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Young Robins Hit The Spot

20 February 2013

A Cheltenham Town XI defeated Cirencester Town on penalties to book their spot in the next round of the County Cup.

Cheltenham Town progressed to the second round of the Gloucestershire Senior Challenge Cup with a penalty shoot-out win at Cirencester Town this evening.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes with Bobbie Dale scoring for the Robins after Jack Smith had given Cirencester the lead.

Cheltenham Town fielded a young side with the outfield positions filled entirely by Scholarship players. Second choice goalkeeper Connor Roberts received a valuable outing between the posts.

Cirencester got off the mark as early as the eighth minute when forward Shane Bumphrey met a cross from the left with a firm header that bounced back off the bar and Jack Smith reacted quickest to head into the empty net.

Smith almost grabbed a second 14 minutes later when Sam Packer supplied him with a pass inside the penalty area but Roberts got out quickly to block the shot with his legs.

Cheltenham were beginning to show some signs of promise on the counter-attack and they drew level on 24 minutes with a well-taken goal. Ed Williams received the ball wide on the right and crossed for Bobbie Dale, who found the space to chest it down and guide a shot beyond former Welsh international goalkeeper Glyn Garner.

First Joe Hanks then Dale shot wide as Cheltenham began to grow in confidence then, right at the start of the second half, Zack Kotwica got clean through with only Garner to beat but also hit his shot wide of the target.

Veteran striker Scott Griffin forced a flying save from Roberts when he shot from distance and Ellis Dunton headed over from a corner taken by substitute Dan Roberts as the game continued to produce chances at both ends.

Kyle Pitts of Cirencester went into the referee's book for a foul on Owen Donaghue five minutes from the end and Cheltenham finished the second half strongly with Dale breaking free on the right and crossing for Kotwica, whose shot was blocked by a defender.

Referee Thomas Blanch took the tie straight to penalties and although Harry Williams saw his shot saved by Garner, all other Cheltenham penalty takers scored. Joe Hanks, Michael Gonzalo, Zack Kotwica and Ed Williams found the net for the Robins. Cirencester's Jon Beeden fired his penalty over the bar and Connor Roberts made a good save from Kieran Jones.

CIRENCESTER TOWN (4-3-3): Garner (GK); James, Pitts, Beeden, Dunton; Packer (Roberts 63), O'Brien, Hooper (Bond 46); Smith, Griffin (Jones 76), Bumphrey

CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-1-4-1): Roberts (GK); Keightley, Hamilton, Gonzalo, Bowen; H.Williams; Donaghue, Hanks, E.Williams, Kotwica; Dale.

Other subs: Rivers (GK), Whitehead, Marshall, Jones, Powell

REFEREE: T.Blanch 

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