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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Tranmere Rovers 0-3 Robins

19 September 2020

Match Reports

Report & highlights: Tranmere Rovers 0-3 Robins

19 September 2020

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Cheltenham Town picked up their opening league win of the season in fine style at Tranmere Rovers.

All the damage was done before the break, scoring three goals to stun their hosts.

The Rovers side, narrowly relegated from League One last term, was packed full of experience and in Jay Spearing's case, Champions League pedigree but they couldn't live with Michael Duff's side.

They were quite simply brilliant in the opening 45 minutes, racing into a big lead thanks to goals by Charlie Raglan, Andy Williams – his first for the club – and an own goal by Paul Lewis.

After the break they were well organised, dogged and resilient to see off the contest and secure their first three points of the campaign.

Just as pleasing was the clean sheet for Josh Griffiths in goal.

It's been a slog so far, with four of the Robins' opening five matches coming on the road but this was the best performance of the lot so far.

It was also the first time they had won three on their travels since 2011.

"I thought we were as good as we were in the first 30 minutes last week [after Morecambe] but we didn't come off it today," said Duff.

"To go three-nil up in any league is excellent, and then we showed the other side of it. They had nothing to lose and went gung-ho, launching it into the box. We'd already won the game so we just had to protect it it so I was delighted with the clean sheet, and delighted for Josh [Griffiths].

Duff made three changes to the side that started at Millwall on Tuesday. In came Finn Azaz, the goalscorer that evening, while George Lloyd and Andy Williams started in attack in place of Alfie May and

The Robins were in total control in the opening 45 minutes and took the lead as early as the sixth minute, Raglan rising highest to meet Chris Hussey's perfect corner with a firm header.

Williams made it two 14 minutes later, racing onto Azaz's ball and beating Scott Davies from the angle.

And they extended their advantage six minutes before the interval, this time courtesy of Clarke's own goal after Liam Sercombe had sent in a corner from the left.

The hosts were floundering and made their first change before the break, replacing Mark Ellis with Liam Feeney. Immediately there was a chance when James Vaughan was presented with a headed chance but the striker missed the target from a great position. He missed a similar effort around the hour mark.

Meanwhile Hussey was called into a vital intervention to prevent a goal in the opening exchanges of the second half, denying Liam Feeney on the edge of the box with Josh Griffiths committed.

Tranmere were better in the second half but Cheltenham defended resolutely, and Griffiths didn't have a save to make. Lloyd forced Davies into a low save from a tight angle, while Raglan went close to heading home Hussey's inch-perfect corner, missing the left upright by a matter of inches.

TRANMERE ROVERS (3-5-2): Davies (c); Ellis (Feeney 36), Clarke, Monthe; O'Connor, Morris, Spearing (Banks 82), Lewis, Ridehalgh; Vaughan, Khan (Payne 82). Subs not used: Murphy, Nelson, MacDonald, Ray.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Griffiths; Raglan, Tozer (c), Boyle; Blair, Azaz (Bonds 65), Thomas, Sercombe, Hussey; Williams, Lloyd (Freestone 83). Subs not used: Clements, Reid, Campbell, Harris (Gk), Horton.

REFEREE: C Boyeson

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