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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 0-1 Plymouth Argyle

26 December 2019

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Cheltenham Town signed off from a memorable year at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium with a narrow defeat by Plymouth Argyle, only their third at home in the past 12 months.

The Devon side join Forest Green Rovers and Tranmere Rovers in the trio of teams to leave Whaddon Road with all the points, thanks to a first half goal by Argyle's exciting young striker Zak Rudden.

The Robins had their chances and ended the game in the ascedancy but they couldn't find a breakthrough. They remain seventh in the table this evening ahead of Sunday's final match of the year at Northampton Town's Sixfields ground (3pm kick-off).

Duff made a single change to the side that returned from Port Vale with a point last weekend with Chris Hussey returning after a hip injury, meaning Max Sheaf dropped to the bench for this one.

Argyle were the better of the two sides in the opening 45 minutes and created the lion's share of chances.

Billy Clarke clipped the bar with an early dipping volley and Zak Rudden called Scott Flinders into a low save by the mid-way of the first half. Then Rudden was a whisker away from connecting with Antoni Sarcevic's ball from the right while Danny Mayor curled one a foot past the target.

At the other end, Clements pushed a 20 yarder wide of the right post and volleyed another one the wrong side of the left upright.

But the visitors led with 33 minutes played following a good move down the left. George Cooper lifted a great ball to the far post where Sarcevic was on hand to prod it back across goal, leaving Rudden the simple task of nudging the ball over the line from close range.

There was a chance for Alex Addai, but he couldn't reach a low cross by Sean Long with the interval approaching.

The Robins made a positive start to the second half and enjoyed plenty of possession in the final third although goalkeeper Alex Palmer wasn't really tested. Flinders was sharp to hold Rudden's deflected cross, which had lifted off Ben Tozer's knee on the hour.

George Lloyd (for Gavin Reilly), Max Sheaf (Addai) and Will Boyle (Clements) were pressed into action in the second half which was largely stifled by Plymouth, who defended manfully to restrict Duff's side.

But there were late chances. First Chris Hussey saw a free-kick narrowly deflected over and Sean Long went so close to heading an equaliser from the resulting corner. Charlie Raglan also was denied, meeting Chris Hussey's ball from the right with a form downward header but Palmer dropped on the effort.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Flinders; Raglan, Tozer (c), Greaves; Long, Broom, Clements, Doyle-Hayes, Hussey; Addai (Sheaf 76), Reilly (Lloyd 62). Subs not used: Lapworth (Gk), Thomas, Boyle, Debayo, Ince.

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE (3-5-2): Palmer; Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer (c); Moore, Sarcevic, Grant, Mayor, G Cooper (Edwards 78); Joshua Clarke (Telford 62), Rudden (Joel Grant 70). Subs not used: M Cooper (Gk), Riley, C Grant, Randell.

REFEREE: C Breakspear

ATTENDANCE: 5,192 (1,222 from Plymouth)


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