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Match Reports

Cheltenham Town v Swindon Town

8 November 2014

Full-time: Robins 5, Swindon Town 0

Cheltenham Town sent League One high-fliers Swindon Town crashing out of the FA Cup after this astonishing first round victory at Whaddon Road.
The Robins were on the wrong end of a cup upset of their own 12 months ago, but this time around they turned in a ruthless performance to consign ten-man Swindon to a stunning defeat.
They were superb, and could have won by an even greater margin against the side lying third in the third tier, 34 places above Cheltenham on the day. 


Swindon on the other hand were the authors of the their downfall, with skipper Nathan Thompson leaving his side with a numerical disadvantage after receiving his marching orders for a professional foul early in the game.
But despite the dismissal, Mark Cooper's side will rue their hapless defensive display for defeat here.
Byron Harrison will grab the headlines, notching the first professional hat-trick of his career but partner Gornell was equally as impressive and added his fifth of the campaign while Matt Richards’ fine volley was the coup de grace.
There were three changes to the side that slipped to the disappointing defeat by York City last weekend.
In came Paul Black, on the left side of the three-man defence, Raffaele De Vita on the right and Harrison up front.
The game got underway after an immaculately observed minute’s silence to honour the fallen, 100 years after the start of World War One.
It couldn’t have gone any better for Mark Yates, and his side got the ball rolling as early as the 10th minute.
They were indebted to Trevor Carson’s fifth assist of the campaign, and some poor defending, which allowed Harrison to nip in and take the ball past Wes Foderingham before poking home from close range.
Swindon had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the opening exchanges and Carson had held Louis Thompson’s 20 yarder, and was equal to Jonathan Obika’s header when things went from bad to worse for the visitors.
Nathan Thompson saw red ten minutes after the goal, wrestling Gornell to the ground in an attacking position 35 yards from goal and was promptly given his marching orders.
It was reckless by the Swindon skipper and his shorn side had a mountain to climb when Gornell doubled the lead with 14 minutes left of the first half.
De Vita was causing all sorts of problems and delivered a deep ball from the left for Harrison, who headed it into the path of the Liverpudlian to do the rest.
De Vita, the former Swindon man, then smashed one against the angle of the frame after cutting inside from the right on another maze run, this time from the right.
Harrison added his second, and Cheltenham’s third eight minutes into the second half after more sloppy play by the League One side.
Defender Jack Stephens attempted a long, diagonal ball that Vaughan cut out and quickly sent Braham-Barrett away down the left.
The wing back then easily rounded Nathan Byrne and sent in a low cross from the byline for Harrison, unmarked, to stab home.
It could have been four moment later, but De Vita’s lovely volley missed the target by a matter of inches.
Swindon deployed their 11-goal top scorer, Michael Smith, and Raphael Rossi Branco to chase the cause and their best chance arrived in the 64th minute when Byrne rattled the left upright with a curling shot from distance.
But Cheltenham extended the lead further with 18 minutes remaining, Matt Richards firing home from over 20 yards with a memorable volley.
It was reminiscent of his wonderful goal at Cambridge United last month and it brought his total for the season to three.
John Marquis was sent on in place of Gornell in the closing stages and immediately fashioned a great chance to score a fifth, robbing Branco 30 yards from goal but the Millwall loanee dragged his shot wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Harrison though completed his hat-trick five minutes from time after some great play by the impressive Jason Taylor. He stole back possession and released Marquis down the right with a searching pass.
The striker cut inside but lost his footing. Harrison anticipated an opening and capitalised on some hesitant defending to pick up play and beat Foderingham to seal the win.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Carson (c); Brown, Elliott, Black; Vaughan, De Vita (Hanks 85), Taylor, Richards, Braham-Barrett (Kotwica 90); Gornell (Marquis 77), Harrison. Subs not used: Haworth, Gould (Gk), Deaman, Sterling-James.

SWINDON TOWN (3-5-2): Foderingham; Stephens (Branco 62), N Thompson (c), Turnbull; Byrne, L Thompson, Luongo, Kasim (Gladwin 81), Toffolo; Obika (Smith 56), Williams. Subs not used: Reeves, Barthram, Belford (Gk), Rodgers.

REFEREE: C Boyeson

ATTENDANCE: 3,470 (1,566 from Swindon)

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