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Match Reports

Cheltenham Town vs Crewe

5 November 2016

Cheltenham Town 1-1 Crewe Alexandra

Cheltenham drew 1-1 with Crewe in the FA Cup first round despite having to play almost an hour with a man less.

Kyle Storer saw red towards the end of a first half that The Robins dominated but just couldn’t score in, and the sides went in goalless at the break.

Just 13 minutes after the interval Billy Waters put Cheltenham ahead, but with quarter of an hour to go James Jones equalised.

The draw means that both sides go into the hat for the second round draw, which takes place tomorrow evening.

Gary Johnson’s side lined up with an unchanged starting eleven from last weekend’s draw with Blackpool, though Alex Cooper came into the squad for the first time since his injury at Accrington.

It took just three minutes for Cheltenham to have their first meaningful effort on goal as the ball fell to Danny Wright just inside the left hand side of the box, though he couldn’t guide his powerful shot anywhere other than over the bar.

Soon after, some fantastic skill from Rob Dickie in the right corner saw him beat his man and lay the ball off to Harry Pell, but again it ended up with the Crewe fans behind the goal.

It was a dominant start by The Robins, and apart from Crewe having a couple of attempts in quick succession on the 10 minute mark, the home side were looking the most likely to take the lead.

With just under half an hour gone, Aaron Downes was the next Cheltenham player to go close as his brilliantly guided header beat everybody apart from the Crewe player on the line.

On 32 minutes The Robins should have gone ahead when Storer’s through ball found James Dayton, who crossed it straight to Waters – but the former Crewe man scuffed his side footed shot wide.

Five minutes later, though, Storer saw red when the referee deemed him to have lashed out on a Crewe player after the midfielder was fouled just inside the Cheltenham half.

Just before half time Downes again had a header cleared off the line as Oliver Turton somehow managed to get in front of The Skipper’s looping effort – and the sides went in level at the break.

After the interval Jack Munns replaced Jack Barthram as Cheltenham switched to four at the back following Storer’s dismissal.

And despite being a player down it was the home side who controlled the game at the start of the second half, and they went close through Dayton’s strike after he picked the ball up on the edge of the Crewe half.

On 56 minutes Russell Griffiths had to be alert to keep out Ryan Lowe’s close range effort, but in truth the veteran striker’s shot was tame and he should have done better from the position he was in.

Cheltenham took the lead two minutes later, though, when Waters smashed the ball into the net after Dickie’s initial effort was blocked following Downes’ knock down from the corner.

After that Crewe began to take a hold of the game and went close when Harry Davis’ shot was deflected narrowly wide of the goal.

And the away side levelled things up on 73 minutes when George Cooper’s fantastic flick went straight into the path of Jones, who slotted the ball past Griffiths and into the bottom left corner.

The Railwayman had most of the ball and applied plenty of pressure late on, but Cheltenham held firm to take the game to a replay.

Cheltenham Town: R Griffiths, A Downes (C), D Parslow, R Dickie, J Barthram (J Munns, 45), J Cranston, H Pell, K Storer, J Dayton (D Whitehead, 88), B Waters, D Wright (A Morgan-Smith, 88).

Unused Subs: C Kitscha, D O’Shaughnessy, E Suliman, A Cooper.

Crewe Alexandra: B Garratt, O Turton (P Ng, 64), J Guthrie, H Davis, R Lowe (C), J Jones, C Dagnall (D Udoh), G Cooper, Z Bakayogo, D Hollands, A Kiwomya.

Unused Subs: D Richards, B Nugent, C Saunders, C Ainley, T Lowery.

Attendance: 2880 (297)

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