Robins fan Matt Pegg hails a new hero as Cheltenham Town snatch a vital victory.
A new Cheltenham hero is born…
My nails were chewed to the point of extinction on Saturday when the 4th official raised his board signalling 4 minutes of added time…
4 minutes until I leave Whaddon Road disappointed at yet another home draw.
4 minutes until the justified grumbles ring out from every stand at the Abbey Business Stadium.
4 minutes until we find ourselves 21st in the table.
4 minutes until I genuinely panic at the thought of a relegation scrap.
With the greatest of respect to AFC Wimbledon, taking a glance at the fixtures during pre-season, most would have had us down to cruise to victory over a side who have struggled to maintain their league status in the last couple of years. However, the Dons controlled much of the first half and concern was mounting as to whether this would be another match that ends in disaster for Cheltenham. The London side, led by former Robins skipper Alan Bennett looked more likely to score in the first 45, moving the ball around competently and showing glimpses of classy football. It was just a relief for most that we didn’t concede in the first few minutes of the game. This has become an unwanted habit that has wormed its way into the very fabric of the team.
However, even more of a relief was the return of summer signing Jamie Cureton making just his second home appearance after a lengthy injury layoff. From his very first touch, you could see his immense talent at this level; calm, composed, intelligent and most importantly, dangerous. And it was in the aforementioned 4 minutes of injury time where his talent told. With literally the penultimate kick of the game Cureton latched onto a Troy Brown header and coolly chipped the ball over Wimbledon’s Ross Worner. Cue the ecstasy from the Robins faithful. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off everyone’s shoulders. No one will be more appreciative of this than Mark Yates, who was in grave danger of falling out of favour with fans.
The importance of the goal on Saturday should not be underestimated. Had we limped to a goalless draw, we would still be carrying around the mantle of no wins at home this season. This type of record would have been an endless drain on confidence for players, staff and fans. It would have also given people license for further criticism, something that now needs to be put to bed. Cureton’s goal has given the team the shock that they needed to go on a run now and climb up the table. The reaction from the boys at the end of the Wimbledon game was a pleasure to watch. Huge smiles, hugs and fist bumps towards to crowd indicated the confidence the result provided.
While on the topic of important goals for Cheltenham, I decided to look to the glorious, boundless world of twitter to ask Robin’s fans what the most important strike in our history was. Here are just some of the responses I received:
@Ralphaelllo: Steve Guinan's in Cardiff...
@MikeStewart1974: Easily Duff/Victory v Yeovil but mentions for the 2nd at Rushden a few weeks before.
@gregnewcombe: We all know the obvious choice but Connor v Doncaster and the 6th against Burton (just for pure unadulterated joy!)
@hEaLeR_CTFC: Rushden & the Yeovil winner.
@MarkHalliwell1: Guinan winner at Cardiff to win play-off final. Grayson at Mansfield, first FL goal. Grayson winner v R&D, Hughes pen in 85 to win SL title. Kayode v Chester (set up Newcastle game), Mo at Hereford (Everton game), Connor v Doncaster to keep us up and the winner against Yeovil.
If you can think of any other important goals in CTFC’s history then let me know on twitter @mattpegg1.
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