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Match Reports

REPORT: Cambridge 4-3 Robins

21 April 2018

Match Reports

REPORT: Cambridge 4-3 Robins

21 April 2018

Mo Eisa scored twice to surpass Julian Alsop’s club goal-scoring record and George Lloyd also netted his first goal in Sky Bet League Two but Cheltenham Town lost a seven goal thriller at Cambridge United.

A goal-laden opening 13 minutes started when Lloyd netted his first professional goal for the Robins, flicking into the middle of the net after just three minutes.

Joe Dunne’s side levelled just seven minutes later though, as Greg Taylor volleyed in a corner for the U’s, before Cheltenham re-established their lead with a historic goal.

Eisa stepped up to curl in a stunning free-kick after 13 minutes to make it 2-1, scoring his 23rd goal in all competitions, as well as breaking the 20-goal club-record set by Alsop for league matches.

Cambridge missed a penalty right before half-time as former Cheltenham loanee Medy Elito blasted his spot-kick over the crossbar, but the hosts equalised again after the interval.

Maris weaved into the penalty box and calmly rolled the ball into the bottom corner after 53 minutes, another soon followed.

Jordan Cranston committed another foul inside the penalty area, and Jevani Brown made no mistake to put the U’s ahead for the first time.

Eisa’s 22nd League Two strike of the season made it 3-3 in the 78th minute, but substitute Barry Corr scrambled in an 82nd minute winner for the hosts in an entertaining fixture at the Abbey Stadium.

Gary Johnson made three changes to his team as Will Boyle returned to the side after signing a new contract in the week, replacing Joe Rodon.

Cranston also made his first start since November, coming in for Jamie Grimes at centre-back and Lloyd also returned to the first team in place of Harry Pell.

Alongside Lloyd, Matt Bower and Will Dawes were also on the bench meaning that there were three youth-team graduates in the Cheltenham squad for their trip to the Cambridgeshire.

It was a dream start for Lloyd, who making his first start away from home for the first team netted after just three minutes.

The 18-year-old finished off a lovely team move involving five players, as following a cross from the left, Carl Winchester drilled a low cross into the path of Lloyd, who instinctively steered the ball past David Forde.

That was his 41st goal in all competitions this season, but first in League Two for the prolific striker, prompting chants of “he’s one of our own”, in the jubilant away end.

But that joy was short lived as George Maris’ corner was prodded into the back of the net past a stranded Scott Flinders by Greg Taylor to equalise for the hosts after 10 minutes.

An action-packed start to the game didn’t stop there though, as Eisa brilliantly curled a free-kick into the top corner in the 13th minute to net a club-record 21st League Two goal of the season.

Flinders then made two smart saves, first parrying away a long-range shot, then pushing a header from Paul Lewis off the line after another teasing Maris corner.

The match finally settled down after that frantic start, with the dangerous Maris trying his luck from just outside the box, but Flinders was equal to it and caught the bending attempt.

Ilias Chatzitheodoridis then struck one from distance that flew wide of the post as the Robins tried to increase their lead, before drama unfolded right before the interval.

Cranston hacked down a Cambridge player inside the box after a heavy touch, former Cheltenham striker Billy Waters then put the ball into the net, but referee Brett Huxtable had already pointed to the spot.

Elito then skied the penalty over the crossbar prompting boos and jeers from the home fans as the teams went into the tunnel for half-time with Johnson’s side leading.

The U’s started the second half brightly as Waters played in Bradley Halliday, who just failed to get enough on the ball as Flinders gathered at his feet right inside the penalty area.

But the home side didn’t have to wait long to get back into the game again, as Maris ran through the Cheltenham defence and coolly slotted into the bottom corner as the goals continued to flow.

Another Cranston foul resulted in a penalty which Brown then converted, sending Flinders the wrong way to put Cambridge ahead for the first time in the game after 60 minutes.

Joe Morrell then danced his way into the six-yard-box with 15 minutes to go, but Forde was on hand to block his shot as the Robins pushed hard to get back into the game.

Boyle then cleverly headed the ball to Eisa, who steadied himself and slotted into the back of the net to bring the scores level again, despite claims of offside from the home fans.

But following a mad goal-mouth scramble, Corr found a gap and fired into the top corner after three blocked attempts inside a crowded penalty box to grab the winner for the U’s.

CAMBRIDGE: Forde (Gk), Halliday, Carroll, Deegan, Waters (Dunk 71), Taft, Maris, Brown, Elito (Corr 56), Lewis (Amoo 45). Subs not used: Mitov (Gk), Legge, Darling, Foy.

ROBINS: Flinders (Gk), Cranston (Wright 62), Atangana, Winchester, Boyle, Sellars, Eisa, Morrell, Moore (Grimes 56), Chatzitheodoridis, Lloyd (Rodon 66). Subs not used: Lovett (Gk), Bower, Dawes, Andrews.

REFEREE: Brett Huxtable

ATTENDANCE: 3,853 (138 from Cheltenham)

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