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Match Reports

REPORT: Cheltenham Reserves 3 AFC Bournemouth U21s 2

10 October 2017

Towering defender Matt Bower grabbed a late winner as Cheltenham Town Reserves continued the club's unbeaten start to the new Central League season.

Bower scored from close range with less than five minutes remaining to ensure victory in a match where the visitors twice came from behind through fit-again first team star Callum Wilson.

Fellow centre half Will Boyle had given the home side a first half lead, stooping to head home Daniel O'Shaughnessy's intelligent free kick.

Wilson responded with a clinical finish after the interval before O'Shaughnessy capped another fine flowing move from the Robins to bury a sweet strike into the bottom left hand corner.

Another effort from Premier League ace Wilson looked set to ensure the game finished level.

But Bower produced the late heroics as Alex Davey's free kick was flicked goalwards by O'Shaughnessy and Bower reacted first to stab the ball home from six yards.

The Robins, who had defeated Bristol Rovers 5-1 in the opening round of the competition, dominated large parts of the first half with Boyle and Nigel Atangana both going close early on. 

O'Shaughnessy saw a fierce low shot blocked while Davey saw a floated cross nearly fly all the way in on a gusty afternoon, as Will Dennis palmed the ball over the bar.

At the other end Rhys Lovett raced off his line to deny Wilson, after a heavy touch let the forward down, before the young shot stopper dived low to his left to keep a Wilson drive out.

Dennis denied Bower with a superb close range stop from a header - although the offside flag was up - before the opening goal on the stroke of half-time as Boyle was left unmarked to dive in and find the net.

Wilson and Freddie Hinds fired rising shots over the bar at opposite ends at the start of the second half, before Bournemouth struck when a cross found Wilson lurking at the back post to head home.

Five minutes later, though, the hosts restored the lead in clinical fashion as a flowing move up the right wing saw Atangana feed O'Shaughnessy who arrowed a shot into the bottom corner.

Both sides made second half changes before Bournemouth looked to have rescued a point when Wilson was left with too much room on the edge of the penalty area and he whipped home a low drive.

But just minutes from time it was Cheltenham who secured the win as Bower popped up to score from close range.  

CHELTENHAM TOWN RESERVES: Lovett, Davey, Boyle (Downes 61), Bower, O’Shaugnessy, Trialist, Atangana, Thomas, Lloyd, Trialist, Hinds (Llewelyn 61). Subs not used: Clayton (Gk), Price, Brennan.

AFC BOURNEMOUTH U21: Dennis, Seaman (Lee 61), Harfield (Butcher 61), Ofoborch, Cordner, Simpson, Diaz (Vincent 83), Hyndman, Wilson, Ndjoli, Taylor. Subs not used: Parker-Trott, Hobson


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