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Match Reports

Cheltenham v. York, 12.1.12

12 January 2013

Full-time: Cheltenham Town 1-1 York City

Shaun Harrad's eighth goal of the season handed lacklustre Cheltenham Town a share of the points against York City at the Abbey Business Stadium.
Mark Yates' side looked set to notch their ninth home win of the campaign after taking the lead with a little over 20 minutes remaining however Jason Walker, the York striker, struck six minutes from time to earn his side a point from a forgettable contest. 
In leaking the equaliser so late the Robins missed the chance to return to third spot, finishing the day in fifth.
It was a dour ending to a week that will live long in the memory of the home support.
Yates made three changes to the side that took on the might of Everton five days ago, leaving out Alan Bennett, Jermaine McGlashan and Kaid Mohamed for this one.
In came Keith Lowe, at the heart of defence, while Jake Taylor and Shaun Harrad were pressed into attack.
Yates paired Harrad and Jeff Goulding up front, using Marlon Pack in a deeper midfield role behind the trio of (from the right) Russ Penn, Darren Carter and Taylor.
Penn, Monday night's outstanding performer, was handed the armband on a bitterly cold and blustery Gloucestershire afternoon.
The first half was desperately low on drama and entertainment, a scrappy contest with limited goal mouth action to cheer the frozen faithful.
Patrick McLaughlin had called Scott Brown into a comfortable save, the first of the match, from over 20 yards with ten minutes on the clock.
Keith Lowe went closest for Cheltenham, meeting Billy Jones' inswinging corner kick with a firm enough header that flew narrowly over over the target.
Other than that there was a yellow card for Penn, perhaps harshly for a challenge on Jamal Fyfield - the first of five for the home team - and a tame daisycutter by Goulding approaching the interval.
The problem stemmed from York matching the Robins in formation, leaving the midfield area conjested and the wide areas redundant.
Harrad was presented with the first chance of the second period, smashing a 20-yarder high and wide while at the other end, Matty Blair brought about a smart low save from Brown after a neat move down the right.
York goalkeeper Michael Ingham then produced a block to deny Harrad, and Pack rifled a 25-yard free-kick well over before Yates made the first move.
His double substition saw widemen Mohamed and McGlashan replace Goulding and Carter, and its impact was instant with Harrad breaking the deadlock only three minutes later.
Pack provided the cross from the left, Mohamed applied a decisive touch and the frontman did the rest to notch his eighth goal of the campaign and first since September.
Unfortunately David McGurk, the York centre half, was injured in the build up to the goal and was forced out of the game through injury, leaving the pitch on a stretcher.
Tom Allan took his place, and the Minstermen went on to make a pair of changes of their own as they chased the game.
It almost paid dividends when Blair fashioned a shooting chance 13 minutes from time, but Brown was equal to it.
But York found an equaliser with six minutes remaining after Pack had hauled down Fyfield 30 yards from goal as his side countered from a Cheltenham corner kick.
Scott Kerr lifted it in, Chris Smith nodded it across the face of goal and Walker stabbed home at the far post.
McGlashan, and then Harrad had late opportunities to restore the lead, but Ingham got across well to deny the pair with a fantastic double stop in injury time.
Steve Elliott was left with the final opportunity of the game, but the centre half dragged wide his effort from 12 yards.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-4-2): Brown; Jombati, Lowe, Elliott. Jones; Penn (c), Pack, Carter (McGlashan 65), Taylor; Goulding (Mohamed 65), Taylor (Deering 90). Subs not used: Duffy, Roberts (Gk), Bennett, Hanks. 

YORK CITY (4-4-2): Ingham; Oyebanjo, McGurk, Smith (c), Fyfield; Potts (Challinor 73), Parslow, Kerr, McLaughlin (Reed 73); Blair, Walker. Subs not used: Musselwhite (Gk), Bullock, McReady, Platt, Allan.

REFEREE: Darren Bond

ATTENDANCE: 2,881 (266 from York)

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