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21:30 11th August 2015
By  George Smith

Full-time: Robins 0 Shots 0

Cheltenham Town will feel unlucky to have only drawn their first home game of the season at the World of Smile Stadium against Aldershot, with the match finishing 0-0. Both teams had good chances but Cheltenham will feel hard done by with three shots hitting the post and two goals ruled out for offside.

After a slow start with neither team able to keep hold of the ball, Cheltenham burst into life and were unlucky not to score three times in 8 minutes.

First in the fourth minute, Aldershot Keeper Phil Smith, who once had a trial with the Robins, flapped at a Jack Munns corner with his punch giving the ball straight to Amari Morgan-Smith whose header was well cleared off the line by Jake Gallagher.

Morgan-Smith was involved again moments later when his perfectly weighted through ball over the top found Danny Wright, who brought the ball down well and then fired past the ball past the keeper, only to be denied by the post.

Cheltenham then did manage to get the ball in the back of the net in the 12th minute , when Aaron Downes' knock-down found Morgan-Smith, who headed home, only for the linesman to disallow the goal for off-side.

With the hosts unable to capatalise on any of their early chances, Aldershot grew more into the game and had good chances of their own.

Midfielder Jake Gallagher stormed through the middle and was well tackled by Downes, only for the Cheltenham skipper to be strangely booked by referee Brett Huxtable.

In the 26th minute Rhys Browne strolled possibly too easily through a number of tackles and was through on goal, only to fire wide from 12 yards out.

Minutes later Dan Walker broke down the left and fired across goal, the ball deflected off Jack Barthram but thankfully from a Cheltenham point of view looped over everyone and away from danger.

Daniel Parslow also did well to block a fierce shot from the edge of the box before a cross from Jim Stevenson found Gallagher at the back post, only for his tame shot to be saved easily by Dillon Phillips in the Cheltenham goal.

Aldershot also thought they'd won a penalty in the 36th minute when Rhys Browne went down inside the box following a challenge from Kyle Storer, but the referee waved away the protests from the visiting fans and players alike.

Following that sustained period of pressure from Aldershot, the Robins were finally able to get hold of the ball and start to threaten at the other end. They finished the second half much the stronger and again were unlucky not to take the lead before the break.

Harry Pell's cross was just too high for Morgan-Smith before a well judged cross from Munns found Billy Wright and the strikers' powerful header stuck the inside of the post, but no one in red and white were able to follow it in as the ball was cleared.

The second half was much more of an end-to-end affair with both sides having good chances to break the deadlock.

Cheye Alexander almost fired the visitors in front but his 30-yard thunderbolt went just wide of the target.

Storer then beautifully put Barthram through down the right, his cutback found Munns who could only fire over when put under pressure in the box.

Both teams then brought on fresh faces, with Asa Hall coming on for Billy Waters to make his home debut, alongside Joshua Cooke coming on for Morgan-Smith to make his first appearance for the Robins.Tom Richards replaced Gallagher for Aldershot as both teams looked to press forward.

The match continued in it's end-to-end nature, with both teams lacking the final ball and quality in front of goal. Munns had a shot blocked inside the box and captain Downes did well to sweep up after Stevenson beat Parslow in the air and was through on goal. 

Harry Pell was booked in the 60th minute for a crunching tackle on Stevenson in the middle of the park as the game lacked any real fluidity.

Rhys Browne almost produced a piece of magic to open the scoring on 65 minutes. He skillfully skipped past a couple of tackles in the box, only to be thwarted bravely inside the six yard box by the outrushing Phillips.

Cheltenham did eventually manage to have an extended period of pressure. Harry Pell headed wide after a good cross from George McLennan before Asa Hall's flying volley was blocked by two defenders inside the six yard box from a Jack Munns cross. 

Back came Aldershot however, creating two good chances to try and snatch a late victory. Downes covered brilliantly and produced a sprawling block from Tom Richards' shot after he had dribbled through the middle.

Charlie Walker's shot was then turned over the bar by Phillips after Tom Richards had done well down the left to cut the ball back.

Cheltenham again thought they had scored in the 87th minute when Storer's  shot was pushed onto the post by Smith and Jack Barthram put the rebound home, only for the linesman to rule him offside.

Hall's 91st minute shot just went over the bar from 20 yards and the match finished in a stalemate.


Cheltenham Town

Dillon Phillips
Jack Barthram, Aaron Downes (C), Daniel Parslow, George McLennan
Harry Pell, Kyle Storer, Jack Munns, Billy Waters (57, Asa Hall)
Amari Morgan-Smith (57, Joshua Cooke), Danny Wright

Aldershot Town

Phil Smith (c)
Cheye Alexander, Luke Oliver, Omar Beckles, Nick Anderton
Damon Lathrope, Jack Gallagher (61, Tom Richards)
Dan Walker, Jim Stevenson, Rhys Browne (74, Charlie Walker)
Matthew Barnes-Homer

Referee- Brett Huxtable

Attendance 2552 (280)


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