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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 1-2 Forest Green

2 November 2019

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Cheltenham Town lost 2-1 to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday in the Gloucestershire derby in League Two.

Goals from Jack Aitchison and Elliott Frear were enough to see them move top of the league in a tense battle at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Luke Varney pulled a goal back midway through the second half but they could not break down the solid Rovers back-line.

The Robins made a tentative start and former player Carl Winchester stung Scott Flinders’ gloves early on.

Rovers striker Matt Stevens tested the keeper again with a speculative snapshot on ten minutes in what was a cagey opening.

The visitors took a deserved lead on 15 minutes however, when Aitchison fired past a helpless Flinders from close range.

Cheltenham’s best moments came down the left, and when Broom’s cross found Sean Long at the far post, his drilled shot was defended well by Mills.

Chris Hussey attempted a speculative shot with a free-kick from a tight angle, but saw it diverted by Ebou Adams’ diving header.

Adams nearly fired one in at the other end but his first-time effort from range sailed over the bar.

Rovers really ought to have gone two up on 27 minutes when Frear’s header missed at point-blank range.

Cheltenham almost equalised when Broom’s fizzed cross was met by Varney, but he did not connect as he would have wished.

From the resulting corner he had another chance when Jake Doyle-Hayes found him six yards out, but he was denied by a piece of last ditch defending.

The visitors doubled their lead just before half-time with Frear timing his run in behind to perfection before toe-poking it into the bottom corner.

Michael Duff made a tactical change at half-time by bringing on midfield enforcer Rohan Ince for Charlie Raglan and moving Sean Long infield to right centre-back.

Despite that Frear came close to adding a third, cutting in from the left to shoot just over.

The Robins were gifted a lifeline when a Chris Clements free-kick was fumbled by ‘keeper Joseph Wollacott and Varney nodded in to make it 2-1.

Varney saw a shot parried with ten to go and would’ve hoped one of his fellow forwards would be there to pick up the scraps but it was cleared.

The drama intensified late on and Duff was booked as Cheltenham’s frustration grew.

CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders, Raglan (Ince, 46’), Tozer (c), Greaves; Long, Thomas, Doyle-Hayes (Clements, 57’), Hussey; Broom, Reilly (Smith, 65’), Varney.

Subs not used: Lovett, Boyle, Lloyd, Addai.

FOREST GREEN ROVERS: Wollacott, Shephard, Rawson, Bernard, Mills (c); Winchester, Adams; Kitching, Frear (Frear, 76’), Aitchison, Stevens.

Subs not used: Thomas, Morton, Mondal, Taylor, Godwin-Malife, McGinley.

REFEREE: Kevin Johnson

ATTENDANCE: 5,788 (944 away)


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