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Match Reports

Report and reaction: Port Vale 1-2 Robins

28 October 2023

Match Reports

Report and reaction: Port Vale 1-2 Robins

28 October 2023

The Robins secured their first three points away from home of the season in a hard fought 2-1 victory over Port Vale at Vale Park.

A brace from captain Sean Long helped Town to a massive win over manager Darrell Clarke's former side.

After the result, Clarke said:

"I'm really pleased for my players and I'm delighted for my supporters because we put one hell of a shift in.

"Hopefully this can give the boys confidence, but we've still got a lot of work to be doing to make sure the performances keep improving."

It was a slow start to a tight affair in Staffordshire, as neither side were able to carve out any clear cut chances early on.

Rob Street was the first to bring either keeper into action on 25 minutes. The Robins attacker latched on to a loose ball before firing at goal, only to be denied by the outstreched arm of Connor Ripley.

George Lloyd came close moments later, spinning his man in the area before his left footed strike whistled just wide.

But despite having not tested Luke Southwood at all in the opening 30 minutes, it was the hosts who took the lead.

It was Vale captain Nathan Smith who won the header from the corner before Alfie Devine's acrobatic effort flew past the Robins keeper from close range. 

Ryan Loft came close to doubling the hosts' lead from range 10 minutes later but the Robins would captilise moments before the break.

A long throw from the far side dropped at the feet of Long in the area, who worked it onto his right before firing home the equaliser, all square at the break.

Almost immediately after the interval, Town very nearly took the lead. It was Elliot Bonds with the strike, thundering a long range effort that crashed off the bar and away.

Both sides continued to search for the lead and it was Long, once again on target for Chetenham to put the Robins ahead just after the hour mark.

The ball bounced around in the area before falling to the skipper, who's effort took a wicked deflection over the helpess Ripley.

From then the Robins battled valiantly, reducing Southwood to very little, barring a comfortable save right at the death to seal the points and take them back to Cheltenham.

PORT VALE (3-5-2): Ripley; Sang, Debrah, Smith (C), Cass, Ojo, Plant (Massey 79), Devine, Chislett (Arblaster 79), Thomas, Loft (Ikpeazu 62). Subs not used: Leutwiler (Gk), Shorrock, Conlon, Walters

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-4-3): Southwood; Long (C), Bevan, Davies, B.Williams, Ferry (Sercombe 55), Bonds, Thompson (Butler-Oyedeji 55), Street (Bradbury 76), Lloyd (Keena 62), Goodwin. Subs not used: Harris (Gk), J.Williams, Malcolm

REFEREE: M Corlett

ATTENDANCE: 6,471 (198 from Cheltenham)

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