Portishead Town Ladies 0-2 CTLFC

20th March 2022

Report by Jamie Cameron.

Holly Rogers and Tamzin Hayward found the net to make it seven straight league wins for Cheltenham Town Ladies, as they saw off Portishead Town 2-0.

With the game postponed from its original date in February, it was moved to the 3G surface at The Hand Stadium, home of Clevedon Town.

After getting off to a promising start, creating a couple of chances in the first five minutes, the Robins made hard work of the fixture until Rogers (pictured) broke the deadlock on 55 minutes, Hayward doubling the lead shortly afterwards.

The goals changed the complexion of the game as Cheltenham started creating more chances, and in the end, could have won by more than two.

Tom Davies made four changes to the side that beat AFC Bournemouth in Cirencester, Holly Rogers, Georgie-Marie Barbour-Gresham, Ellie Walecki and Holly Reed all coming into the starting 11.

New signing Rhian Robbins started on the bench, while Jade Grove was in action for the Development team as she continued her return from injury.

As mentioned, Cheltenham threatened an early goal, Lacy-Jai Liggett testing the ‘keeper before a header came off the bar.

Aimee Watson made a good save to deny Portishead, while Rogers shot into the side netting in a half of few opportunities.

Portishead started the second half better, hitting the woodwork themselves, and just when it looked like Cheltenham could be in for a difficult afternoon that could endanger their title changes, Rogers found the opener.

She picked up the ball on the edge of the area and her shot was just about good enough to go through the ‘keeper’s grasp and give the Robins the lead.

Less than two minutes later, Liggett cut inside and hit the bar, but Hayward was quickest to react, notching her second goal in two games.

Liggett then shot narrowly wide from a tight angle, before substitute Robbins, on her second debut, poked wide when through on goal.

Barbour-Gresham and Billie Haynes also came close as Cheltenham threatened to add to their lead, while Reed almost finished off a nice team move but the ‘keeper did well again.

The final 35 minutes won the game for the Robins and the three points take them four clear at the top of the division, but the title race is far from over with a tricky trip to Southampton to come next Sunday, 27 March.

After the game, Davies said: “I think we came into the game in the second half a lot better. As they started to tire, we moved the ball better and found better areas and better chances.

“That said, in the first five or 10 minutes, we could’ve been 2-0 up and just didn’t take our chances. We allowed them to come back into the game. It’s not a performance that we’ll write home about, but at this stage of the season, it’s important to make sure that we’re winning.

On next week’s fixture, he added: “Southampton are a very well-organised side and they’ll be ready and up for the game. They’ve got the advantage of being at home and they’ll want to claim top spot as well.

“I’m expecting a good football match and one that should be a really good afternoon of football.”

Cheltenham: Watson, Owen, Butler, Barbour-Gresham, Hallsworth (Jones 70), Criddle (Bevan 70), Reed, Liggett (Haynes 62), Walecki, Rogers, Hayward (Robbins 62).

Robins’ Player of the Match: Mai Butler.

Image supplied by MikeJHalfordPhotos

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