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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:55 19th November 2016
By  Sean Watts

REPORT: Cheltenham Town 1-1 Portsmouth

Cheltenham and Portsmouth played out a 1-1 draw in an entertaining game at The LCI Rail Stadium.

The away side might have felt they should have been ahead at the break after Russell Griffiths made a number of saves to keep it goalless.

Cheltenham drew first blood with 25 minutes to go as Daniel O’Shaughnessy found a way past David Forde from inside the box.

But Portsmouth found an equaliser late on through Michael Smith to mean that the points were shared out equally.

The game started in an end-to-end fashion as both sides tried to get on the front foot, but Cheltenham felt aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty when it seemed as if Danny Wright was brought down when he was through on goal after four minutes.

Portsmouth’s first chance came just a few minutes later when Kyle Bennett played a clever one-two inside the box and unleashed a side-footed shot, but Russell Griffiths was equal to it to push the ball away.

And the Everton-loanee had to be on his toes again on 23 minutes when Wright headed the ball back towards his own goal and somehow Griffiths managed to block it with his feet.

Cheltenham were carving out chances of their own, though, and Jack Barthram might feel he could have done better when Wright gifted the ball to him inside the box and his shot ended up going over the crossbar.

Just before half time Portsmouth should have taken the lead when a dangerous cross was whipped directly into the path of Carl Baker, but his diving header was fantastically saved by Griffiths.

After the break it was the away side who started stronger as Gary Roberts and Conor Chapman both had their efforts saved by Griffiths.

Minutes later Pompey went close again as Bennett found some space just inside the box and hit a low shot towards goal, but his effort smashed the near post and bounced wide.

But Cheltenham withstood the pressure and managed to get themselves back into the game, and arguably should have gone ahead when Pell knocked the ball across to Wright – but his volley flew inches over the crossbar.

The Robins then did take the lead on 65 minutes when the ball fell to O’Shaughnessy after some pinball in the box, and he squeezed the ball past Forde to send the Cheltenham fans into pandemonium.

The scoreline should have been doubled 10 minutes later when another ball into the box caused havoc for the Pompey defence, but Rob Dickie’s shot was dragged just wide of the post.

And Cheltenham lived to regret that miss as with just seven minutes to go Portsmouth found an equaliser when Griffiths spilled a shot, leaving substitute Smith to prod the ball in from close range.

Cheltenham Town: R Griffiths, A Downes (C), D Parslow, D O’Shaughnessy (J Cranston, 90), R Dickie, J Barthram (E Suliman, 90), H Pell, J Rowe, B Waters, D Holman, D Wright.

Unused Subs: C Kitscha, D Whitehead, J Munns, K Arthur, A Morgan-Smith.

Portsmouth: D Forde, E Stevens, D Rose, M Clarke, C Burgess, C Baker, M Doyle (C) G Roberts (K Naismith, 82), C Chaplin (N Hunt, 82), K Bennett (M Smith, 75), G Evans.

Unused Subs: L O’Brien, M Lalkovic, J Whatmough, D Talbot.

Attendance: 4,702 (1537).

    QUICK FACTS

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