Report: Cheltenham 5-0 Guiseley
Cheltenham Town moved back to the top of the National League with a 5-0 win over Guiseley. As Forest Green drew with Welling, the robins are now one point clear at the league's summit. An impressive Billy Waters hit a brace as Jack Munns, Rob Dickie and James Rowe got a goal apiece. Guiseley were reduced to ten men in the second half after Adam Lockwood tripped Danny Wright as the last man.
The robins weren't standing on ceremony and were ahead within minutes. With the game just two minutes old Jack Munns played in a ball for teammate, and housemate, Billy Waters who headed it over Steven Drench in the Guiseley goal for his sixth goal of the season. It could have easily been 2-0 just two minutes later, Danny Wright was free in the box but his rising shot didn't trouble Drench enough to get his eighth league goal of the campaign.
In wet and blustery conditions Cheltenham weren't looking like taking their foot off the gas. James Dayton came into the side for his first start of the season as Gary Johnson went for a 4-3-3 formation to accommodate the winger over his favoured 3-5-2. On the eighth minute he could have had his first goal too. Goalscorer Waters turned provider and zipped in a low cross to the former Kilmarnock man but his shot was saved by Drench again.
Minutes later Cheltenham doubled their lead. Jack Munns whipped in an in swinging corner and his cross was met by the head of Rob Dickie from five yards out to send it past Drench for his second of the season. Things went from bad to worse for Guiseley when in the twelfth minute defender, and scorer in their last league game, Rob Atkinson was replaced by Adam Smith due to injury.
Guiseley almost pulled one back in the 17th minute when a free kick into the box from Ben Parker went close to the back post, and an onrushing Jake Lawlor, however Dillon Phillips was there to cover and see the ball out for a goal kick. Danny Boshell almost grabbed his second of the season minutes later but his close range header was palmed away from danger by the on-loan Charlton stopper.
Kyle Storer looked to grab his third goal of the season and Cheltenham's third of the match, but his 25 yard shot was always rising and didn't trouble Drench in the Guiseley sticks. It was Storer again who went close on the 25th minute, his top corner-bound free kick was stopped by Drench again in what was turning into a busy evening for the ex-Morecambe goalkeeper.
Harry Pell got in on the act too, his rising 20 yard shot was palmed away by Drench and even though James Dayton looked to make it three with the rebound, Guiseley managed to clear the ball and relieve the mounting robins' pressure. Dayton again looked to make it three minutes later, Billy Waters' low cross went across the face of goal but Dayton mistimed his run by milliseconds and the ball ran out for a goal kick.
With six minutes left in the first half, the visitors had their best chance of the opening 45. Substitute Adam Smith played a lofted through ball to Adam Boyes who hit it first time on the volley, only for Dillon Phillips to palm it round the post as he looked to make it back to back clean sheets in the league. At the break there was only one team in the game and that was the team, at the time, who were top of the league.
A minute into the second half and it could have been all over, Harry Pell played in a through ball to an unmarked Billy Waters but his shot inside the box went inches wide of the post. Seconds later and even more bad news for Guiseley. Last man Adam Lockwood, who played under Gary Johnson at Yeovil, was sent off by referee John Busby for tripping Danny Wright inches outside of the area and the Lions were down to 10 men.
On the 59th minute, Jack Barthram replaced James Dayton as the robins went back to 3-5-2 for the remaining 30 minutes. Three minutes later, Waters had his second of the game, Cheltenham's third and surely the win. The ball fortuitously deflected to the ex-Crewe man in the box and he tucked it into the bottom left corner for his seventh of the season.
Waters looked in fine form and could have easily had a hat-trick, Danny Wright chested down a long ball for his striking counterpart to run on to but his shot went across the face of goal and for a goal kick.
Harry Pell looked desperate to grab his fourth league goal of the season but his curling shot again went wide as Cheltenham looked to end a winless run at home in the league stretching back to mid-September.
With one eye on Saturday's game against Southport, Kyle Storer and Harry Pell made way for midfield counterparts Asa Hall and James Rowe, with just under 20 minutes to stretch their legs.
Hall looked to get his second goal of the season, but his shot from just outside the box deflected off another Cheltenham player and away for a goal kick.
Jack Munns made it four with 10 minutes to go, Billy Waters returned the favour for his earlier goal by drawing in the keeper and sliding the ball across the face of goal to an on rushing Munns who knocked it into an open net.
James Rowe finished off the scoring in injury time to make it 5-0 with a neat finish into the far corner, his first for the club.
The result sees the end of Guiseley's short-lived two game winning streak, as the robins came up with a good response to Saturday's cup exit to Hartlepool. With results going their way, Cheltenham are one point clear at the top of the league.
Cheltenham Town: Phillips, Dickie, Downes (c), Parslow, McLennan, Pell (Hall 73'), Storer (Rowe 73'), Munns, Dayton (Barthram 59'), Wright, Waters
Subs: Lovett, Vaughan
Guiseley: Drench, Toulson, Parker (c), Lowe, Lockwood, Lawlor, Boshell, Boyes (Dickinson 64'), Rothery, Atkinson (Smith 12'), Dudley (Marsden 83')
Subs: Atkinson, Craddock
Referee: Mr J Busby
Attendance: 2237 (31 away)