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Match Reports

REPORT: Oxford United 3-4 Cheltenham (AET)

8 August 2017

Cheltenham Town progressed to the second round of the Carabao Cup in a stunning comeback which saw the Robins overturn a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3.

Braces from Danny Wright and Mohamed Eisa gave the Robins the edge in a thriller at the Kassam.

Making one change to the side that lost 2-1 at Morecambe on Saturday, Cheltenham lined up in a 4-4-2 with Dan Holman back into the side for Danny Wright.

The Robins got off to a flyer when Jerell Sellars was fouled 20 yards from goal. Cranston’s whipped ball seemed to be going straight to Simon Eastwood in the Oxford net, but Eisa nipped in to head home for his second of the season.

However, Cheltenham’s lead didn’t last long. Kyle Storer was adjudged to have fouled Rob Hall inside the box, and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Although Storer seemed to have made contact with Hall outside the box, the Robins’ protests were in vain. Marvin Johnson’s initial penalty was saved by Flatt, but he was on hand to slam home the rebound.

Cheltenham responded well to the goal with Eisa again looking dangerous. He teed up Atangana whose shot was deflected wide.

It was Oxford however, who scored next. An error from Grimes allowed Jonathan Obika in who smashed past Flatt.

Oxford added a third through Fernandez. The ex-Barcelona player went on a mazy run and fired low past Flatt to give the U’s a two goal cushion.

Making one change at the half, Danny Wright replaced Dan Holman.

Cheltenham nearly clawed one back at the start of the half, when Danny Wright’s low driven cross could only find Carl Winchester’s toe.

That was Winchester’s last action before Harry Pell replaced him on the 55-minute mark.

Hall, who was dangerous throughout, nearly added a fourth as he combined well with Obika before firing past the far post.

Pell, returning to the squad, had two good opportunities to reduce the arrears. He headed Storer’s free kick just wide, before firing low against Eastwood’s feet from Wright’s pass.

Cheltenham brought one back through Wright, who stooped low to head home Cranston’s pinpoint cross.

Cheltenham then began a siege on the Oxford goal, as the Robins worked another opportunity to Pell who couldn’t get past his marker.

Minutes later, Sellars fired a shot that deflected off Martin and dropped agonizingly wide of the goal.

It was Wright, whoever, who had the last laugh in normal time. In the dying embers of the game, Pell played through Atangana whose cross found Wright, who bundled the ball home.

The game then progressed to extra time.

Mohamed Eisa, who opened the scoring, then decided he was going to finish the scoring too.

He cut in onto his right foot and produced an unstoppable curling effort past Eastwood. It was the best goal of the night, and what a way to finish it.

Cheltenham were then peppered by Oxford for the remainder of extra time, but managed to hold on to secure the win.

We find out who we face in the second round in the draw on Thursday evening.

We hope to see you at Crawley on Saturday, as we continue our league campaign.

Cheltenham Town FC: Flatt; Forster, Grimes, Boyle, Cranston; Winchester (Pell), Storer (O’Shaughnessy), Atangana (Page), Sellars; Holman (Wright), Eisa.

Oxford United FC: Eastwood; Ribeiro, Nelson, Johnson (Carroll); Hall, Ruffels, Rothwell (Henry), Fernandez (Payne), Ledson; Obika (Thomas)

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