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Match Reports

Cheltenham v. Rochdale, 25.1.13

25 January 2013

Full Time: Robins 0-0 Rochdale

The Robins were held to a point by visitors Rochdale during and end to end encounter in which neither side really troubled the opposing keeper.

The game was played out in difficult conditions, heavy wind and rain battered the Abbey Business Stadium for much of the game.

Keith Lowe had the best of Cheltenham's opportunities. The defender forced a strong save from the Dale keeper midway through the second half and saw his dangerous effort from the edge of the box deflected wide of goal. 

The recent snowfall has provided one of the major talking points of the week for the Robins after last Friday's snowfall left the ground carpeted in snow. Much of the snow had thawed away by this morning but the problem had become the frost. This afternoon The Abbey Business Stadium pitch passed an inspection and sparked a mass effort to clear the remaining snow from the surface. 

Mark Yates kept the same starting 11 that played out a scoreless draw away at Morecambe 7 days ago. New loan signing Luke McCullough was an unused substitute and watched the game from game on the bench after signing from Manchester United this morning. Meanwhile, Darren Carter remained sidelined with an injury after signing a deal to keep him with the Robins until the end of the season.

The game started at a high tempo but there were few clear cut chances for either side. The first chance of the half came when Kennedy fouled Harrad on edge of box. The resulting free kick was fired straight at the wall, Sam Deering couldn't keep the rebound down and volleyed high and wide of goal.

It was Kennedy who would have Rochdale's first notable attempt on goal, he picked the ball up in the midfield and ran at the Cheltenham defence before placing a shot just left of Scott Brown's goal from the edge of the box.

In an end to end start to the game, clever link up play from Rochdale found Ashley Grimes in space on the edge of the Cheltenham 18-yard area, the striker had time to place his shot but could only curl his right footed effort past the post. A lobbed shot from range courtesy of Bobby Grant troubled Scott Brown shortly after and forced a corner for the visitors. 

In a half of few opportunities, the best effort for Cheltenham fell to Steve Elliott who headed just wide of goal from a Billy Jones corner midway through the first half.

Deering and McGlashan swapped flanks midway through the the opening 45 minutes and Cheltenham seemed to step up a gear. The wind was playing havoc with balls being crossed into the box and when a scuffed Rochdale clearance fell to Phil Edwards he appeared to handle the ball only for the referee to dismiss Cheltenham's penalty appeals.

It was the visitors who would have the final chance of the half. Tutte and Grimes linked up well for Dale, they played the ball to Grant on the right wing who fired his right footed shot pwerfully over Brown's crossbar. Joe Rafferty was booked on the brink of half time following a clumsy challenge on an advancing McGlashan.

Half Time: Cheltenham Town 0-0 Rochdale

Cheltenham started the second half most brightly. Sido Jombati got on the end of a Billy Jones corner but his header fell wide of goal. 

But following that the opening to the second 45 was very similar to the start of the first. Again, it was an end to end affair with neither side troubling the opposing keeper with chances at a premium. An injured Terry Gornell was replaced by Dele Adebola on 56 minutes who wasn't able to continue following a tackle by Elliott.

Keith Lowe was the first to test Josh Lillis with a shot on target. A long ball from Russ Penn found him unmarked in the box but the defender fired his shot straight at the Dale keeper and there was no one available to knock in the rebound.

Reading Loanee Jake Taylor replaced Jermaine McGlashan with 10 minutes remaining. Moments later, Mohamed's headed shot from a Jones corner failed to test the Dale Keeper and dropped nicely into his arms.

As the game came to a close, Lowe was troubling the Dale defence once again. Peter Cavanagh found his way into the referee's notebook after fouling Pack and from the resulting free kick Keith Lowe's dangerous shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide.

Full Time: Cheltenham Town 0-0 Rochdale

Cheltenham Town FC (4-4-2): Brown; Jombati, Lowe, Elliott, Jones; McGlashan (Taylor 78), Penn (c), Pack, Deering (Duffy 65); Mohamed, Harrad (Goulding 85).

Subs not used: Roberts (GK) Bennett, McCullough, Hanks.

Rochdale FC (4-4-2): Lillis, Rafferty, Bennett, Edwards, McIntryre; Tutte, Cavanagh, Kennedy, Grant, Gornell (Adebola 56), Grimes (Haworth).

Subs not used: Barry-Murphy, Donnelly, Pearson, Byrne, Smith (GK)

Referee: Mr. Rob Lewis

Attendance: 2,348 (124 away fans)

Robins Star Man: Marlon Pack

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