Cheltenham Town progressed into the FA Cup second round this afternoon with a 3-0 win over non-league minnows Yate Town.
A heart breaking early own goal for Yate put the Robins ahead on the third minute this afternoon but the minnows did almost find an equaliser on two seperate occasions with Knighton and Cox both hitting the post and bar respectively. The Robins settled and could have scored a few more but Yate and goalkeeper Dempsey stood firm to limit the scoreline at half time. Yate were doing well but Mohamed's headed goal on 65 minutes pretty much killed the visitors off and the Robins really should have had more had Goulding, Zebroski and Deering finsihed off their chances but it was Zebroski who finaly got onto the scoresheet and deservedly so to make it game over.
All in all it was a professional performance from Cheltenham Town to see off Yate Town and book themselves a spot in the FA Cup second round.
There would always be the temptation to make the changes for today's game but Mark Yates named a strong side to face non-league minnows Yate Town this afternoon. Sido Jombati and Russ Penn were back in the side after their one game suspensions and that allowed Steve Elliott and Marlon Pack to be rested although the latter was named on the bench. Shaun Harrad also came into the side with Darryl Duffy wide right. Yate Town, who had never reached the FA Cup first round before, named a predictable line-up but one that the Robins were not taking lightly.
It was a wonderful atmosphere in the ground from the very start and the travelling Yate support were a major factor of that but they were silenced straight away when they suffered a heart breaking own goal in the 3rd minute. Mohamed's pacy run and low drive was saved well by Dempsey but Tom Warren, a former Cheltenham scholar, cleared the ball into the back of his team-mate Thomas and it rebounded into his own net. So harsh on Yate but a perfect start for Cheltenham. The minnows were inches away from grabbing an equaliser straight away but Knighton's header was denied by the base of the post. The visitors were at it again when Cox's freekick struck the crossbar but didn't cross the line before Brown cleared away anxiously. You could not take your eyes off this match.
It was exciting stuff but things did settle with the Robins slowly but surely taking control of proceedings. Darryl Duffy saw an effort fly over the bar as they looked to double their lead but Yate were still maintaining their attacking philosophy despite the clear counter threat from the Robins. Shaun Harrad's first effort of the game threatened to drop into the top corner of Yate's goal but Dempsey was happy to see it float over as Cheltenham turned the screw. Lawson D'Ath was next up with an ambitious 30 yard effort but Dempsey was on hand to parry it wide. The goalkeeper really needed to be in good form and a speculative 35 yard strike from Russ Penn forced another good save from the Yate number one. He was needed again moments later when goal hungry Keith Lowe forced him into a low reaction save with a header. Yate did have the ball in the back of the net after 38 minutes much to the visiting crowd's joy but that enthusiasm was quickly scrubbed out once they had realised the linesman held his flag aloft for offside. Cheltenham had another close call minutes when Sam Deering's back post header forced Dempsey into a smart save on the line.
Half Time: Cheltenham Town 1-0 Yate Town
Marlon Pack was introduced in place of Lawson D'Ath at the break and the midfielder could have seen a freekick hit the target had a Yate head not deflected the ball over. A Sido Jombati header forced Dempsey into another good save before Keith Lowe's acrobatic volley was deflected wide. A Harrad header followed although it was fairly wide of the mark and Yate continued to try and settle into the half. Cheltenham weren't making the most of their chances in this game and a 1-0 lead looked slender against a Yate side not afraid of piling forward on the attack. The Bluebells were giving it their all and Scott Brown was needed to make a siving save when Groves' long ranged effort seemed destined for the bottom corner.
Substitute Marlon Pack could have seen a low drive buried into the bottom corner but a deflection protected the Yate goal once again. Chris Zebroski and Jeff Goulding were brought into play on 61 minutes and replaced Shaun Harrad and Darryl Duffy respectively. The changes sparked a little more life into Cheltenham and Russ Penn was agonisingly close to making it 2-0 when he got his head round Jombati's cross but the ball was just wide of the far post. Yate were putting in a real fight but Cheltenham made their second half control count with a second goal on 65 minutes of Kaid mohamed's forhead. Zebroski had won the corner and Billy Jones' set piece was perfection as Mohamed strode in and thumped his header past Dempsey. It was now an uphill climb for Yate.
A long ranged effort from Purnell offered little threat before Yate Town made their first change with assistant manager Michael Meaker making an appearance in place of Harmer. Deering, who had a decent game, came close to his first Cheltenham goal with a 20 yard looping strike which missed by inches and Zebroski could have had one minutes later but a lack of composure meant his shot fired into the roof of the stand. It was all Cheltenham with just over ten minutes to go and Billy Jones almost created another goal but Dempsey was on hand to make a souble save against Zebroski's head and boot. Billy Jones was at it again on 80 minutes with a perfect cross but Goulding put his effort over the bar from a couple of yards. Yate had all but given up and Chris Zebroski came close once again to making the result final but the crossbar denied his left footed drive on 85 minutes.
Cheltenham really should have scored more goals but Deering remained frustrated despite a number of chances but it was Chris Zebroski who finally put this game to bed with a deserved goal on 92 minutes. The big striker ploughed through the defence and snatched his shot into the back of the net after previously being denied. It was a 3-0 victory on the full time whistle and it meant an FA Cup second round spot for Cheltenham Town.
Full Time: Cheltenham Town 3-0 Yate Town
Cheltenham Town FC (4-3-3): Brown (GK); Jombati, Bennett (C), Lowe, Jones; Deering, Penn, D'Ath (Pack 46); Duffy (Goulding 61), Harrad (Zebroski 61), Mohamed
Subs not used: Roberts (GK), Andrew, Hanks, McGlashan
Yate Town FC (4-3-3): Dempsey (GK); Warren, Thomas, Vahid (C), Cox; Groves, Wring, Purnell (Hiroli 89); Harmer (Meaker 73), Page (Bryant 89), Knighton
Subs not used: Ancin (GK), Hiroli, Bryant, Cousins, Price, Sarr
Referee: Mr. David Phillips
Attendance: 3,055 (889 from Yate)
Robins Star Man: Billy Jones - Some of his crosses today were superb and he was excellent on the flank. Another assist for Mohamed's goal too.