Ladies 4-2 Bishops Cleeve GCWFL - Div 2 (4th October 2020)
After last weekends impressive performance against an experienced and physical Dursley side the Ladies looked ahead to a different type of test against a young, pacy and stubborn Bishops Cleeve side who have proven in their opening two league games they won’t lie down and accept defeat.
After passing a late pitch inspection, one of only two games to do so in Division 2, the game got underway with the rain thankfully disappearing. Olveston were a little slow to get into the game and the young Cleeve side were soon in their stride and testing out the experienced Olveston defence. With Olveston weathering the early threat they thought they’d taken the lead when Lauren White put the ball in the back of the net only to see it scrubbed off with Abi Jefferys judged to be offside.
The Olveston threat began to grow and it wasn’t long before they were finding some pockets of space in the final 3rd and just after the quarter hour mark would take the lead. Jefferys cross found Emily Nicholson who did well to bring the ball under control and find White who finished well to open the scoring.
10 minutes later and a big talking point. A quick Cleeve counter set their pacy striker free with Tash Hibbert racing out of her box only to handle outside her area. Cries for a red card came from the opposition bench and as the ref pulled her cards out everyone held their breath. Thankfully a yellow was the one shown with the ref pointing to a few Olveston players who had been behind the keeper as the reason it wasn’t a red. A huge moment that perhaps could have changed the direction of the tie but it remained 11x11.
Spurred on by the decision Olveston would grab their second and what a strike it was as defender Sian Rollings staked her claim for goal of the season. Great work by Ollie Hood saw her lay off to Rollings some 40 yards out and the defender let fly and fly it did over the keeper and into the back of the net. 2-0.
Cleeve refused to lie down and accept they couldn’t get back in the game and with the clock ticking down to HT, they grabbed one back. A scramble in the box saw Olveston fail to clear the danger and the Cleeve player tucked home from 3 yards out. Perfect timing for the visitors heading into the break.
As the second half began the home side came out firing on all cylinders as they pressed and hustled their opponents and it wasn’t long before the pressure told. Abi Jefferys again involved, saw her pressing high, winning the ball in the penalty box before firing her shot goalwards. The ball bounced back off the upright but there was Lauren White to poke home the rebound and restore a two goal cushion.
The game was being played at a frantic pace and you felt the next goal would be crucial. Cleeve were playing well and showing great character that’s seen them push both Dursley and Bristol Rovers Development all the way in their opening two games and their tenacity and grit saw them create a couple of chances which saw the Olveston defence called into action with some vital interceptions.
In the 61st minute Cleeve would again cut the deficit back to one. This time Olveston we’re guilty of not dealing with the danger quick enough and the ball seemed to hang around in the box for an age before it was slotted home by an ecstatic Cleeve player. Game very much on.
Cleeve suddenly sniffed a chance of a win and Olveston for the first time looked a little nervous in possession. A change in formation following an injury to Courtney Lusmore helped restore some calm to the home sides ranks but as the half wore on the game was getting stretched with both sides having chances of their own but it would be Olveston who would grab their 4th taking advantage of the Cleeve’s attempts to push for an equaliser.
Sally Gill, playing a defence splitting ball into Ollie Hood who cut across her player and on her weaker left foot fired across the keeper into the far corner to send the home supporters wild.
Huge credit to Cleeve. A young, energetic side who will surprise many this season. For Olveston, a gritty win, showing great character to grind out a win when not at their best and record their second win of the season. A win that sends us top of the league at this early stage.
Player of the match sponsored by Avon Tuning is Abi Jefferys