Full-Time: Brewers 1, Robins 0A stubborn Burton Albion side held onto their first half lead to claim all three points at home to the Robins this afternoon.
Stuart Beavon's driven effort on 34 minutes handed his side a deserved lead but it was a different story in the second half with the Robins improving from back to front. Chances weren't clear cut but Burton's defence made key blocks when required and a point would have perhaps been deserved.
It was defeat however after the full-time whistle and the Robins were left to scratch their heads and re-focus for their home clash with AFC Wimbledon in a week's time. A great show of support behind the goal from the travelling support was good to see however as they applauded the players off.
A return to a 3-5-2 formation was signalled by Mark Yates ahead of kick-off with Steve Elliott returning to the starting team and Joe Hanks settled back into the middle of midfield at the expense of Omari Sterling-James who moved onto the bench. John Marquis, who extended his loan spell for another two months, partnered Byron Harrison up front with the latter hoping he could continue his scoring form at the Pirelli Stadium having netted on the last two occasions.
New signing Raffaele De Vita cancelled his own birthday celebrations in midweek to fly back from Rome to sign for the Robins and he took his place on the substitutes bench.
Two losses in the previous two matches at Burton's Pirelli Stadium muddied some fabulous memories for Cheltenham Town over the years but both sides were looking to return to form after a few disappointing outings and there have never been a dull game between the two clubs.
Burton Albion were certainly the brighter as the two teams kicked off and they frequently threatened with decisive attacks in the early stages but it was Cheltenham's John Marquis who registered the first effort of the game with a long range shot firing wide of goal.
The first yellow card of the game was shown after just 8 minutes with Steve Elliott's boot connecting with the back of Stuart Beavon although the booking was perhaps a little harsh on the veteran defender.
It wasn't long before Beavon was proving a nuisance in the box though and it took a fine save from Trevor Carson to deny him after 13 minutes after Matt Richards had lost possession further up the field.
Cheltenham Town weren't without their chances in the first half and a long ball upfield was brought down well by the head of Marquis into the path of Lee Vaughan but the full-back's half volley was well over the bar much to his frustration.
Carson made two saves from Adam McGurk's head after 22 and 28 minutes to keep his side level and Joe Hanks saw a decent shot well saved by Jon McLaughlin but it was only a matter of time until the hosts made their chances count and it came from the boot of Beavon after 34 minutes.
Mousinho won possession in midfield before spraying it wide to Akins and his ball across the edge of the area was picked up by Beavon who rifled a shot past Carson into the bottom corner for a deserved lead.
Joe Hanks came closest to equalising for the Robins towards the end of the first half but he put a fine ball over the bar following good work from Harrison and Trevor Carson was soon back in decisive action ahead of the break.
Beavon once again found himself through on goal during injury time and his low shot was well saved by Carson who was visibly angry at his defence.
Terry Gornell was introduced at the break and he replaced Paul Black before joining Harrison and Marquis in attack. The substitute certainly added work rate to the side and the Robins started the second half in a much more positive fashion.
Alex MacDonald's curling freekick was the first meaningful effort on goal but it was an easy save for Carson. Burton could have had a second goal minutes later had McGurk's cross found MacDonald sooner but it clipped the back of the midfielder's heel before he struck the post himself and required medical attention.
A series of crosses into the box saw Cheltenham begin to threaten a solid Burton defence but Matt Richards had time to line up and shoot on 69 minutes only to his effort fly wide of the goal. It was better from the Robins but they had yet carved out a clear opportunity.
Good noise from behind the goal showed that the travelling Robins had faith their side could pull something off and had Steve Elliott's volley twenty minutes from time not been blocked then they may well have had the goal they craved.
Burton were looking slightly more nervous as the game went on and another desperate block was needed to deny Hanks' driven effort from the long throw. It was block after block after block from the Burton defence who were defending very well under pressure from the Robins.
A yellow card was shown to both Troy Brown and Burton sub Jacob Blyth after the two clashed following what was a cheeky foul on Matt Taylor but the damage was done and Brown will now miss the next game through suspension. Mark Yates then introduced Raffaele De Vita for his Robins debut in place of John Marquis.
The debutant's first involvement was to set up another chance on goal. His ball across found it's way through to Joe Hanks on the edge of the area but the midfielder's effort was well saved by the Burton goalkeeper and Cheltenham remained frustrated.
The Robins really should have had their equaliser one minute before the 90 when Lee Vaughan stole possession on the right wing and supplied a perfect pass across the face of goal but both Byron Harrison and Terry Gornell missed the opportunity to steer it into the back of the net.
It was a frustrating end to a better second half for Mark Yates' side but they failed to find the back of the net despite Elliott's header from the corner threatening the Brewers defence before yet another fine block. Burton will for sure be promotion contenders this season but Cheltenham will have been disappointed not to get a point from this fixture.
BURTON ALBION (4-4-2): McLaughlin (GK); Edwards, Sharps (c), Cansdell-Sherriff, McFadzean; Akins (Palmer 74), Mousinho, Weir, MacDonald; McGurk (Harness 90+1), Beavon (Blyth 73)
SUBS NOT USED: Lyness (GK), Taft, Bell, Knowles
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-1-3-2): Carson (GK); Brown, Taylor (c), Elliott; Vaughan, Hanks, Richards, Black (Gornell 46), Braham-Barrett; Harrison, Marquis (De Vita 83)
SUBS NOT USED: Gould (GK), Deaman, Haworth, Kotwica, Sterling-James
REFEREE: David Webb