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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 2-0 Carlisle United

20 August 2019

Cheltenham Town extended their impressive home record with this well earned win over Carlisle United, taking their tally to seven points in the opening four matches of the season.

First half goals by Gavin Reilly and Luke Varney settled this one to stretch the Robins' unbeaten home record to 12 and leave them in the giddy heights of fifth at this embryonic stage of the season.

The last time they lost at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium was back in January but that record is likely to be tested this coming Saturday when Swindon Town visit.

But on this evidence that local derby is likely to be a lively one. Cheltenham were excellent before the break and showed resilience for large parts of the second half as the visitors rallied to get back into the game.

Duff was forced into a single change to the side that returned from Morecambe with a point three days ago. Chris Clements returned in midfield for Max Sheaf, who came off in the closing stages at the Globe Arena with a niggling hamstring injury.

Aston Villa loanee Reilly had drawn an early save from Adam Collin before claiming his first goal for the club after a quarter of an hour, meeting Jake Doyle-Hayes' pinpoint cross with a firm header to cap a well worked corner move down the right.

Cheltenham went on to dominate the remainder of the first half with Charie Raglan hitting a post with a downward header and Luke Varney seeing a goal chalked off for offside, seven minutes before the interval.

At the other end Nathan Thomas hit one well over from the edge of the box but the first half belonged to the Robins and they doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time through Varney, racing onto a perfect angled ball by Chris Clements and beating Collin with a typically measured finish to notch his first of the campaign.

Reilly was unfortunate to have one disallowed immediately after the restart after he met Josh Debayo's cross from the left to bundle home, only for it to be ruled out for a foul on the Carlisle number one. It looked as if Collin had been impeded by his own defender.

Next Scott Flinders was called into his first meaningful save of the contest, reacting sharply to turn away Harry McKirdy's shot on the turn from 12 yards. He then safely held a Thomas free-kick as Carlisle enjoyed a spell of attacking pressure.

Sheffield United loanee Thomas was causing all sorts of problems and had a better effort saved with 20 minutes remaining, Flinders diving to his right to punch away the danger as the visitors built momentum.

Ryan Broom saw a couple of late chances go wide, but in the end that was immaterial as the Robins held firm to claim the points.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Flinders; Raglan, Tozer (c), Greaves; Long, Doyle-Hayes, Broom, Clements, Debayo (Hussey 71); Reilly (Lloyd 79), Varney (Campbell 85). Subs not used: Bowry, Thomas, Brennan, Lovett (Gk).

CARLISLE UNITED (4-3-3): Collin (c), Elliott, Webster, Knight-Percival, Iredale; Bridge (Sagaf 89), Jones, Scougall; Thomas, Loft (Olomola 46), McKirdy (Hope 71). Subs not used: Mellish, Gary (Gk), Branthwaite, Sorensen.

REFEREE: W Finnie

ATTENDANCE: 2,634 (207 from Carlisle)


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