An impressive effort from Wade Elliott’s men helped the Robins to a 1-1 draw against Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
Ryan Broom’s clinical finish and a second-half defensive shut out helped Cheltenham maintain keep their unbeaten streak against the Tractor Boys, a run that stretches back to 1938.
Luke Southwood made a significant number of crucial saves throughout the match, and was backed up by some courageous defending across the back line.
Wade Elliott made four changes to the team that lost to Alvechurch Town in the FA Cup, as Christian Norton, Dan Nlundulu, Charlie Raglan and Elliot Bonds all came into the team.
Ipswich scored from their first attempt on goal, after Wes Burns’ flicked header was turned home from point-blank range by Luke Woolfenden.
Marcus Harness then nearly doubled the hosts’ advantage with a left-footed shot that thudded off the underside the of the crossbar and onto the goal line before being cleared.
After Janoi Donacien was forced off injured, substitute Kane Vincent-Young was next to go close as he drilled a shot towards Southwood’s near post, but fortunately the Northern Irishman was equal to it.
Southwood then produced an unbelievable save to deny Edmondson’s diving header, athletically readjusting his body to claw the ball away from goal.
The Robins had their first opportunity when Sean Long released Broom down the right wing. Broom’s cross was dangerous, forcing Vincent-Young to make a vital clearance with Nlundulu lurking.
Magnificent defending from Lewis Freestone prevented a certain goal for Ipswich. After Southwood misjudged a clearing punch, the ball was loose inside the six-yard box, in front of an unprotected goal. With an outstretched leg, Freestone managed to beat both Harness and Conor Chaplin to ball and clear to safety.
The Robins then found an equaliser after James Olayinka slid Broom through on goal. From a tight angle, the Welshman slotted the ball past Christian Walton to restore parity.
Cheltenham nearly took the lead moments later, as once again Olayinka and Broom combined on the right-hand side. Broom then squared the ball to Liam Sercombe, whose scuffed shot was agonizingly close to being turned home by Nlundulu.
The Tractor Boys tested Southwood again just before half time. First, he had to reach Burns’ cross, before scrambling across to deny Humphreys’ follow-up.
In the second half, the hosts looked to retake their lead early on. Freestone and Long both made important blocks to deny Humphreys and Burns respectively.
Broom later made a crucial challenge to deny Freddie Ladapo, just as the striker looked set to pull the trigger from 10 yards out, before moments later Burns had a header fall wide of the post.
Ipswich almost recreated their opening goal as another corner was flicked to the back post, but this time Wolfenden couldn’t guide his header on target.
Kyle Edwards’ dangerous in-swinging delivery caused havoc in the six-yard-box, as between them Southwood, Freestone and Raglan kept out several consecutive efforts through sheer determination, most notably Southwood’s initial reaction save from Ladapo’s header.
With four minutes remaining, Southwood produced yet another fabulous save. This time he denied Kayden Jackson at the near post as he looked to turn home Vincent-Youngs’ cut-back.
In added time, a corner fell at the feet of Panutche Camara, and for all the world he looked like he’d grabbed a heart-breaking winner for the hosts, but the inside of the post denied him.
Robins: Southwood (GK), Long (C), Raglan, Freestone, Broom, Williams (Hutchinson 66’), Bonds, Sercombe, Olayinka (Adshead 71’), Nlundulu (Chapman 84’), Norton (Lloyd 66’)
Unused: MacDonald (GK), Bradbury, Brown
Ipswich: Walton (GK), Donacien (Vincent-Young 16’) Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns (Jackson 73’), Humphreys (Burgess 90’), Morsy, Davis, Chaplin (Camara 90’), Harness (Edwards 73’), Ladapo
Unused: Hladky (GK), Keogh
Attendance: 25,400 (175 away)
Referee: G Eltringham
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