Cheltenham Town recorded a solid 1-0 win over Morecambe here at the Globe Arena this afternoon and made it 8 games unbeaten in Sky Bet League 2.
Troy Brown's winning goal handed Mark Yates and Cheltenham a vital 3 points late on into the game but it was no more than what Cheltenham deserved in a game in which they constantly kept the pressure up on Morecambe's backline.
Cheltenham moved up to 13th in the table and the loyal travelling fans left the Globe Arena with big smiles after seeing a well deserved victory.
A typically cold matchday in Morecambe for travelling supporters kicked off with the teamsheets confirming no changes for Mark Yates' Robins, rewarding a starting eleven who produced a strong performance away at Southend in the previous weekend. Jermaine McGlashan sat alongside Harrison in his new role of striker as the diamond was entrusted against a Morecambe side capable of producing a difficult afternoon. The Shrimps were missing their talisman Kevin Ellison due to a fractured eye socket but Jim Bentley was looking for his player to avenge an earlier 3-0 defeat back at the Abbey Business Stadium in October.
A one minute applause was met superbly by both sets of fans ahead of kick off in memory of the late Nelson Mandela but it was back to business as the referee blew for the start of the game and Cheltenham were immediately looking to supply their front men. There were positive signs early on although it was Morecambe that had the first effort of the game but Sampson's curled effort was wide and posed no problem for Brown in goal. Cheltenham's first chance came from winger turner striker Jermaine McGlashan who whistled a shot past the far post just inches from it's target but the Robins had to be alert soon after with Brown making a good save from Fleming's strike on the edge of the box. It was a good start to the game but Cheltenham could have seriously tested Roche after 15 minutes when a cross from Jombati was flicked on into the path of Richards at the back post but the midfielder's effort was over the bar when it really should have hit the target.
A yellow card for David Noble was picked up shortly before the 20 minute mark but the midfielder had a decent shot saved by Roche following a Cheltenham freekick but again Morecambe came close, this time through Alex Kenyon, with a long range strike sweeping past Brown's goal. Cheltenham then had a succession of good chances in front of goal with Barry Roche denying them every time. A long range shot from Taylor was picked up by McGlashan in the area leaving him one on one with Roche but the big goalkeeper made a good save at McGlashan's feet to deny Cheltenham an opening goal. That effort sparked a good few minutes for the Robins but Roche was forced to pull off a magnificent save from a Byron Harrison header at the back post following a good cross from the left foot of Braham-Barrett. Roche in magnificent form and firmly to thank for keeping Morecambe level in the early stages.
A good opportunity for Jack Redshaw went begging five minutes from half time with Brown quickly saving at his feet following a good through ball from the veteran Stewart Drummond but Morecambe were certainly asking questions of the Cheltenham backline. Efforts from Richards and Harrison continued to pressure Roche in the Morecambe goal but a goalmouth scramble seconds before half time really should have handed Cheltenham the lead with 4 or 5 efforts on target all being blocked by a desperate Morecambe defence but a final effort from Troy Brown was volleyed wide to end the scramble. Cheltenham should have been in front but they had to settle for a 0-0 draw at the break.
Half Time: Morecambe 0-0 Cheltenham Town
An opening effort from Kemar Roofe did little to inspire anyone at the start of this half as it flew high and wide but Cheltenham weren't doing a lot wrong in this game and still chances could not be taken. Roofe, who was performing well, almost gave McGlashan a breakthrough with a chipped ball over the head of Parrish but McGlashan's effort was once again well saved by Roche. Cheltenham were deserving of a lead but Morecambe continued to hold a threat over Cheltenham however and they came close when a ball dropped into the back post was headed just over the bar by Sampson.
Cheltenham needed someone to change the game for them and who better than Jamie Cureton? The veteran striker replaced the hard working Roofe on 64 minutes and strode up front whilst McGlashan dropped to the point of the diamond. Again Cheltenham continued to threaten and Jason Taylor came close to celebrating a wonderful goal as he caught a volley well on the edge of the box but his effort smashed into the side netting much to his frustration. You could sense that Morecambe were starting to succumb to Cheltenham's pressure but the Robins were snatching at chances and pressure started to mount. Harrison failed to control a looped ball over the backline and couldn't get a shot in at goal but it was an effort at the other end of the pitch on 78 minutes that almost had the home fans on their feet. Stewart Drummond broke through the defence to make contact with a scintillating cross from Amond at the back post but the veteran's header was wide of goal when it really should have been in the back of the net. A horrendous miss from the midfielder.
If you were a Cheltenham fan then the prospect of travelling 180 miles back home without seeing a goal was a dismal one but they needn't have worried because on 79 minutes the Robins finally broke the deadlock and deservedly so. A freekick was awarded to Cheltenham after Threlfall's foul on McGlashan deep on the right wing and Matt Richard's set piece was delivered to the head of Jombati on the back post. The Portuguese right back's header came back across the face of goal and Troy Brown could not miss as he smashed the ball in from close range. It was a deserved goal for the Robins and the noise erupting from the away end was music to Yates' ears as they chanted his name.
This game was far from over with minutes still to play and Mark Yates was continually barking out instructions from the touchline in an attempt to urge his Robins over the finish line. Yates introduced Connor Goldson in place of David Noble as injury time beckoned and the defender, making his debut, became the 200th player to appear for the Robins in the Football League. Goldson didn't have much time to make an impact as the referee blew his whistle three minutes into injury time to signal a deserved win for the Robins and a vital 3 points.
Full Time: Morecambe 0-1 Cheltenham Town
Morecambe FC (4-3-3): Roche (GK); Wright, Hughes (C), Parrish, Threlfall; Drummond (Marshall 87), Kenyon, Fleming; Amond, Sampson (Mwasile 69), Redshaw
Subs not used: Arestidou (GK), Diagne, McCready, McGee, Doyle
Cheltenham Town FC (4-4-2 Diamond): S. Brown (GK); Jombati, T. Brown, Elliott (C), Braham-Barrett; Noble (Goldson 90), Taylor, Richards, Roofe (Cureton 64); Harrison, McGlashan
Subs not used: Roberts (GK), Penn, Deering, Ajala, Gornell
Referee: Mr. Kevin Wright
Attendance: 1,290 (104 from Cheltenham)