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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Northampton Town 1-1 Robins

29 December 2019

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Cheltenham Town ended the decade as they started it – with a 1-1 draw on the road.

It's almost ten years ago to the day that then manager Mark Yates took his side to Bradford City and returned with a share of the spoils thanks to Justin Richard's second half penalty.

Here in Northampton, Conor Thomas' spot kick as early as the third minute earned Michael Duff's team a creditable result.

There have been many ups and downs in between but there is no doubt that the club is in very good hands under the current boss as the club moves into an exciting new era.

They had plenty of defending to do at the PTS Acdemy Stadium but they held out with real resolve to deny the Cobblers who have been impressive at home this season, winning six on the bounce.

Thomas handed the Robins a perfect start, slotting home from the penalty spot as early as the second minute – just as he did here at the same end last season.

But the hosts levelled the contest before the break, Jordan Turnbull with the goal.

Duff made a trio of changes. In came Conor Thomas, Max Sheaf and George Lloyd for Chris Clements, Alex Addai and Gavin Reilly. All three dropped to the bench. Duff had told the media before the match that Reilly had not travelled with the squad and had returned to his parent club Bristol Rovers after five months on loan at the club.

Lloyd was pressed into the lone strike role supported by Ryan Broom and Sheaf and caused plenty of problems in the opening exchanges, paying dividends when the young striker played a decisive role in the early goal.

He had been set on his way in only the second minute, forcing defender Jordan Turnbull into a poor challenge inside the box to leave the referee with no option than to point to the spot and hand Cheltenham an early penalty. Thomas sent David Cornell the wrong way with a cool low finish to notch his fourth goal of the season.

Andy Williams should have pulled his wide level in the 10th minute but he pulled his effort across goal a wide from a golden position wile at the other end, Lloyd went close to reaching Broom's fine delivery from the right.

There was a setback when Jake Doyle-Hayes was forced off shortly after the half-hour mark, having taken a blow to the face, and was replaced by Rohan Ince in midfield.

Keith Curle's side pulled level seven minutes before the interval through Turnbull. Nicky Adams called Flinders into a diving stop with a 20 yard free-kick, but Vadaine Oliver was quickest to react to the loose ball and pulled it back into the path of the centre half who stabbed home from close range.

The home side found their rhythm after the break and fashioned a string of good chances to take the lead but Cheltenham defended really well to merit their point.

Flinders was called into a fine save to push away a brilliant effort by Ryan Watson on the hour as the home side enjoyed their best spell of the game.

Next Andy Williams hit the right post after he'd collected a a loose ball by Ince 20 yards from goal. Sam Hoskins then tried a clever effort from the angle but Flinders was alive to the smart effort.

Vadaine Oliver saw an effort easily gathered by the Cheltenham number one 20 minutes from time while Hoskins saw a well-struck drive last past the left upright moments later.

Tahvon Campbell was handed 10 minutes to make an impact from the bench, replacing Lloyd, but the final chance fell to Williams who tried his luck with an acrobatic effort but it flashed a foot over the target.

The game ended with a red card for Addai, who was given his marching orders for an incident involving Cobblers defender and captain Charlie Goode.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-4-2-1): Flinders; Raglan, Tozer (c), Greaves; Hussey, Doyle-Hayes (Ince 31), Thomas, Long; Broom, Sheaf (Addai 66); Lloyd (Campbell 81). Subs not used: Lovett (Gk), Clements, Boyle, Debayo.

NORTHAMPTON TOWN (3-5-2): Cornell; Goode (c), Turnbull, Wharton; Harriman, Hoskins (Pollock 88), Anderson, Watson, Adams; Williams, Oliver. Subs not used: Hall-Johnson, Martin, Lines, Warburton, Arnold, Waters.

REFEREE: M Coy

ATTENDANCE: 5,090 (367 from Cheltenham)


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