Abbeymead Rovers Ladies 3-1 Ladies
Gordon Perrett League Cup, 1st Round (18th October 2020)
After a strong start to life in Division 2 of the Gloucestershire County Womens league that sees the Ladies sit top of the table after three games, attention turned to a tough looking 1st Round League cup tie against Division 1 side Abbeymead Rovers. The hosts are an experienced and established Division 1 side who reached the Semi Finals of this competition last season.
The pitch at Abbeymead is probably one of the smallest in the County League and it was no surprise that the hosts started the brighter as their direct style caused a few early problems for the Olveston defence with the Abbeymead lone striker chasing everything down including a couple of dubious sliding challenges with studs raised which the referee seemed oblivious too. After soaking up the initial threats, Olveston began to settle and were playing some lovely football despite the condensed nature of the pitch and a couple of chances went over the bar or flashed past the upright. Abbeymead looked to be in trouble with any attempts to get out of their half quickly squashed as Olveston turned the screw.
Unbelievably though it was the hosts who would take the lead, completely against the run of play. A quick counter attack saw the lone Abbeymead striker latch onto the ball and her shot from the left side of the box flashed in at the near post. A huge blow for Olveston that seemed to stun them as just two minutes later they were two down. Another ball forward seemed to be under control but a mix up in communication between the Olveston keeper and defence saw the Abbeymead striker handed a gift and she made no mistake with the finish. 2-0 and a mountain to climb!
Despite that two minute spell, the Ladies were arguably the better side and they set about trying to get back into the game and within 8 minutes the pressure told. A corner was awarded and Abigail Jeffery whipped in the ball and under pressure the home defender turned it into her own net. Game very much back on.
Buoyed on by the goal, Olveston continued to create chances but the home side were still looking dangerous on the counter with the pacy striker always a thorn in the side supported by able runners from the Abbeymead midfield. As Half time drew closer Olveston thought they had levelled. A well struck effort goalwards saw the keeper fumble the ball and Lauren White was quick to react with her follow up seemingly crossing the line but the referee ruled it out after consultation with the home linesman!
A change in formation for Olveston helped provide some more cover against the Abbeymead threat and it wasn’t long before the visitors were creating chances again and probably the best chance of the game saw Olivia Hoods cross flash across the box and find Lauren White arriving at the centre of the goal and with the goalkeeper out of position, White had the goal gapping but somehow put wide. A goal that you felt would have changed the direction of the game went begging and it wasn’t long before the Olveston goal started to lead a charmed life.
A well worked attack from the home side saw a rasping drive crash back off the upright and back out into the box before being cleared to safety and that was followed shortly by a Abbeymead cross that was turned goalwards by an Olveston player with the ball just going over the bar. It was a warning to Olveston as they continued to search for that equaliser. Some fresh legs were introduced with Lusmore and Hayward coming on just before the hour mark and it wasn’t long before another chance came and went for Olveston. A ball into Lusmore saw the strikers effort flash wide of the post and that was followed up minutes later by a cute ball into Lauren White by Sally Gill but the striker dragged her effort wide.
With the game still in the balance the Olveston Management rolled the final dice with a couple of more changes and an midfielder thrown up top in search of the elusive equaliser but it would be heartbreak for Olveston as a freekick deep in the left hand corner of the Olveston half 10 minutes from time would see a well struck effort fly into the far corner. Game over.
A disappointing end to the Cup venture but there can be no excuses. The Ladies are back to League action next weekend against Bradley Stoke, where they will be keen to put todays disappointment behind them.