Young Robins progress to the second round of the FA Youth CupYouth team forwards Harry Williams and Bobbie Dale both scored hat-tricks tonight as the Under-18s defeated Maidenhead United 8-0 in the first round of the FA Youth Cup at the Abbey Business Stadium.
Cheltenham took control from the early stages and raced into a 5-0 lead at half-time, also missing a penalty when the score was only 1-0.
The young Robins will now play against either AFC Wimbledon or Farnborough in round two. Their round one match takes place tomorrow evening at Wimbledon.
Cheltenham made a high energy start to the game with players attacking at pace right across the pitch. Zack Kotwica, in particular, began to cause mayhem down the right-hand side and two promising crosses went begging before the opening goal arrived on 17 minutes.
Kotwica got past left-back Shaun Downes and when goalkeeper Michael Pearce was unable to hold his low cross, Harry Williams followed up to score from 10 yards out.
The lead should have been doubled two minutes later when Williams ran onto a pass from Adam Powell with a delicate first touch and was brought down in the area. Joe Hanks took the spot kick but Pearce was equal to it with a fine save.
Williams then hooked a shot over the bar from yet another Kotwica cross but the second goal arrived on the half hour mark when a throw-in from the right landed at the feet of Williams once again. The youngster from Charlton Kings produced a sharp turn and low cross to find Bobbie Dale on the edge of the six yard box. Although his initial shot was blocked by Pearce, Dale followed up to net the rebound.
Cheltenham continued to press forward and once again it was Kotwica the supplier on 38 minutes when he again ran down the right and laid the ball back into the path of Hanks, whose low shot went under the goalkeeper's dive.
Two minutes later the fourth goal arrived when Kotwica, this time attacking through the middle, played the ball out to right back Kieron Thomas, arriving at pace, and his low angled drive skidded inside the far post.
Dale scored his second of the game in the final minute of the first half when he ran onto a left wing cross from James Bowen and beat Pearce with a low drive.
Only six minutes had elapsed at the start of the second half when the scoring started again. Bowen again got down the left and his when his cross was touched on into space by Dale, Williams arrived to take a touch before firing past Pearce.
Bowen then supplied Powell with a cross and Pearce made a scrambling save at his far post from the midfielder; but the seventh goal arrived on 61 minutes when Kotwica found Dale down the right and his cross was turned in by Williams for an impressive hat-trick.
Dale completed his own hat-trick 10 minutes later when Bowen crossed from the left and he sidestepped a defender with a lovely first touch before rolling a shot beyond Pearce.
Maidenhead had shown little as an attacking force during the game but striker Jason Belgrave pulled a great save from goalkeeper Dale Reaney 15 minutes from time when his volley from the edge of the box was pushed aside.
Cheltenham Town (4-2-3-1): Reaney; Thomas, Gonzalo, Hamilton, Keightley (Marshall 60); Hanks, Powell; Kotwica, H.Williams (E.Williams 67), Bowen; Dale (Morana 76). Other subs: Rivers (Gk), Hitchman
Maidenhead United (4-1-3-2): Pearce; Mew, Baker-Timms, Baddeley, Downes (Osei-Bonsu 44); Davis; Chapple, Debattista, Mataka (Jones 60), Hoad (Berry 46); Belgrave. Other subs: Richardson, Smith
Robins Star Man: Harry Williams - A hat trick for the youngster and a superb performance in the hole for the Robins.