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Match Reports

Full-time: Robins 4-1 Notts County - highlights & report

9 March 2019

Leading scorer Luke Varney took his goal tally to 11 for the season as Cheltenham Town extended their unbeaten run at home to six matches against bottom side Notts County.

The Robins went into half time with a two-goal lead thanks to a Will Boyle header and a Varney penalty.

Billy Waters made it two goals in two as he comfortably slotted the ball past the Notts County keeper after a one-on-one, and substitute Tyrone Barnett poached a fourth after the visitors had scored a consolation through a Kane Hemmings.

Boss Michael Duff made two changes to the side that drew with Bury on Tuesday night, as top scorer Varney and the ever-present Chris Hussey returned to the side.

After a slow start to the game, Cheltenham had the first real sight of goal in the opening quarter when a tempting Charlie Raglan cross was begging to be turned in after Notts County keeper found himself in disarray coming to collect the ball, but the returning Hussey couldn’t direct his header on target.

Cheltenham were given the chance to utilise Ben Tozer’s long throw-in shortly after, and it certainly had the desired effect as defender Will Boyle was allowed a free run onto the ball, but a Notts County defender deflected Boyle’s header behind.

There was no stopping Boyle on the second attempt, however, as all three centre-backs were involved in a fine team move that gave the Robins the lead.

Captain Tozer poked the ball through the legs of Michael Doyle, before pulling the ball back to Raglan on the edge of the box, and his lofted delivery was thumped in off the head of Boyle.

It got even better for the Robins when striker Billy Waters was awarded a penalty after being clumsily brought down by a visiting defender. Varney took his tally to 11 goals for the season with ease, as he smashed the spot-kick in to send the Robins in 2-0 up at the break.

Cheltenham maintained a good level of tempo at the start of the second half; crosses and throw-ins were a common theme in County’s penalty area, as visiting keeper Schofield continued to look nervous collecting aerial balls. 

Duff’s side all but put the contest out of County’s reach after Kevin Dawson played a splitting ball through to the onrushing Waters, and the striker confidently rolled the ball past the keeper to net Cheltenham’s third.

The third goal definitely shifted momentum in Cheltenham’s favour, although a tangle in the penalty area between Will Boyle and a Notts County player earned the visitors a penalty of their own, which substitute Kane Hemmings slotted past Robins keeper Scott Flinders to pull a goal back for the away side.

County did force Cheltenham to put in a solid defensive shift despite the comfortable lead, and an important interception by Raglan stopped a potential fightback from the visitors as he denied a certain shot on goal following a counter-attack from Neal Ardley’s men.  

Despite a quiet period towards the final 15 minutes of the game, the Robins restored their three-goal advantage and scored their fourth to guarantee all three points after a corner in the box caused havoc, and substitute Tyrone Barnett was on hand to prod the ball home. 

ROBINS: Flinders; Broom, Raglan, Tozer, Boyle, Hussey, Tillson, Dawson (Maddox 76’), Clements, Waters (Bingham 84’), Varney (Barnett 75’). Subs not used: Lovett, Thomas, Forster, Pring.  

NOTTS COUNTY: Schofield; Barclay, Gomis, Boldewijn, Stubbs, O’Brien (Vaughan 82’), Milsom, Rose, Mackail-Smith, Stead (Hemmings 45’), Doyle. Subs not used: Fitzsimons, Tootle, Bird, Duffy, Alessandra.

ATTENDANCE: 3, 514 (563 away)

REFEREE: T. Bramall


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