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21:30 23rd October 2012
By  James Brown

Full Time: Robins 2-1 Pilgrims

Cheltenham Town got themselves back on track with a 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle this evening.

Plymouth's Conor Hourihane handed the Pilgrims the lead against the run of play but Steve Elliott equalised for the Robins soon after to ensure the scores were level at the break. It was more of a battle in the second period but the introduction of Duffy and Mohamed really turned the tide and it was a Mohamed header that won the game on 78 minutes. Plymouth came very close to an equaliser near the end but Cheltenham marched on and won the game.

Mark Yates opted to make two changes to his starting eleven here this evening as they prepared to take on an in-form Plymouth Argyle. Alan Bennett, fresh from his three game ban, took up his spot in the centre of defence at the expense of Keith Lowe and Shaun Harrad replaced Kaid Mohamed with Zebroksi switching to the left. There were two landmarks reached here this evening with Steve Elliott making his 100th start for the club and Scott Brown making his 200th appearances for the Robins. Two fabulous achievement for two superb servants.

Cheltenham Town were looking to undo a Plymouth side who were enjoying a rich run of form this evening having won the last three games and the Robins almost made a perfect start to proceedings when Zebroski brought the ball down upon his chest and forced Jake Cole in a stunning save from a volley. Perhaps it deserved a goal for the technique but all in all it as a solid start for Mark Yates' Robins. Plymouth had their own close call on goal after seven minutes when Argentinian midfielder Gurrieri curled a low drive in but Brown was comfortable to watch it fly past his near post. It was an entertaining confrontation in these opening minutes and McGlashan almost had his name on the scoresheet after Jombati's mazy run into the area and drag back set the winger up but his effort was lashed just wide of the post.

Cheltenham had a superb opportunity to pinch the lead on 24 minutes when Jombati pumped a long ball forward and Zebs easily outpaced the Pilgrims defence but his effort was driven just wide of the near post leaving Plymouth breathing a sigh of relief. That was perhaps the warning that Plymouth needed with the Robins looking incredibly eager on the break but the visitors had their own predator in midfield although Luke Young's long shot after 27 minutes failed to hit the target. Chris Zebroski was proving a real nuisance for the visitors and the forward found himself denied once again after he capitalised on a free header on the corner. The effort was thumped low but Cole managed to get a leg to it to deny his tormentor. Cheltenham certainly had their chances to take the lead but it was Plymouth that made their chances count. On 30 minutes a Plymouth break led Conor Hourihane to drive an effort in from 20 yard leaving Brown with no chance. It was 1-0 Pilgrims and against the run of play.

Cheltenham could rightly feel aggrieved at being a goal down after being the stronger team but they didn't let their heads sink but instead instantly replied. A good run from McGlashan brought a foul from Purse on the far right of Plymouth's penalty area and Jones stepped up. His freekick was dropped in at the back and Elliott, on his 100th start, headed into the back of the net for 1-1. It was no more than Cheltenham deserved but Plymouth were soon on the attack again although it was ended by a pretty poor dive from Hourihane for which he was booked. The midfielder was certainly getting involved and he forced a superb save from Brown on 45 minutes when he broke away from his marker through on goal but he was denied a second goal before half time beckoned.

Half Time: Cheltenham Town 1-1 Plymouth Argyle

  The second half started and immediately there was a difficult decision for the referee within the first minute. Joe Lennox managed to burst past Jombati and deliver a low cross and it appeared as though Elliott tangled with Madjo with the former Robins loan striker falling flat on his face but the referee was having none of it and waved play on. It was a big decision for the referee and the Pilgrims were at it again moments later when Purse went down softly after coming together with Elliott but the referee again refused to award a penalty and rightly so. Soft from the Argyle captain.

Mark Yates made a double substitution on 56 minutes with Kaid Mohamed and Darryl Duffy replacing Darren Carter and Shaun Harrad respectively. Both sides were still trying to find that one opportunity on goal where they could really start to take control of this fixture but efforts from Zebroski and MacDonald fell short and it remained deadlock here at the Abbey Business Stadium. Plymouth made their first change on 70 minutes with Bhasera replacing the handy Lennox and the Pilgrims almost found themselves ahead minutes later. Hourihane found a central Gurrieri free of a marker bu the Argentinian's 25 yard effort was expertly tipped over by Brown to deny the visitors a spectacular goal.

Cheltenham had a little over ten minutes to make something happen here this evening and up stepped Kaid Mohamed who did just that. Darryl Duffy, who had been lively since coming on, won the corner from which Mohamed rose like a salmon to meet Jones' set piece and thump his header past Cole for 2-1. It was great scenes for the popular winger's goal and Cheltenham were back in control. It was almost three for Town when Zebroski found himself through on goal from a long ball but his chipped effort was cleared off the line by Maxime Blanchard

Plymouth reacted to their sudden disadvantage by introducing Nick Chadwick in place of the ineffective Guy Madjo and immediately went on the hunt for an equaliser. Russ Penn was rightly yellow carded on 87 minutes for a foul on Hourihane in the middle of the park and Plymouth had their freekick opportunity 25 yards from goal and it almost paid off. Gurrieri's freekick took a wicked deflection off the wall and cannoed back off the bar before MacDonald put his rebounded over the bar. So unlucky Plymouth and the Robins happy with lady luck firmly on their side.

The Pilgrims were running out of time and they will argue they deserved a point from this fixture but the Robins held on to their lead to record all three points.

Full Time: Cheltenham Town 2-1 Plymouth Argyle

Cheltenham Town FC (4-2-3-1): Brown (GK); Jombati, Bennett (C), Elliott, Jones; Carter (Mohamed 56), Pack; McGlashan, Penn, Zebroski; Harrad (Duffy 56)

Subs not used: Roberts (GK), Lowe, Deering, Graham, Goulding

Plymouth Argyle FC (4-5-1): Cole (GK); Berry, Purse (C), Blanchard, Griffiths; MacDonald, Young, Hourihane, Gurrieri, Lennox (Bhasera 70); Madjo (Chadwick 83)

Subs not used: Gilmartin (GK), Nelson, Lowry, Sims, Feeney

Referee: Mr. Stephen Martin

Attendance: 3,058 (670 from Plymouth)

Robins Star Man: Jermaine McGlashan - He was a real thorn in Plymouth's side all game and they rarely coped with him. Credit to Jermaine for his defensive work too.


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.