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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Stevenage 0-1 Robins

20 April 2021

Match Reports

Report & highlights: Stevenage 0-1 Robins

20 April 2021

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George Lloyd's first half goal handed Cheltenham Town a priceless first league win at Stevenage tonight.

The wait for a victory at the Lamex Stadium has lasted 22 years but this one was well worth it, boosting the Robins' promotion credentials.

But it wasn't pretty, not that Michael Duff cared about that. His side were the better of the two before the break and deservedly led at the interval but the hosts were a much tougher proposition in the second half and they had to dig in to chisel out the points.

With the top seven bar Forest Green Rovers winning, the promotion pack looked exactly the same as they did at the start of the day with only four now to go, starting with the visit of Colchester United this Saturday.

A play-off berth is now assured but tonight's win means only four more points from those final matches is likely to seal promotion to League One.

But it's tight and it's going down to the wire. How are your fingernails?


"I thought we were good in the first half but we didn't start the second particularly well," said Duff after the game.

"Because we're so good at seeing games out it almost becomes our default position but we need to be better with the ball.

"We need to be a bit more confident in each other and trust each other a bit more, given where we are in the league.

"It panned out to be a really tough game tonight.

"I'm delighted for George Lloyd because he worked hard for that goal, and I thought he was excellent again tonight."


Duff made a trio of changes here, effectively replacing his front three after the defeat by Crawley Town five days earlier.

In came Lloyd and Sam Smith up front to partner for only the second time this season, replacing Andy Williams and Alfie May who both dropped to the bench. Meanwhile Finn Azaz replaced Callum Wright in the role behind the front two.

There was an early penalty appeal involving Sean Long although his claims were waved away, but the Irishman produced the first meaningful chance of the game midway through the opening 45 minutes when his header was held.

Liam Sercombe released a stinging shot from fully 25 yards a few moments later but Jamie Cumming, the Stevenage number one, was alive to the effort and tipped it over.

The home side didn't really threaten before the break but there were a couple of warning signs for the Cheltenham defence when Elliott List and Luke Norris, the veteran campaigner, created openings on the break.

But Lloyd opened the scoring with the interval approaching, taking down a lovely ball by Conor Thomas and shooting on the turn to notch his fourth of the campaign.


Stevenage made a change at the break, replacing Joe Martin with Jack Aitchison, and they went on to do the lion's share of attacking in second half. The subsitute was a whisker away from drawing his side level but his heavily deflected effort from an angle down the left dropped a matter of inches wide of the right post.

Sercombe recorded his side's only effort of the second period on the hour, but his hooked effort from the edge of the box was saved by Cumming. At the other end Tom Pett drove wide of the target after nicking the ball off Matty Blair.

But Cheltenham defended manfully to restrict their opponents, seeing out the vital win ahead of this weekend's match against Colchester United.


STEVENAGE FC (4-4-2): Cumming; Hutton, Vancooten, Prosser, Martin (Aitchison 46); Smith (Osbourne 81), Pett, Lines, Coker; List, Norris. Subs not used: Johnson (Gk), Vincelot, Cuthbert, Williams, Stevens.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Griffiths; Raglan, Tozer (c), Long; Blair, Thomas, Azaz (Chapmman 90), Sercombe, Hussey; Smith (May 90), Lloyd (Williams 90). Subs not used: Flinders (Gk), Freestone, Wright, Vassilev.


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