Cheltenham had to settle for a point at Morecambe following a scrappy game of football but it was a draw that halted a run of defeats away from home.
It was a stalemate of a first half with both sides developing limited chances but Cheltenham really should have had a penalty for a foul on Sam Deering although the referee ignored the challenge and allowed play on. The game was a lot brighter and Kaid Mohamed perhaps should have done better with a chances given to him in the box but it was a point that may well look good at the tail end of the season.
Robins chief Mark Yates was looking to defy the elements and Morecambe this evening and he made three changes in order to do so. Jermaine McGlashan, Sam Deering and Kaid Mohamed all started in what was a 4-4-2 formation. Deering and McGlashan provided width while Kaid Mohamed supported top scorer Shaun Harrad up front.
A freezing cold night at the Globe Arena and one of the very few survivors of the weekend's games; things started off on an even footing. Brown was forced into a good save early on from Burrows although the linesman had his flag raised for a blatant foul on Keith Lowe. Moments later Shaun Harrad narrowly put an effort wide of the near post following good wing play from Deering. The little midfielder was being his busy self in the opening stages and he won a freekick on 9 minutes which allowed Marlon Pack to shoot from range and his decent effort had to be pounded away by Barry Roche. Morecambe weren't without their threats though and Scott Brown was needed to make a low save from Drummond's 20 yard effort after ten minutes.
A yellow card for Jermaine McGlashan quarter of an hour into the game for throwing the ball away after losing a decision but Cheltenham were doing okay on what was a terrible pitch. If anything Cheltenham weren't finding their passes well in the middle of midfield but they were restricting Morecambe to long range efforts on goal. Cheltenham had a really good opportunity to get a chance in on goal when Marlon Pack beat Haining for pace and got in behind the defender but his cross across goal was seen out by Ellison. The big forward thinking midfielder had his own chance on goal saved well by Brown after 29 minutes but the offside flag was risen well before the opportunity. Cheltenham were battling well but it wasn't helped with a number of questionable decisions from the officials. Sido Jombati was shown a yellow for dissent after one of those decisions.
The Robins really should have had a penalty on 43 minutes when Sam Deering was hacked down just inside the area but the referee ignored it while Morecambe hit on the counter although it was wasted and over the bar. A Russ Penn effort tested Roche ahead of half time and Cheltenham came close from the resulting corner but Ellison just about scrambled it away.
Half Time: Morecambe 0-0 Cheltenham Town
The second half began and Cheltenham were so close to an instant goal when Shaun Harrad wriggled away from his marker before levelling a ball across goal but Mohamed couldn't find it from under his feet and Morecambe cleared quickly. Again Cheltenham used the wings to pester Morecambe and Jermaine McGlashan did ever so well to wriggle past McCready to put the ball inside for Mohamed but the forward was unable to turn it in. Robins goalkeeper Scott Brown was kept warm at the other end when Alessandra broke away before shooting across goal but Brown was equal to it.
Morecambe were favouring the windy conditions in this half and Kevin Ellison almost scored a superb goal from 20 yards with a curling effort, helped by the wind, but Scott Brown was relieved to see it had bypassed his post. Keith Lowe headed a good opportunity over the bar from a Jones corner before Morecambe introduced debutant loan striker Chris Holroyd who joined the club from Brighton yesterday afternoon.
The hosts made their second change of the evening with Ryan Williams replacing Andrew Fleming on 75 minutes at a stage where it was finely poised with perhaps a single goal worth the win. Kevin Ellison had another good opportunity ten minutes from time but again he failed to make it count and Brown remained defiant. Minutes ticked by and Steve Elliott had an acrobatic effort fly over the bar but it seemed the game was destined for 0-0. And so it proved as the final whistle was blown here at the Globe Arena. Frustrating perhaps but it was a point that halted Cheltenham's run of defeats away from home.
Full Time: Morecambe 0-0 Cheltenham Town
Morecambe FC (4-3-3): Roche (GK); Haining (C), Fenton, McCready, Threlfall; McDonald, Drummond, Fleming (Williams 75); Alessandra, Burrow (Holroyd 69), Ellison
Subs not used: Arestidou (GK), McGee, Mwasile, Doyle, Redshaw
Cheltenham Town FC (4-4-2): Brown (GK); Jombati, Lowe, Elliott, Jones; McGlashan, Pack, Penn, Deering; Harrad (Duffy 82), Mohamed
Subs not used: Roberts (GK), Bennett, Hanks, Taylor, Goulding
Referee: Mr. Eddie Ilderton
Robins Star Man: Steve Elliott - Led the back line well on a difficult night. Coped well with the wind and was defiant against the Morecambe attack.