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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Cheltenham 2 - 0 United

Long midweek away trip for the Blues

20 August 2019

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Cheltenham 2 - 0 United

Long midweek away trip for the Blues

20 August 2019

The Blues headed into Gloucestershire for the long Tuesday night away trip to face Cheltenham Town as the fixtures continue to come thick and fast.

Manager Steven Pressley stuck with the same starting line up for the third consecutive game as he looked for a repeat of the performance from Barnsley last Tuesday night.

A huge throw from Elliott caused early problems for the home side as it bounced up in front of Flinders. The keeper got there but he was under pressure from McKirdy and had to take care with his handling.

United came again when Iredale sent a lovely pass forward from the edge of his own box. McKirdy got his head down and set off at pace, and he angled his run to step inside his man. He went for a shot that had power, but it came off Raglan and spun harmlessly behind.

Alert work from Bridge saw him rob possession in midfleld moments later but he was chopped to the floor for his troubles as he tried to skirt past Tozer. He dusted himself down to take the 30-yard free kick but it thumped into the wall.

Carlisle dominated the early play and a clipped ball forward from Thomas found Scougall on a run. He tried to guide a header towards Loft but Flinders was off his line quickly to close it down.

The Robins showed as a dangerous force on 10 minutes when Broom cut in from the left. He tried to pick out Long with a measured cross but Collin was able to watch in relative calm as it bounced beyond his post.

It sparked a better spell for the hosts and Reilly did well with his back to goal as Long flighted a high ball towards the edge of the box. The forward took it down on his chest, spun into space and put his boot through the shot, but Collin dived early to complete a comfortable save.

Cheltenham grabbed the lead when they used a training ground corner routine to good effect as Debayo rolled it to the near post for Doyle-Hayes, then Long, to claim. He dropped a shoulder and looped a deft cross into the mix, and Gavin Reilly did the rest as he jumped high to head it home from close range.

The visitors tried to get their game going again and Thomas latched onto a half clearance from a corner as Loft and McKirdy battled to make things happen. The Carlisle winger went for a volley but he scuffed it and it was always heading wide.

The Robins were a whisker away from a second strike on 26 minutes when Raglan found himself with space to work in, when a free kick from the left flank came his way. His header dropped beyond Collin, but it came back off the post and the spin on the ball invited Reilly to have a go. He couldn't find his feet, and Varney was also off-balance, and that gave Knight-Percival and Elliott the chance they needed to get in the way. The whistle eventually blew, bringing an end to the goalmouth scramble, much to the relief of the away fans behind the nets. 

United had moments when they looked like they were going to break through, most notably when Bridge was on the ball, but it was the Robins who knocked on the door again when Reilly spread a reverse pass to Long. He crossed low from the right on the sprint but Knight-Percival slid in to hook it clear before Varney could pounce.

The lively Varney had a goal ruled out for offside, when he was played through by Reilly, and there was drama at the other end when a scuffed Flinders clearance went straight to Bridge. He fed Thomas on the overlap, before calling for the ball again, and a short touch to Scougall was followed by a volley which Tozer did well to smother. It spun away to Thomas but his snapshot climbed high into the stands.

Cheltenham looked full of confidence and an inswinging 23-yard free kick from Clements flew across the face of the United goal unhindered just before the break.

But it was a short-lived reprieve for the Blues as they found themselves two behind when Varney somehow made a spinning high delivery from Clements his own with a touch from his chest. He seemed to have an age to set himself, as the visiting contingent waited for the whsitle to blow for a suspected handball, but the striker ignored the appeals before he picked his spot in the bottom corner with a neat and accurate finish.

Striker Olufela Olomola came on to replace Ryan Loft after the break but, with the rain streaming down from the heavens, it was Cheltenham who created the first opening as Debayo bent another testing corner low and to the edge of the box. Varney reacted first to get there to unleash his shot but Webster did well to make the block. 

Home celebrations were cut short on 49 minutes as Collin came out to claim a dipping cross from Clements. The stopper was knocked to the floor as the ball bobbled over the line and the referee spotted the infringement and put the whistle to his mouth.

Set pieces from Debayo were a constant threat, and Collin did well to punch clear from beneath his bar when another fierce inswinger came from out wide.

Carlisle responded with a decent spell of pressure and they won a corner when Jones tried to pick out Olomola when he'd pulled wide. A flick from Tozer took it behind, and the second delivery fell nicely for McKirdy to strike.

Flinders threw both hands in the air to make the parry, and Webster couldn't believe his bad luck when he reacted first to send the loose pieces towards the bottom corner. Olomola could do nothing as it hit his boot - a touch which stopped the ball from going over the line.

Carlisle tails were up and Olomola did well to find Thomas with a lovely pass which left the winger with just the keeper to beat. Flinders spread himself to make the block, and Thomas was shown a yellow card as the referee signalled that a hand had been used to guide the rebound into the net.

Thomas then put a 24-yard free kick right at Flinders, and the same player blazed an effort wide from just inside the area when he shook off the attentions of Debayo before sending his effort through a ruck of bodies.

Flinders had to parry with both fists when Thomas let fly following what had been an excellent piece of possession football. Elliott, Bridge and Scougall had all probed on the right flank, and the resulting shot had accuracy, which forced the save from the keeper.

More good football from the visitors brought another corner when a cross from Iredale was put behind by Raglan. Bridge sent it in, and the clearance eventually came back to Thomas. His low cross was met by Webster but his touch, as he looked to set himself for a shot, allowed Long to clear before the big defender could have a go.

Carlisle shoiwed more flashes of what they're about when Scougall bounced the ball off Bridge, then Thomas. Elliott screamed for it as he came in support and his low cross was begging for a touch. Raglan was once again there to punt it clear.

The away side were almost undone on the break when Broom was released by a pass on the turn from Varney. Collin stayed big to work the angles and a curling shot grazed the outside of the upright.

The Robins closed things down as they looked after their two-goal advantage, and the green shirts were left to ponder a poor first half, which had ultimately led to their downfall.



Cheltenham Town - Reilly (15), Varney (45)



Cheltenham Town - Tozer (7)

Carlisle United - Scougall (35), Iredale (43), Thomas (56)



Cheltenham Town - Flinders (gk), Long, Tozer (c), Raglan, Clements, Broom, Debayo (Hussey 71), Reilly (Lloyd 78), Doyle-Hayles, Greaves, Varney (Campbell 85). Subs - Lovett (gk), Bowry, C Thomas, Brennan.

Carlisle United - Collin (gk)(c), Elliott, Webster, Knight-Percival, Iredale, Scougall, Jones, Bridge (Sagaf 88), N Thomas, Loft (Olomola 46), McKirdy (Hope 71). Subs - Gray (gk), Mellish, Branthwaite, Sorensen.


Match Officials

Referee - Will Finnie
Assistant Referee 1 -
Andrew Williams
Assistant Referee 2 -
Darren Wilding
Fourth Official -
Paul Hobday


Attendance - 2,634 (207 away fans)

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