to create chances against a resolute opponent, and were given a mountain to climb at half-time after goals from Gianna Mitchell and Charlotte Greengrass.

Greengrass made it three on the hour mark, and although in truth, Cheltenham never looked like getting back into it, they can still be proud of their history-making run.

Manager Tom Davies made two changes to the side that beat Exeter in the semi-finals as Abby Bevan (pictured) and Tamzin Hayward replaced Holly Rogers and Lois Colley.

Forest, who are fourth in the National League Northern Premier Division and also played Manchester City in the FA Cup recently, showed that pedigree early on.

Mitchell and Charley Docherty both forced saves out of Aimee Watson, before on 25 minutes, following appeals for a foul, Mitchell, who has played in the US before, chested down and finished high into the roof of the net.

Cheltenham were struggling to get the ball up the pitch and the lead was doubled eight minutes prior to the break when Greengrass finished a low cross under Watson.

Charlotte Criddle did have a half chance for the Robins on the stroke on half time, but her shot was straight at Emily Batty.

Soon after the break, Mitchell and Docherty both threatened again, before Greengrass clinically finished another chance into the corner to make it three.

Despite Cheltenham’s best efforts, Forest saw the game out comfortably, going close on a couple of occasions to extending their lead.

After the game, Davies said: “Forest moved the ball really well and created a lot of opportunities, some of which we felt we could’ve done better with.

“Collectively, we know that we’re better than today’s performance and that we can do better. We have to use that as a driving factor to move onto the next few fixtures.

“Forest’s performance shows us where we need to be at and which sides we need to be competing against if we want to achieve what we want to achieve. It’s brilliant to put ourselves up against those players and it shows what we need to do to come out with a better result if we’re to play a team like that again.

“When we sit down and reflect on the run we’ve had and the teams we’ve played, we have to be proud about that.”

Next Sunday, 13 March, the Robins take on fellow title challengers AFC Bournemouth at the Corinium Stadium, and before that one, Davies said: “They’re a quality side with some really good individual players who could potentially play two levels above.

“It’s an exciting fixture and we need to make sure that we are 100% at our best.”

Cheltenham: Watson, Jones, Butler, Barbour-Gresham (Colley 64), Hallsworth (Walecki 81), Criddle, Liggett, Bevan, Haynes, Hayward (Rogers 64), Wathan.

Robins’ Player of the Match: Mai Butler.

Image supplied by MikeJHalfordPhotos

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

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