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Match Reports

REPORT: Cheltenham 2-3 Grimsby Town

17 October 2017

Cheltenham Town were left to rue a disappointing first half defensive display as they lost an enthralling five-goal clash with Grimsby Town in Sky Bet League Two.

The Robins came into the fixture at the LCI Rail Stadium eager to build on an impressive run of home league form and recent record over the visitors 

But it was the Mariners who took control by the break courtesy of two goals from winger Siriki Dembele and a scrambled close range effort from Danny Collins.

Midfielder Harry Pell had hit back for Cheltenham at the mid-point of the half, scoring his first goal of the season with a far post header from Mo Eisa’s pinpoint cross.

The home side improved after the break but had to wait until five minutes from time for a second goal when Carl Winchester and he found the bottom corner with a neat turn and finish.

Nigel Atangana was inches from a late equaliser, when his header shaved the outside of the post from a corner, as the Robins were denied late on.

Manager Gary Johnson made two changes to his starting line-up with the injured Kyle Storer replaced by Kevin Dawson while Danny Wright was selected up top to partner Eisa.

It was Grimsby, though, that settled the quicker with Scott Flinders saving an early shot from the dangerous Dembele before Pell had to be alert to deny James Berrett with a sliding tackle as he took aim.

Flinders was again called into action when he tipped a Martyn Woolford shot around the post before the visitors struck after 13 minutes.

Neat interplay released full back Paul Dixon down the left and his low cross fell for Dembele who stepped inside and drilled a low effort home.

The Robins looked to respond with Kevin Dawson, who had earlier fired a 30-yard shot over the bar, producing a superb ball in from the right wing that flashed across the box.

Pell then tried his luck with a skipping shot over the greasy turf, that forced McKeown to scramble across his line and turn it wide for a corner, before scoring the leveller.

Eisa picked up the pieces from a corner and sent over a delightful far post ball that Pell met and buried past the goalkeeper.

However, at the other end Flinders once again had to be alert to keep out a header from Scott Vernon that seemed destined for the back of the net until the stopper palmed it away.

The visitors wrestled complete control before the break with a devastating quick-fire double.

Just moments after Danny Wright had headed narrowly wide, Grimsby went ahead when Collins poked the ball home after the home side failed to clear a corner.

A minute later it became an even steeper uphill challenge when the Mariners stole possession, rode two challenges and then a chipped cross found an unmarked Dembele who rolled a shot into the corner from ten yards.

Cheltenham made a half-time change as Atangana replaced first half goalscorer Pell. And the midfielder was quickly into his work as quick feet freed up space for Eisa who dragged a shot across goal before Wright and Dawson saw shots deflect wide.

Flinders was again crucially alert at his near post to deny Sam Jones before Daniel O’Shaughnessy became the second change of the night when he replaced Jerell Sellars.

Dawson fizzed drive over the bar and Eisa dragged narrowly wide from Wright’s flick on as Grimsby began to sit back and defend the lead in the final quarter.

Cheltenham were going all out to find a goal and nearly paid the price when Grimsby launched a rare raid from deep and sent Woolford clear only for Flinders to produce a superb block.

Winchester gave the home side late hope when he struck five minutes from time with a low turn and shot from Wright’s inside ball.

And late drama, for the second home game, was nearly served up again when Atangana clipped the post with a header in stoppage time.

CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders; Cranston (Hinds 73), Grimes, Moore, Winchester, Pell (Atangana 45), Morrell, Dawson, Sellars (O’Shaughnessy 59), Eisa, Wright. Subs not used: Flatt (Gk), Bower, Graham, Davey.

GRIMSBY TOWN: McKeown, Davies, Dixon (Mills 50), Clarke, Collins, Berrett, Jones, Summerfield, Vernon, Woolford (Kelly 83), Dembele (Matt 76).Subs not used: Killip (Gk), Hooper, Osbourne, Jaiyesimi.

REFEREE: Graham Salisbury

ATTENDANCE: 2,469 (179 from Grimsby)

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