Cheltenham Town Ladies took the short trip to Bristol on Thursday evening to visit neighbours Brislington LFC at Ironmould Lane and came home with a 0-0 draw.
Starting with a similar set-up to their previous game, Cheltenham’s only changes were the inclusion of Louise Fensome for Lydia Amarquaye and the return of Naomi Purvis from injury.
The game started tentatively for Cheltenham as Brislington looked to move the ball into wide areas.
The first opportunity was to test Bec Panniers in the Cheltenham goal as a speculative long range strike looked to be destined for the goal until a strong right hand forced it round the post.
The visitors began to ease their way in and found joy once more by releasing Hitchcox and Butterfield. Butterfield was to have Cheltenham’s best chance of the half as she was set free following a ball from Fensome. Clear of the defenders, Butterfield found herself bearing down on goal but was unable to get any venom in her strike.
The remainder of the half was end to end with Polly Wardle the particular threat for the home team.
Cheltenham were buoyed by their first half performance and came out second half flying. On what was becoming an increasingly sticky pitch, midfielders Fensome, Hateley and Brown-Weals began to influence the match.
It was the introduction of Ellie Briscoe however that began to force the issue for Cheltenham with the striker causing problems in behind. Hitchcox and Butterfield saw opportunities come and go before Briscoe’s magical feet could of won the game for the visitors.
Having got to the ball first, Briscoe managed to take on two defenders inside the box to create a shooting opportunity. Electing to shoot, the young striker watched agonizingly as the ball sailed past the post.
This did not effect Cheltenham though as they went in search of a goal and it was the visitors that forced the issue. Once again, good play by Davies, who replaced captain Brown-Wealls, released Briscoe, who in turn managed to find a pass out to Hitchcox but again Cheltenham were foiled with a shot going over the bar.
Manager Alex Cheal said: “We have proven that we are progressing and once again we look like a stronger side having played. Defensively we were excellent with Sam and Naomi winning their battles and the two fullbacks also doing well.
“We know we need to work on the final third but we created plenty of opportunities tonight to win the game and for that reason I am happy to take a point. Brislington have been a bogey team of ours so again it was good to finally get something off them.
“We have some wonderful supporters and it was great to see the family of two of our younger die hard fans Emily and Annie May in the crowd.
“We have a bit of time to work on things before the cup final now but the girls have come together in the last two games and I feel a sense of belief among them. We look forward to the next game and somewhere along the lines the opportunities we create will start going in.”
CTLFC: Panniers, Dance, Purvis, Morris, Berry, Fensome, Hateley, Brown-Wealls (Davies), Butterfield, Hitchcox (Rowlands), Kay (Briscoe). Subs not used: Amarquaye.
Manager’s Player-of-the-Match: Naomi Purvis