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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 1-0 Accrington Stanley

16 October 2021

Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 1-0 Accrington Stanley

16 October 2021

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Kyle Vassell scored his first League goal for Cheltenham Town in a 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Will Boyle’s shot from just inside the box was saved by Toby Savin but Vassell finished the rebound on 79 minutes.

Cheltenham ended a run of three straight league defeats and climbed into 14th place.

Accrington, meanwhile, have registered just four league points on the road and remain 11th in League One.

Michael Duff said the international break gave his team a good chance to reset. They were also boosted by the return of captain Boyle from injury, while Dan Crowley made his League debut for the Robins.

Stanley and Cheltenham had conceded more goals than any other club in League One before kick-off (20) but both did their utmost to keep each other at bay in the first half.

Vassell was presented with a prime opportunity inside the opening five minutes following some industrious work by Alfie May down the left. The Cheltenham forward sprinted away from his marker and squared to an unmarked Vassell, who after initially fluffing his lines, drew a comfortable save from Savin.

Crowley entertained the home crowd with a confident and energetic performance. He helped Cheltenham tick in the centre of midfield and posed the biggest threat to Stanley’s aerially supreme centre-backs with his teasing crosses.

His corner from the right set-up Cheltenham’s next chance when Mattie Pollock’s downward header was clawed away by Savin before Boyle’s hooked cross was to no avail.

Boyle had perhaps the best chance of the first half. Crowley, buzzing around the pitch incessantly, breezed past a series of passes before rolling a low ball out to Sean Long. He picked an inviting cross for Boyle but the Robins defender’s header was wayward and sailed over the crossbar.

Stanley, who rarely threatened in the final third, nearly caught Cheltenham cold against the run of play on the cusp of half-time. Conor Thomas’ interception inadvertently found former Robins midfielder Harry Pell. Scott Flinders did very well to narrow the angle and sprawled into a low save.

Taylor Perry had to be withdrawn due to an injury and his replacement Ellis Chapman made a good impression at the beginning of the second half. A lung-busting run down the left was followed by a low cross to Vassell but his low strike deflected wide.

Cheltenham faded slightly and allowed Stanley into the game. They very nearly punished them when Pell was denied by a spectacular save from Flinders. Sean McConville tiptoed his way past Chris Hussey and Pell met David Morgan’s cross with a thunderous header but Flinders proved impenetrable.

Boyle needed treatment during the final 25 minutes but battled onto play a key role in the winning goal. Vassell declared this match as the point where his “season starts” and marked it with his first league goal for the Robins on 79 minutes. Boyle weaved his way into the penalty area and unleashed a dangerous shot which Savin parried straight to Vassell to convert.

Cheltenham had two late chances to add a second with Kyle Joseph and Matty Blair coming close. Joseph poked his finish wide of the far post and turned provider for Blair whose hesitant finish deflected wide.

Cheltenham Town (3-5-2): S Flinders; S Long, M Pollock, W Boyle; M Blair, C Thomas, D Crowley (D Barkers 81), T Perry (Chapman 45), C Hussey; A May (K Joseph 72), K Vassell.

Subs not used: O Evans, L Freestone, A Williams, C Norton.

Accrington Stanley (3-4-1-2): T Savin; R Sykes, M Nottingham, Y Amankwah; S McConville (J O’Sullivan 74), S Conneely, D Morgan (J Malcolm 86), E Hamilton; M Butcher; H Pell (T Leigh 87), C Bishop.

Subs not used: J Trafford, S Sherring, L Mansell, J Nolan.

Referee: James Oldham

Attendance: 3,437 (139)

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