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Report: Under-18s 5-2 Bristol Rovers

25 March 2022

A flurry of Cheltenham goals both sides of half time saw Cheltenham to a second win in a row as Pete Haynes’ side beat Bristol Rovers’ 5-2.

It was a quick start to the game as Bristol's Josh Jenkins picked up a yellow card after just three minutes, his disagreement with the referee followed quickly by Cheltenham’s Alfie Taylor being brought down on the edge of the box two minutes later. Taylor himself stepped up to take and his low cross found the bottom left corner to open the scoring.

Bristol had little sight of goal until the tenth minute when Matt Reed converted from the spot to level the scoring. Bristol had seen their initial shot blocked but a second player sliding in caught Jenkins’ standing foot and the referee pointed to the spot.

Cheltenham were soon back ahead when Zac Guinan's deflected effort beat the keeper after the visitors struggled to clear their lines 16 minutes in. Fin Jenner made it three 15 minutes later, Adulai Sambu doing well to chase a Josh Aldridge through ball to keep it in play and pass to Alfie Taylor. Quick feet from Taylor saw him go past three Rovers’ defenders before his pass was put through to Jenner who smashed past the ‘keeper and into the top right corner.

The first half action wasn’t done yet, Bristol halved the deficit after capitalising on a stray pass on the edge of the Cheltenham box, Josh Jenkins picking up the ball and slotting home despite Ben Hoy getting a hand to it. An exciting first half saw the two teams head inside with the Robins leading 3-2.

The visitors started the second half strongly, going all out for an equaliser and almost finding it three minutes in, a good cross into the back post had the goal begging but no one could make contact. More Rovers’ pressure came with multiple free kicks and set pieces coming to nothing as the away side grew frustrated.

Nerves were settled on the hour mark when Brandon Liggett was brought down to the left of the Rovers’ goal, Josh Alrdidge stepping up to cross the ball in but seeing his effort caught by the wind and blown past a hapless Bristol shot stopper. Cheltenham had restored their two goal lead and the Rovers manager's protest saw him go into the book.

The away side kept pushing to get a goal back, throwing bodies forward and leaving space for Guinan to run in behind and play the ball across the face of goal, finding Sambu at the back post who tapped in to make it five.

UNDER-18s: Ben Hoy, Adulai Sambu, Kwakye Osei, Josh Aldridge, Will Taylor, Cam Walters, Alfie Taylor, Zac Guinan, Rio Spencer, Brandon Liggett, Fin Jenner. (Subs: Archie Burford, Dan Lewis-Bamana, Alfie Pledger)

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