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Match Reports

Stevenage v Cheltenham Town

15 November 2014

Full-time: Stevenage 5, Robins 1

Cheltenham Town suffered more misery at Stevenage, crashing to a dismal 5-1 defeat at the Lamex Stadium.

Their previous visit ended in a 4-0 defeat in February 2011 and this match was no more enjoyable for the travelling fans.

Last week’s 5-0 FA Cup triumph against Swindon suddenly seems a distant memory as they went from the sublime to the ridiculous, enduring their heaviest defeat of the campaign.

Boss Mark Yates made one enforced change to his starting line-up, with first year professional James Bowen handed his senior debut in place of the suspended Craig Braham-Barrett at left wing-back.

Stevenage seized the initiative straight from kick-off, with Cheltenham on the back foot and their back three put under pressure immediately.

David McAllister’s header was touched over the bar by Trevor Carson in the fourth minute and the home side were celebrating a minute later.

A fine cross from Simon Walton was met by Lee Barnard and Chris Beardsley touched the ball over the line from close range after Carson's initial parry.

With Cheltenham rattled, Carson then had to divert a header from his own defender Paul Black over the bar after Roarie Deacon’s cross was deflected.

But Carson was beaten again in the ninth minute when a corner was only half-cleared by Jason Taylor to Charlie Lee, who curled a superb shot into the top right corner.

Cheltenham’s defence was pierced again in the 34th minute when a long ball was touched by Lee into the path of Beardsley, who tapped in his second of the game.

Matt Richards thumped a right-footed effort wide in the 37th minute, but things got even worse for Cheltenham when Steve Elliott was withdrawn due to an injury. Left winger Zack Kotwica went on as 3-5-2 became 4-4-2 before half-time.

Stevenage were inches away from making it 4-0 when Lee crashed a shot against the bar with Carson beaten in the 49th minute.

Carson reached down low to his right to keep out a shot from substitute Charlie Adams in the 61st minute after John Marquis replaced Raffa De Vita for Cheltenham.

Boro goalkeeper Chris Day was called into serious action for the first time in the 71st minute when Troy Brown touched Richards’ low ball towards the bottom left corner.

Stevenage extended their lead in the 74th minute when Adam Marriott combined with Adams to set up Barnard for the simplest of tap-ins and it was all far too easy.

Cheltenham pulled one back almost immediately with Byron Harrison netting against his old club after a ball over the top from Black was not dealt with.

It was a fine finish to make it four goals in two games for the big striker, but it was scant consolation for the Robins.

The misery was complete in the 82nd minute when Carson took too long to deal with a back pass from Black and Marriott set up Barnard for his second of the game.

Stevenage (4-4-2): Day; Henry, Wells, Charles, Okimo; Deacon (Adams 60), Walton (Conlon 77), McAllister, Lee; Beardsley (Marriott 70), Barnard. Subs not used: Beasant, Dembele, Ashton, Pett.

Cheltenham Town (3-5-2): Carson; Brown, Elliott (Kotwica 39), Black; Vaughan, Taylor, De Vita (Marquis 60), Richards, Bowen; Harrison, Gornell (Hanks 83). Subs not used: Gould, Deaman, Haworth, Sterling-James.

Referee: Stephen Martin

Attendance: 2,668 (177 away).

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