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Cheltenham Town 2-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 17th Aug 2021 21:55

Cheltenham came from a goal behind at half-time to beat Town 2-1 at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, their first ever victory over the Blues. Matt Penney’s brilliant first goal for the club gave Town the lead on nine and Macauley Bonne had a golden chance to make it should 2-0 during a dominant spell following the goal. However, Cheltenham were the better side in the second half and goals from Callum Wright and Will Boyle sealed a first League One win of the season for the Robins.

Vaclav Hladky was in goal with Janoi Donacien keeping his place but moving to right-back with Kane Vincent-Young dropping to the bench, one of three players who started on Saturday dropping to sub along with Louie Barry and Armando Dobra.

Penney was at left-back with Luke Woolfenden alongside one-time Robins loanee Cameron Burgess, making his Blues debut, at the heart of backline.

Skipper Lee Evans was again alongside Rekeem Harper in central midfield with Scott Fraser on the left, full debutant Kyle Edwards on the right and Macauley Bonne, making his first league start for the Blues, joining Joe Pigott up front.

Yesterday’s 16th new signing of the summer, Tom Carroll and, for the first time since joining the club on loan from Middlesbrough, Hayden Coulson were among the subs.

Cheltenham made three changes from the team which lost 3-1 at home to Wycombe on Saturday with club captain and long-throw expert Ben Tozer, Conor Thomas and Kyle Vassell, making his first start for the club, coming in for Matty Blair, Ellis Chapman and Alfie May, who dropped to the bench.

Prior to the game getting under way both teams and staff took a knee to applause from both sets of fans.

The home side should have gone in front in only the second minute. Hladky gave away a cheap throw on the right after a miscommunication with Woolfenden.

Tozer hurled into the area, the keeper failed to claim and Wright volleyed over at the far post with the ball having arrived quickly and at an awkward height. Nevertheless, it was a lucky escape for the Blues.

Town went ahead with their first serious attack of the game in the ninth minute. Edwards brought the ball forward and across the edge of the area from the left before feeding Fraser to his right.

The former MK Dons man worked himself space at a tight angle and hit a shot which was blocked by Sean Long in front of the line. The ball found its way out to Penney on the left from where the left-back slammed a superb powerful strike which keeper Owen Evans was only able to palm into the roof of the net.

Not only was it Penney’s first goal for the Blues, but his first in English football, having only previously netted in senior football for German side St Pauli, with whom he spent time on loan.

It should have been 2-0 in the 12th minute. Bonne lifted a ball which had been played down the middle and flicked on by Pigott over keeper Evans and it looked a formality that he would add the final touch with his head from just in front of the line. However, the on-loan QPR man misjudged the bounce, missed his header then scuffed the ball off the outside of the post and wide.

But despite the miss, which will get plenty of repeat viewings, Town kept up the pressure. Harper hit a deflected shot wide from the edge of the box, then on 14 Edwards scraped an effort past keeper Evans’s right post from 20 yards. Four minutes later, Blues skipper Evans curled a free-kick wide.

The Robins just about weathered Town’s post-goal pressure and won a couple of throws on the left which Tozer flung into the box, Burgess heading away the first and Hladky claiming the second with more confidence, although requiring treatment for a blow to the ear in the aftermath.

On 28 Town captain Evans was yellow-carded for a foul on Vassell as the home side countered after a Blues attack had broken down. A minute later, Wright joined him in the book for a foul on Edwards as the former West Brom man burst away on the halfway line.

The game had become a more even affair but on 35 Pigott curled a shot well wide from distance.

Cheltenham probably should have levelled in the 39th minute when the ball flicked off Charlie Raglan’s head and well wide from eight yards when he really should at least have hit the target from Liam Sercombe’s right-wing cross following a short corner.

Vassell headed wide at the far post from a left-sided Chris Hussey ball into the box in the final scheduled minute of the half, Penney and Burgess, who had had a dominant first half for the Blues at the back, having made it difficult for the former Rotherham man to get in a clean effort. The Town goalscorer required treatment following the incident but was OK to carry on.

Cheltenham were finishing the half the stronger of the two sides, but in the fourth minute of injury time Edwards made another blistering run forward before feeding Pigott to his left, However, the AFC Wimbledon man shot into the side-netting.

That was the last action of a half which really should have ended with the scoreline 2-0 to Town, like the midway point in all four of the previous games between the sides.

The Blues could well have put the game to bed in the spell after Penney’s brilliant goal, not least via Bonne’s missed opportunity. Edwards, pacy, tricky and deft of touch, had been unplayable in that period of the game.

However, Cheltenham will feel they should have scored before that through Wright and had another very good opportunity through Raglan and had ended the half on top.

Three minutes after the restart, Evans flicked a header wide from a Fraser cross from the right.

Town dominated the early stages of the half, stroking it around confidently, albeit without creating another opportunity.

On 56, a Robins free-kick routine from the right taken by Hussey flashed across the face of goal but without anyone there to add a final touch.

Cheltenham got back on top as the game reached the hour mark and on 62 they levelled. Burgess headed away a Tozer long throw from the right, rising highest among a tightly-bunched pack of players, but the ball was subsequently sent back into the box from the left by Boyle and Wright headed into the roof of the net.

Thomas was booked for pulling back Edwards as he broke forward on halfway, then on 66 the home side swapped Vassell and Andy Williams for Alfie May and George Lloyd.

Cheltenham continued to look the better side and the most likely scorer of the game’s third goal. On 72 Wright hit a well-struck shot which Hladky dived away to his right to save.

Three minutes later, Edwards, who had been quieter since the break, brilliantly turned away from his man and burst into the area before hitting a shot which deflected behind.

Town, who aside from Edwards’s chance hadn’t threatened since the early stages of the half, switched Pigott for Kayden Jackson in the 75th minute.

Two minutes later, Burgess, who had enjoyed a very assured debut at the heart of the defence, made a vital interception as Lloyd broke away towards goal. On 80 Cheltenham manager Michael Duff was booked for taking his complaints regarding a foul too far.

But the Robins boss will have forgotten all about that moments later when his side took the lead.

Town failed to deal with yet another long Tozer throw from the left, the ball ran loose and Boyle slammed it into the corner of the net.

Cheltenham, visibly growing in confidence, kept up the pressure with Tozer’s long throws remaining their main weapon. On 85, following one from the left which had been cleared, sub Ellis Chapman crossed from the left and Hladky tipped Boyle’s header over the bar.

Barry replaced Bonne in the 86th minute as the Blues desperately looked for an equaliser, something which wasn’t looking particularly likely. Carroll was introduced for his debut three minutes later but was unable to influence the game before referee Peter Wright brought the afternoon to a close to cheers from the home fans.

As on Saturday, Town really should have had the match won having been so dominant for a spell in the first half.

However, despite the Blues starting the second half strongly, Cheltenham were on top for the most part after the break with Tozer’s long throws always a threat and on the balance of the second 45 minutes they deserved to take the points.

Town once again showed signs of the team they want to be, with Burgess impressive at centre-half on his debut and Edwards putting in a very exciting display in the first half if much quieter in the second, but again mistakes, on this occasion at both ends, let them down.

Following back-to-back defeats in their first two away games, the Blues now face the MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon in successive games at Portman Road.

Cheltenham: Evans, Long, Hussey, Tozer (c), Raglan, Thomas, Sercombe, Vassell (May 66), Williams (Lloyd 66), Boyle, Wright (Chapman 85). Unused: Freestone, Blair, Perry, Flinders.

Town: Hladky, Donacien, Woolfenden, Burgess, Penney, Harper, Evans (c), Fraser, Bonne, Edwards, Pigott (Jackson 77). Unused: Holy, Vincent-Young, Coulson, Carroll, Dobra, Barry. Referee: Peter Wright (Merseyside). Att: 4,746 (Town: 995).

Photo: Pagepix

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chopra777 added 22:01 - Aug 17
Sorry not good enough tonight talent on the pitch, but no game plan from PC. We could not cope with Tozer's long throws. Re-group and get ready for next match. Keep calm it is early days.

legoman added 22:01 - Aug 17
Cooky has to look at all of his players some time. He got some answers tonight. Roll on Saturday. Onwards and upwards.

Northstandveteran added 22:01 - Aug 17
Breaking news!

U.S Firemen retirement age has been raised to 96.

American owners seen leaving Portman road pitch clinging to outside of helicopters.

runningout added 22:01 - Aug 17
Nothing to see here : /

Bezzer added 22:02 - Aug 17
Get Eddie Howe in now!

BossMan added 22:02 - Aug 17
That was a long way to come for a lot of goofball. Where are our goals going to come from ?

Nobbysnuts added 22:03 - Aug 17
Well what can you say after that crap...if it wasn't for the injury time goal against morecambe we would be bottom of the league with nil points...please gamechanger live up to your name and change this clown of a manager before it's to late.....oh sorry I forgot we've still got to gel...what a load of b#llocks.

DaGremloid added 22:03 - Aug 17
"...And in more predictable news, Ipswich Town lose once again to Shyte United."

brianbull added 22:03 - Aug 17
I thought the end of last season was going to be our lowest point, how wrong could I be?
So far we have drawn at home to Morcombe, lost to Newport, lost for the first time ever to Burton and now lost to Cheltenham. All this rubbish about being a big scalp blah blah blah, we’ve heard it all before. We are just sh1t, sort it out Cook, you’ve now got all your players, do something with them……….. It is very hard to stay optimistic and patient with these results

suffolkblueeye added 22:04 - Aug 17
Can’t creat a clear chance, good at passing round the back four, until we fxxk that up

FrankMarshall added 22:04 - Aug 17
We are avoiding the relegation zone which is the most important thing right now. Avoid those bottom 4 places and we will have a great season next season and end up in the play-offs! Onwards and upwards Town. COYB! Let's get a point or 2 now in the next 2 games!

herfie added 22:04 - Aug 17
So much work for PC to do to turn a bunch of individuals into an effective team. Time to ‘gell’ is over. Time to delver has arrived.

marco5113 added 22:05 - Aug 17
i know its early days but no one could have predicted this poor start.

surely we are better than this..... paul cook needs to the players gelling very very soon.

Roo added 22:06 - Aug 17
Am in shock at our poor second half display and how we lost that game. What worries me the most is the lack of shots on target and the defensive lapses in concentration that are costing us. As a positive I thought Burgess had a good game and Harper and Edwards a good first half but it’s a game of 90 mins. Two home games now to get our season up and running. We can turn this around but it will take time however pressure is now mounting! COYB

PinstripeBlue added 22:06 - Aug 17
I was always a Paul Hurst fan. Trying to change the team. Bring in new players. How rubbish am I xxx

Gilesy added 22:06 - Aug 17
When can I stop being offered sympathy for being an Ipswich fan?

matthewwylds added 22:06 - Aug 17
Well it’s saved me a few £££ again this season I can’t go a watch this s#it

Monkey_Blue added 22:07 - Aug 17
Please don’t give me this gel nonsense. Look at Morecambe. Signed 15 players before we played them. Don’t when we see 4 wins in 20 games give me this “they were terrible players” BS. Do you really think Burton had better players than us last season or our budget this summer? Don’t give me this Blackpool argument. Most teams who have a bad start to a season have a bad season. Some managers find their level or pass their sell by date. I worry we have a lower league manager full of cliché’s and low on grey matter. We’ve been worse under Cook than Lambert and that’s not even close to good enough. I don’t question the players we’ve signed so much as the manager and the strategy. My worries about being owned by a pension fund can take a back seat but I seriously think Cook is out of his depth and that may make my worries about being owner by people who don’t care or know about the club and are in it purely for money heightened sooner than I thought. He’s been given everything he wants and now see the excuses and hypocrisy flow.

JCBLUE added 22:07 - Aug 17
Not good enough, we need to make our quality count. Much better squad but same old at the moment. 4 wins in 20 is poor by any standard, we need to gel soon!


Wooly74 added 22:08 - Aug 17
Up until now I have been very defensive of Cook and his team, but for me we aren’t even getting the basic decisions right. Let’s be honest, we pretty much dominated the first 55-56 minutes of the game, looking relatively good (with the odd scare of our own making at the back). Then we seemed to want to sit back or we ran out of ideas. Why the hell is Jackson being bought on ahead of the young Villa lad and for Piggot as well???

The longer the run goes on without a win the worse it is going to get for Cook, he badly needs a result and soon otherwise I can’t see the US putting up with it sorry.

Evans as captain was poor, Harper looks quality alongside him and composed. Edwards for the first time in a long time looks like someone who could really go at the opposition, but just didn’t get the service or any meaningful pass in the second half.


oldshuck added 22:08 - Aug 17
Are we allowed to be critical now??
1 point against Morecambe, Burton, Cheltenham, plus loss to Newport.
6 games max for Cook to prove himself.

mathiemagic added 22:09 - Aug 17
Utterly unacceptable second half it has to be said. Let us just get football back to its bare bones please. This is L1, we have more quality on paper than nearly all the teams in this division. Play a simple 4-4-2, play the hoofers and route one'ers at their own game and we will start to win games. Football aint rocket science and we need to realise that very quickly. I will not panic yet but PC really needs to go back to basics and grind out some results quickly.

cranky_old_tractor added 22:09 - Aug 17
Good bunch of players. Need time but hope to see progress soon. Heat in the kitchen is defo going up a few notches for the Cook! Apologies that's really bad.

Lightningboy added 22:10 - Aug 17
Ah well,at least we’re one step closer to my dream management team of Magilton & Burley.


d77sgw added 22:10 - Aug 17
Danny Cowley's laughing his tits off right now....

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