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Match Reports

Cheltenham v. Wycombe, 18.3.14

18 March 2014

Full Time: Robins 1, Wycombe 1

The Robins had to settle for a point as a Wycombe penalty handed the visitors an equaliser against the run of play in tonight's 1-1 draw.

Another stalemate of a first half produced a few chances for either side but it was in the second period that things started to gather momentum and it was the introduction of Byron Harrison that once again forced a goal. Jombati's tempting crossed was headed in by the striker only for Wycombe to be handed a way back into the game from the penalty spot after Elliott brought down Jo Kuffour. Dean Morgan made no mistake from the spot and the Chairboys secured what would be a vital equaliser and point.

Cheltenham Town threatened to re-take the lead in the dying embers of the game but Wycombe held on to force a draw under the floodlights.

In what was becoming an increasingly topsy-turvy division, Cheltenham Town had the chance to move closer to an unlikely play-off spot with victory under the floodlights this evening. In their way however was a Wycombe Wanderers side intent on keeping themselves above the relegation battle that was starting to pick up pace in the bottom two positions of League Two. Gareth Ainsworth had been disappointed with their 2-0 defeat at York a few days before and the Robins expected a reaction.

Mark Yates named an unchanged side to face the Chairboys and resisted the temptation to recall Byron Harrison and David Noble who had both made a solid impact during the 1-0 win over Torquay from the bench. For Wycombe? They were without new signing Sam Togwell and the dangerous Paris Cowan-Hall although the returns of Josh Scowen and Matt McClure softened the blow.

An end to end start to the game promised an entertaining evening fixture between these two side and the travelling Wycombe supporters thought their luck was in when Steven Craig buried the ball into the back of the net only to find the referee had already blown his whistle due to a foul on Steve Elliott in the build up. Cheltenham's first real chance came just a few minutes later when neat footwork in and around the area led to an advanced Steve Elliott flicking the ball over the back line of Wycombe with the outside of his boot but Cureton's header was an easy catch for Ingram in goal. The game settled into a possession battle soon after with both teams vying for the ball in central positions but Mitch Brundle had a decent attempt on goal which flew high over the bar and Terry Gornell missed the target a minute later to continue Cheltenham's positive start.

Perhaps the best opportunity of the game came on the half hour mark when Matt Bloomfield found the feet of Kretzschmar inside Cheltenham's area but the Chairboys prospect saw his effort denied with the looming figure of Brown charging down the shot before getting a strong hand to it. The Robins had their own golden opportunity five minutes later when a speculative cross into the box by Deering found the run of Ashley Vincent with the winger's effort missing by a matter of inches. Both teams had now come close but with no reward and Scott Brown was on hand again to deny Kretzschmar from a 20 yard freekick. 

A Terry Gornell header comfortably saved by Ingram in the Wycombe goal and another header from Cureton, again saved by the young shot stopper, proved to be the closest either side could come to grabbing an opener in the final minutes of the first half leaving Mark Yates with a similar team talk to that which he had to conduct at the weekend against Torquay.

Half Time: Cheltenham Town 0-0 Wycombe Wanderers

Gareth Ainsworth's Wycombe very much started on the front foot in this game and had numerous attempts to carve a chance from the left wing and, with the Robins yet to settle, Mark Yates opted to introduce Byron Harrison in place of Terry Gornell less than ten minutes into the half. It wasn't long before Wycombe made their own change with Matt McClure being replaced by Dean Morgan and again the Robins weren't too far behind in introducing David Noble as a replacement for Ashley Vincent.

Those changes gave the game a very different feel and the Chairboys came incredibly close to taking the lead after 63 minutes when Scowen fired a through ball into the path of Craig but the striker could only watch on as his effort came back off the post. The Robins reacted with a shot on goal for McGlashan but it was Sido Jombati that soon had a part to play in what was to be the first goal. A run to the left wing followed by a cross into the area gave Byron Harrison the opportunity he needed to spark the Robins into life and the forward's stooping header was put past Ingram for 1-0 amongst thunderous noise from the home crowd.

Like Saturday the two substitution had made all the difference and an increase in noise from the supporters was getting a reaction from the players as they caused problems for the visitors but all that was swiftly silenced as Wycombe were handed a chance to go level from the spot. Steve Elliott's foul on Kuffour inside the area left the referee with no hesitation and Dean Morgan made no mistake from the spot putting his side back on level terms.

A real blow for the Robins but Jamie Cureton did have a chance to pull his side back in front although he missed a header much to his and the fans frustration. A long range miss from Marvin McCoy threatened the Robins little and a late Richards header was also high above the bar. The Robins pushed and pushed but to no avail and they were forced to settle for a point here at the Abbey Business Stadium.

Full Time: Cheltenham Town 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers

Cheltenham Town FC (4-2-3-1): S Brown (GK); Brundle, T Brown, Elliott (C), Jombati; Deering, Richards; McGlashan, Gornell (Harrison 52), Vincent (Noble 61); Cureton

Subs not used: Roberts (GK), Braham-Barrett, Ihiekwe, Taylor, Noble, Kotwica.

Wycombe Wanderers FC (4-1-3-2): Ingram (GK); McCoy, Stewart, Johnson, Wood; Scowen; Arnold, Bloomfield (C) (Jeffrey 81), Kretzschmar; McClure (Morgan 57), Craig (Kuffour 66)

Subs not used: Horlock (GK), Pierre, Pittman, Styche

Referee: Mr. T. Harrington

Attendance: 2,267 (242 from Wycombe)

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