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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:00 22nd November 2013
By  Russell Maggs

Full Time: Robins 0, Newport 0

The Robins were held to a goalless draw by Newport County in this afternoon's SkyBet League Two fixture.

The result was a repeat of the last competitive meeting between the two sides back in 1997.

It was an end to end encounter from start to finish, that Cheltenham had the better of. Yates' men limited the visitors to attacks on the break and did not allow County to get a foothold in the game.

Cureton came close on several occasions as the second half drew to a close and Gornell shot just wide moments before the final whistle. The game played host to some brilliant passing exchanges but neither side were able to capitalise on good periods of play.

The best chance of the afternoon fell to Conor Washington, one-on-one with Scott Brown, the Robins keeper won the psychological battle, making himself big as Washington's shot bounced back off the upright. 

A back-post scramble earned the visitors all three points in the final stages, but for a fine goal line clearance courtesy of Russ Penn.

Mark Yates named the same starting eleven the earned a deserved victory against Wycombe last Saturday.

Sido Jombatti kept his place in the starting XI and made his 100th start for the Robins in front of another health crowd at the Abbey Business Stadium.

The only change meant a fit again Jermaine McGlashan returned to the squad in place of Keith Lowe. The defender was loaned out to York City on Friday with a view  to a permenant move.

Newport Country remained unchanged following their FA Cup replay win against Braintree.

The only addition to Jimmy Dack's squad is George Barker. The striker joined from Brighton as an emergency loan signing until January. Barker joined late on Friday afternoon after receiving international clearance.

Yates maintained the diamond formation in midfield as Taylor sat deep and Deering supported the front men.

County operate a wing-back formation and the Robins front men applied plenty of pressure throughout the opening stages, trying to pick holes in the visiting defence with neat passing play.

It was an exciting, end to end first half as both teams looked good in possession.

However, the quality both teams displayed in attack was cancelled out by the grit and determination of either sides defence.

Steve Elliott was a rock at the back for Cheltenham and controlled his back line well.

Whilst despite a questionable opening 10 minutes for Adedeji Oshilaja and Adam Yakubu, the visiting defence grew into the game as County put more men behind the ball.
 
Deering, Harrison and Cureton all looked threatening in attack, each were allowed plenty of time on the ball but were unable to find a break through.

Cheltenham often looked dominant in possession. Newport however, looked dangerous on the counter.

And Steve Elliott almost became a victim of the quick break, as Conor Washington ran at the Cheltenham back line.

The veteran defender quickly put an end to proceedings with a two footed challenge on the striker, conceding a free kick and picking up a yellow card in the process.

On another day, he may not have been so lucky to walk away with just a caution.

The visitor's wasted the first clear cut opportunity of the half. Ryan Jackson received the ball on the right flank and beat Richards and Braham-Barrett as he accelerated into the box.

As the wide man leant backwards, winding up his shot, he fired high over the bar and into the roof of the LMI terrace.

Sam Deering impressed once again with his passing play but the midfielder, who featured on seven occasions during two loan spells for the visitors, almost had the crowd on their feet as he shot just wide from 20 yards out.

A clever Noble corner found the head of Jombatti but his effort was blocked before having a chance to challenge the keeper. As the half drew to a close, Steve Elliott fired just over from 18 years out as County struggled to clear their lines.

Half Time: Cheltenham Town 0-0 Newport County

The second half started slowly for both sides.

Chapman was cautioned early on for a foul on Jombatti as he danced through the three county players and Richards saw a deflected shot easily collected by Lenny Pidgeley in an otherwise uneventful opening period.

It was the visitor's that sparked the game into life in front of the traveling fans.

A long ball forward landed kindly at the feet of Washington. The striker faced up to Scott Brown, one-on-one in front of goal and his powerful strike that looked destined to take the lead rebounded back off the post.
 
From that moment, both sides looked much more threatening.

Richards bounded through the County half and deep into the box but was denied as he looked to pull the tackle by a stern Yakubu 6-yards out.

Steve Elliott did well to deny Christian Jolley in the Robins area after the wide-man had cut inside past Braham-Barrett looking to force an opening.

Just after the hour, McGlashan and Gornell replaced Richards and Harrison respectively.

McGlashan was immediately involved on the right wing. He was found by Deering and did well to excite the fans and earn a corner.

His quick feet earned Oshilaja a yellow card and the Robins a free-kick but neither opportunity led to a goal scoring opportunity.

Penn replaced Deering with 18 minutes remaining and was involved early on as he stole the ball from the path of a County pass. The early shot looked on but he laid ball wide to Cureton who shot straight at Pidgeley between the County sticks.

The Robins struggled to create a clear cut opportunity as Gornell found space to turn in the box but his shot was too easily collected by Pidgeley.

As the game came to a close, Cureton twice came close to clinching the win. The striker dragged a shot agonisingly wide of goal before heading well wide from an unmarked position.

Russ Penn was on hand to save a point for the Robins. A long ball deep to the back post resulted in a five man scramble. The ball emerged in the direction of goal before being cleared off the line by the Robin's substitute.

Terry Gornell had the chance to grab a winner just before the final whistle but his shot whipped wide of  goal from 18-yards out.

Full Time:
Cheltenham Town 0-0 Newport County

Cheltenham Town FC (4-4-2 Diamond): Brown (GK); Jombatti, Elliott (c), Brown, Braham-Barrett; Noble, Taylor, Richards (McGlashan '65), Deering (Penn '72); Harrison (Gornell '65), Cureton.

Subs not used: Roberts (GK), Hanks, Kotwica, Vincent.

Newport County AFC (3-5-2):
Pidgely (GK); Oshilaja, Worley, Yakubu (c); Jackson, Naylor, Chapman (Minshull '78), Willmott, Jolley (Barker '84); Washington, Crow.

Subs not used: Stephens (GK), Hughes, Jones, Flynn.

Referee: Mr. Andrew Madley

Attendance: 3,501 (964 visiting fans)

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