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Match Reports

Report: Bristol Rovers 2-1 Robins

1 January 2023

The Robins fell to defeat on New Years Day, as Alfie May's second half strike was not enough to turn around two first half goals from Bristol Rovers.

Aaron Collins put the home side ahead after slotting the ball into the bottom corner when one-on-one with Luke Southwood, with Josh Coburn adding an identical goal minutes later from the other side of the box. The latter appeared offside.

May struck 90 seconds into the second half as the home side gave the ball away from a goal kick. Despite multiple chances in the second half, the Robins left empty handed. 

Cheltenham had the opening chance in the first minute as Sean Long’s giant throw-in was flicked on by a defender straight to Dan Nlundulu who diverted the ball with his head into the side netting.

Southwood was brought into action, as the home side countered from a Robins corner, Sam Finley found space on the left-hand side of the box, with his dinked cross, parried away by the keeper.

Finley had the home side’s first chance on goal, a long ball on the right was played back onto the edge of the box by Anderson, however Finley sent the ball high over the net. 

The home side took the lead in the 25th minute, as Collins was played in through the middle, beating Freestone to the ball and slotting his shot into the far corner, past the onrushing Southwood.

Rovers had a chance to double their lead as Coburn ran through on goal, his strike was excellently blocked over the bar by Freestone.

With the pitch causing disruption to play on both sides, forward Collins lost the ball deep in his own territory, allowing Broom to set up Liam Sercombe who angled his strike well, but just over the top right corner of the goal.

The home side doubled their lead with five minutes of the first half left, Collins turned provider as he slotted in Coburn, who seemed to be in an offside position, who placed the ball under Southwood from a nice angle.

The Robins were inches away from pulling one back. Sercombe took a touch just outside the box and rifled a shot past Belshaw, only for the right-hand post to come to the aid of the home side.

Wade Elliott looked towards his subs bench at the break, bringing on Will Ferry, Ryan Jackson and Elliot Bonds at the interval and the changes, alongside a half-time team talk, reinvigorated his side.

Tows halfed the deficit 90 seconds into the second half after the Rovers defence gave the ball away straight to May. He took on one defender before smashing the ball into the roof of the net for his sixth league goal of the season. 

The forward had the chance to equalize less than two minutes later. Rovers' short corner was cleared by Broom straight into the path of May, but his delicate chip agonisingly fell wide of the far post.

The Robins piled on the prerssure in persuit of the equalizer, Nlundulu was taken down on the right wing, with the freekick evenualtly falling to Bonds, whos shot was wide. In similar range, Sercombe tried his luck on goal with his effort going pver the bar.

Quick fire chances fell to Cheltenham on the hour mark. May had two shots blocked in quick succesion. The latter rebounded to Broom who could not keep his dinked effort under the net.

With the weather and pitch worsening, chances were at a limited capacity, the home side succeeded in slowing the game down as no chances of any note fell to either side in the final moments.

To add to Cheltenham's woes, defender Freestone had to be stretchered off for a knee injury. 

Rovers XI: Belshaw, Connolly, Finley (McCormick 80'), Sinclair, Collins, Coutts, Gibson (Hoole 58'), Anderson (Gibbons70'), Evans (Whelan 80'), Thomas, Coburn (Loft 70')

Unused-substitutes: Jaakkola, Marquis

Robins XI: Southwood, Long (Brown 78'), Freestone (Norton 89'), Taylor, Williams (Ferry 45'), Broom, Sercombe, Perry (Jackson 45'), Olayinka (Bonds 45'), May, Nlundulu

Unused-substitutes: MacDonald, Bradbury, Norton

Referee: O. Yates

Attendance: 9,649


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