Cheltenham Town drew 2-2 with Morecambe after a late equaliser from Luke Varney secured a point for Michael Duff’s side at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Goals from former Robin Jordan Cranston and Rhys Oates put Morecambe 2-1 up after Luke
Varney’s first half equaliser, but the forward’s second goal in the 94 th minute ensured both teams
took a share of the points.
Morecambe only had a handful of chances and Cheltenham dominated the play, but forward Tyrone
Barnett couldn’t capitalise, missing a penalty with the score at 1-2.
Michael Duff’s side fought well and deserved a point, Varney with two goals in his first full 90
minutes for the Robins.
The home side’s first chance came in the 7th minute, a Jacob Maddox cross was met well by Will
Boyle. He forced a great save from Barry Roche, and the resulting corner came to nothing.
Cheltenham continued to threaten from balls into the box as the first half moved on, in the 14 th
minute a corner again from Maddox was nodded just wide by Tyrone Barnett.
Morecambe’s first chance was their first goal, former Robin Jordan Cranston broke into the box and
struck into Flinders bottom right corner just after the half-hour mark.
Michael Duff’s side then upped their game, Luke Varney had the home side’s best chance of the half
seconds after the restart, with a shot that struck the crossbar.
Varney was at the heart of the Cheltenham attack in his first start. He was the target of a Jordon
Forster cross in the 41 st minute, but Roche matched his header with a comfortable save.
Then the striker got his first goal for the club and Cheltenham’s equaliser in the 44 th minute. Chris
Clements lofted a ball towards Tyrone Barnett, he brought it down in the box and Varney was there
to tap past the Morecambe number one.
The goal was Cheltenham’s last chance of the first half.
With Duff’s halftime words still ringing in the Robins ears, it was the home side who created the first
chance of the second period. Johnny Mullins was free at the back post after a cross from Dawson,
but his shot flew well over the bar.
Morecambe goal scorer Jordan Cranston had the Shrimps first chance of the half with a free-kick.
Will Boyle fouled Vadaine Oliver on the edge of the box, Cranston stepped up and hit the setpiece
into the away fans behind Flinders’ goal.
The next Morecambe shot found the back of the net, substitute Rhys Oates struck the ball along the
floor from the edge of the box and it rolled past Scott Flinders.
Cheltenham bounced back with another chance, Varney coming close again, and the resulting corner
gave the Robins a penalty after a foul on Johnny Mullins.
Tyrone Barnett stepped up to the spot and blasted the penalty over the bar.
Morecambe again threatened with a free kick on the edge of Cheltenham’s box, Luke Conlan
stepped up and hit it wide.
Cheltenham kept trying to find their way back into the game, George Lloyd came on to add a
different dynamic to the attack alongside Varney.
Morecambe started to utilise the counter attack more as the game went on. A clearance made its way to forward Oliver who took the ball past Mullins and headed for Flinders goal, but the Cheltenham number one kept him out with a strong save.
The last action of the match was Cheltenham’s equaliser, a ball into the Morecambe box fell at the feet of Varney, and he hit home from close range for the second time in the game to pull Cheltenham level.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-4-2): Flinders, Forster, Mullins (c), field (Mooney 83); Atangana, Clements, Dawson (Hussey 69), Maddox; Varney, Barnett (Lloyd 69). Subs not used: Lovett, Tozer, Baldwin, Kalala.
MORECAMBE (3-5-2): Roche (c), Old (Oates 34), Yarney, Lavelle, Cranston, Mills; Conlan, Jagne (Tutte 59), Leitch-Smith (Ellison 78), Oliver, Mandenville. Subs not used: Oswell, Mendes Gomes, Halstead,
REFEREE: N Hair
ATTENDANCE: 2,095 (40 from Morecambe)
Report by George Didcote