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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 3-0 Walsall

21 November 2020

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Cheltenham Town have added a fourth win in as many games by beating Walsall 3-0 at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Second half goals from Matty Blair, Ben Tozer, and an own goal from Dan Scarr, sealed all three points for the hosts.

Despite hosting bottom-half side Walsall, Darrell Clarke’s side had only lost two games in League Two after the first 12 games to the campaign - a record only bettered by Exeter City.

Cheltenham came close to breaking the deadlock after only 20 minutes when Andy Williams stole a march on the Walsall defence to connect with Chris Hussey’s inviting cross.

Williams’ header across Liam Robert’s goal was denied by the post. The Walsall goalkeeper wasn’t made to work in the first half as The Saddlers made the better of the chances in the first period.

Elijah Adebayo could have taken his League Two tally to five goals if Tozer hadn’t thrown his body on the line to block his fierce effort from inside the Cheltenham box.

After Liam Kinsella was booked for simulation only minutes after Walsall came close in the opening ten minutes, the visitors would have to wait until the end of the first half to threaten Josh Griffiths’s goal again.

After joining up with England Under-20s for international duty this week, Griffiths returned to the starting lineup in what was Michael Duff’s only alteration to the team that beat Carlisle last time out.

Jake Scrimshaw’s effort rattled the underside of the crossbar on the 43rd minute when he connected firmly with the ball inside the Cheltenham box, following a succession of corners for the visitors.

If the first half was equally contested, then Cheltenham were keen to put the game to bed before the hour mark, as a customary long throw-in from Tozer helped break down a rigid Walsall defence.

Hurled into the box, Saddlers defender Scarr was caught under the flight of the ball as he turned the ball into his own net with goalkeeper Roberts caught in no-man’s land.

Five minutes later and another set-piece would cause problems for Walsall, as Will Boyle headed back across the six yard box from a corner, but there was nobody in a red shirt to turn the ball home.

Though Duff’s side wouldn’t have to long to double their advantage as Matty Blair netted his first goal for the club. Running onto Williams’ blocked effort from inside the box, Blair drilled the ball past Roberts with aplomb.

Tozer added a third in the dying embers to make sure of the points as he turned in Chris Hussey's delivery from the right side two minutes before full time.

West Bromwich Albion loanee Finn Azaz had trained for a full week after recording from injury that had kept him out of contention since October 10, but he was returned to the matchday squad, starting from the bench.

Cheltenham will host Cambridge United at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off 19:00) to contest another three points in League Two.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Josh Griffiths (Gk), B Tozer, C Raglan, W Boyle, C Hussey, M Blair, C Thomas, L Sercombe, E Chapman, A Williams (R Reid '90), A May (G Lloyd ' 86).

Subs not used: S Flinders (Gk), C Clements, L Freestone, F Azaz, T Sang.

WALSALL (4-4-2): L Roberts (Gk), C Norman, D Scarr, Z Jules, C Cockerill-Mollett (J Clarke ’70), R Holden, D Guthrie (W MCDonald ’70), L Kinsella, E Osadebe (J Nolan), E Adebayo (C Lavery ’70), J Scrimshaw (S Sinclair).

Subs not used: J Rose (Gk), H White.

Referee: Sam Purkiss.
Assistants: Mike Desborough, Dean Treleaven. Fourth Official: Andrew Hendley.

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