Poole Town Ladies 6 Cheltenham Town Ladies 1
With a new manager in place and several regulars out, a long journey to deepest Dorset was not the best way to face a team we have never played before.
In all levels of football, teams often know each other’s players, can plan accordingly and often come unstuck when the opponents are new. That certainly was the case for CTFC Ladies last week.
Manager Alex Cheal had to ring the changes and his first ever FA WPL side included six Under-18s and three new signings – Abby Dance, Ellie Carter and Charlie Rowlands.
After a bright start, in which Lydia Amarquaye gave the Robins an early lead, the team failed to build on their excellent counterattacking play and went in 3-1 down at half time.
In the second half the team had the wind behind them and a downhill slope and they dominated possession in the early stages.
However, they did so without posing any real threat with the Poole defence sitting deep. On the hour Holly Kay put Charlie Rowlands through for a superb opportunity but a Poole defender managed to snuff out the danger.
That was perhaps the moment when the Ladies realised it wasn’t going to be their day and Poole added three more to their tally in the final 20 minutes.
Manager Cheal felt the scoreline was harsh and took several positives from the game praising his young charges in such trying circumstances.
He said: “I have nothing but plaudits for them. This was always going to be a tough fixture and conditions were cold and blustery but they stepped up superbly.”
The Ladies are away tomorrow (February 18) to Downend Flyers as they defend their GFA County Cup.
Cheltenham Town Ladies: Stirling-Lee, Dance, Brown-Wealls, Davies, Carter, Hateley, Amarquaye, Berry, Butterfield, Kay, Rowlands (Jamieson).
Everyone I know has been touched by the Lilac’s Little Legs campaign,Lilac’s story and is doing their bit to help her and her family. It is wonderful that she is our mascot today and most fitting that Cheltenham Town - a club which fully appreciates its position in the local community – have given her this memorable opportunity.
Next Sunday (February 25) we will be doing our bit by donating all the proceeds of our FA WPL match against Poole Town Ladies to Lilac’s Little Legs. Each season we try to nominate one game as a ‘charity’ match and last year we raised over £200 for Cheltenham Royal British Legion. We are confident we can go better for Lilac. If you would like to come along and show your support it’s a 2pm kick off at Petersfield Park, GL51 9DY.