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21:30 22nd October 2013
By  Murry Toms

Full-time: Robins 3, Morecambe 0

Cheltenham Town notched their second home win of the season against high-flying Morecambe to bring the feel good factor back to the Abbey Business Stadium.

Mark Yates' side produced a performance full of grit and character to consign in-form Shrimps to their first defeat in 10 outings.

Matt Richards had a bitter-sweet evening, handing Mark Yates' side a narrow advantage in first half injury time before missing a second half penalty.

But the balance of play tipped in the home side's favour within a minute of the restart when the Morecambe skipper, Mark Hughes, picked up his second yellow card of the evening to receive his marching orders.

Cheltenham made it count shortly after the hour, Terry Gornell registering his fourth of the campaign to double the advantage.

Substitute Byron Harrison supplied the third nine minutes from time to take his tally this term to six and put the gloss on a much-needed result.

There was even a full debut for Cheltenham born Harry Williams, the prolific 17-year-old striker catching the eye in Russell Milton's promising young side.

Ken Dodd sounded particularly good this evening.

Yates made three changes to the side that slipped to Saturday's dramatic defeat by Rochdale.

Out went Craig Braham-Barrett, with the facial injury he collected at the weekend, while Russ Penn and Harrison dropped to the bench.

In came David Noble and Sam Deering into the revamped midfield with Gornell re-joining skipper Jamie Cureton up front.

The bench had a youthful feel about it. Cheltenham-born Williams, with 13 goals in nine games to his name for Russell Milton's youth side, merited his place among the substitutes alongside academy products Zack Kotwica and Joe Hanks and was given five minutes to impress at the expense of Jason Taylor.

Yates kept faith with with the diamond formation in the middle, Noble anchoring the narrow midfield with Sam Deering pressed into the role behind the front two. Jermaine McGlashan was deployed on the right, and Taylor on the left. Richards deputised at left back in Braham-Barrett's absence. 

Cheltenham made a nervy start to the match, perhaps understandably given their stuttering form of late and survived a couple of early scares.

Scott Brown was at his best to produce a sharp save in only the third minute, racing out to deny striker Padraig Amond who failed to take full advantage of Keith Lowe's early mistake.

The Cheltenham number one was called into a another fine save four minutes later to swat away Ryan William's 22-yard free-kick at full stretch.

The home side's first sight of goal arrived with 20 minutes on the clock, Troy Brown steering David Noble's corner well wide of the target.

Then Keith Lowe, his defensive partner, almost steered a long ball into his own net. Fortunately, the ball skidded a foot wide.

Gornell was lively in the opening 45 minutes and fashioned a couple of shooting chances without testing Barry Roche in the Morcambe goal.

But the Liverpudlian's industry drew a clumsy foul by Mark Hughes on the stroke of half time for which the Shrimps' skipper was cautioned. 

The striker also went into the book for dissent, but the incident had handed his side the chance to break the deadlock.

Richards whipped in the free-kick, which evaded everyone in the box and beat Roche to his right to hand Cheltenham a valuable lead at the break.

Morecambe lost Hughes within a minute of the restart when he was carded for a poor challenge on Deering in midfield, resulting in his marching orders.

Six minutes later, Cheltenham were gifted a golden opportunity to double their advantage when Robbie Threlfall was adjudged to have handled Sido Jombati's cross from the right.

Unfortunately from a Cheltenham perspective, Richards' saw his effort clawed away by Roche diving to his left.

Cheltenham made the numerical advantage count with 62 minutes played, Gornell with a fine solo effort which looked to have taken a defection on its way through, not that bothered the striker or the home faithful.

A sweeping move involving Noble, McGlashan and ultimately Cureton perhaps should have ended in a third, but Roche got down well to prevent the evergreen striker adding his 251st career goal. 

Cureton was replaced by Harrison for the final 19 minutes of the game, who added the third goal on the night when a catalogue of defensive errors allowed the striker to calmly side foot home under Roche from a time angle down the left.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-4-2): S Brown; Jombati, Lowe, T Brown, Richards; Noble, McGlashan (Kotwica 88), Deering, Taylor (Williams 85); Cureton © (Harrison 69), Gornell. Subs not used: Elliott, Roberts (Gk), Penn, Hanks.

MORECAMBE (4-5-1): Roche; Wright, Parrish, Hughes ©, Threlfall; Fleming, Drummond (Diagne 65), Williams (McGee 80), Kenyon, Ellison (Mwasile 72); Amond. Subs not used: Bell, Arestidou (Gk).


ATTENDANCE: 2,050 (54 from Morecambe)


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