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Match Reports

Report and reaction: Fleetwood Town 1-2 Robins

29 March 2024

Match Reports

Report and reaction: Fleetwood Town 1-2 Robins

29 March 2024

The Robins earned a vital three points on the road this Good Friday, scoring late on to defeat fellow strugglers Fleetwood Town 2-1 at Highbury Stadium.

Goals from Liam Sercombe and Aidan Keena's first of the season either side of a equaliser from Ryan Graydon for the hosts helped Town to a much needed victory.

At full-time, a delighted Robins manager Darrell Clarke had this to say:

"It's a really good win. I thought we were very good in the first half and played some really good football. We lost some control at times in the second half but I was delighted with the characeter to see it through.

"I'm delighted for Aidan, he's had a tough time of things this season but his performance was very good. Hopefully now he gets some confidence and kicks on from there.

"It's a big game and a big three points but we've got eight more cup finals to go."

A quiet opening to proceedings in Lancashire saw little action, although hosts keeper Jay Lynch did to have to beat away Keena's flashed cross on 11 minutes.

The first real chance of note very nearly brought the opener 10 minutes later but Promise Omochere put in a vital block to divert Sercombe's back post volley behind.

Pheonix Patterson had the home sides' only shot on target of the first half moments later but it was to be a comfortable save for Luke Southwood in the Robins net.

Keena then saw a low shot drift just wide at the other end, captain Sean Long doing brilliantly to get the ball to his fellow countryman in the area.

It was the Robins who had the better of the opening 45 and they got the goal they deserved on the half hour mark.

A ball forward was flicked on by a combination of Keena and George Lloyd into the path of Sercombe. The midfield maestro worked it onto his left before finishing superbly past Lynch, scoring his ninth of the campaign.

1-0 to Town at the interval.

Into the second half and the hosts came out quick, looking to try and get back into the game. Bosun Lawal put a teasing cross into the box on 50 minutes, but no one in Fleetwood red could meet it.

As the clock ticked down Keena came close again with 20 minutes to play, his deflected shot wrong footing Lynch but going into the side netting and behind for a corner.

Town were managing the game well but were dealt a blow 10 minutes later. On the break down the left was Omochere for the hosts who picked out Graydon in the area to finish and level the scores.

But what came next was the definition of a perfect response from Town.

Substitute Joe Nuttall did well to hold the ball up before spinning off Fleetwood defender Ben Heneghan and bursting into the area.

His ball across the face of goal was inch-perfect and there in the box was Keena to slam home his long awaited first goal of the 2023/24 campaign, sparking jubilant scenes from the bench and the away end.

The hosts had one final chance at the death but when Tom Lonergan made his way into the box his stabbed effort was dealt with by Southwood to ensure a very Good Friday indeed for the Robins.

FLEETWOOD TOWN (3-5-2): Lynch; Campbell, Heneghan, Wiredu (C); Broom (Samuels 76), Kilkenny (Simons 65), Lawal, Mayor (Rooney 46), Patterson (Graydon 46); Omochere, Stockley (Lonergan 65). Subs not used: McMullan (Gk), Johnston

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Southwood; Davies, Bradbury (Smith 76), Freestone; Long (C), Pett (Bonds 63), Sercombe, Kinsella, Ferry; Lloyd (Nuttall 68), Keena. Subs not used: Pardington (Gk), Olayinka, Harrop, Thomas


ATTENDANCE: 3,642 (244 from Cheltenham)

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