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21 October 2023 Venue The Completely-Suzuki Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

Report and reaction: Robins 1-0 Cambridge United

21 October 2023

Liam Sercombe’s moment of magic inspired Town to a first win of the season, a 1-0 victory over Cambridge United at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium.

In the fifth minute, Sercombe audaciously chipped Jack Stevens in the U’s goal to set the Robins on their way.

“We started the game really well and a great goal from Liam (Sercombe),” said Darrell Clarke post-match.

“He’s got that in his locker and credit must go down to the players who have bought into what we are trying to do in the last two/three weeks.

“We didn’t give too many chances away and defended our box superbly.”

The Robins were on the front foot from the first whistle with Liam Smith and Rob Street forcing Stevens into a pair of saves early on.

However, the goalkeeper could do nothing wto stop Sercombe’s effort from opening the scoring.

The midfielder picked the ball up outside the penalty box and caught Stevens off his line and unleashed the perfect lobbed effort into the top corner.

Clarke’s rejuvenated Robins continued to dictate play with Tom Bradbury’s snapshot saved down low before goalscorer Sercombe nearly doubled the lead with a blazing right footed effort.

The visitors started to grow into the game with Fejiri Okenabirhie having a couple of efforts before Michael Morrison headed over.

This only drove the Robins on further in their pursuit of a second goal with Street glancing a header agonisingly wide after having a close range shot blocked just before the break.

The same pattern continued at the beginning of the second period with James Olayinka bringing the ball down in the box before his shot from a tight angle was saved.

United hit back with a series of chances around the hour mark but were only able to force Luke Southwood into a save on one occasion when he held Gassan Ahadme’s header.

Another header from Street threatened to double the Robins’ tally with 20 minutes to play, but for Stevens clawing it above the crossbar.

His strike partner Will Goodwin went closest next with a stooping header that ended up being blocked in a melee of bodies.

With the clock ticking closer to the 90, substitute Elliot Bonds’ perfectly weighted ball picked out Smith whose driven effort was blocked by a sliding Cambridge defender.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Southwood; Long (c), Bradbury, Freestone; Smith, Sercombe, Thompson, Olayinka (Bonds 62), Ferry (B. Williams 84); Street (Lloyd 75), Goodwin. Subs not used: Harris (Gk), Malcolm, Keena, Butler-Oyedeji

CAMBRIDGE UNITED (4-2-3-1): Stevens; L. Bennett, R. Bennett, Morrison (c), Andrew (Gordon 65), Digby (Lankester 86), Thomas (Kaikai 64), Brophy, May (Cousins 77), Ahadme, Okenabirhie (Janneh 77). Subs not used: Mannion (Gk), Ibsen Rossi

REFEREE: E Duckworth

ATTENDANCE: 3,800 (481 from Cambridge)

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