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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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Bezzer added 22:11 - Aug 17
Eddie Howe’s blue army 😉

RobsonWark added 22:11 - Aug 17
A simple tap in header for Bonne and the match may have ended differently. Looks like Bonne has taken all that talk of dementia from heading the ball to heart.

Why is Hladky our goal keeper? He doesn't look very good to me. Holy should be our number 1 this season.

herobobby added 22:12 - Aug 17
Even Ipswich B Colchester) have two points
Which is still double what we have !

DaGremloid added 22:13 - Aug 17
So, resting the first team against Newport to concentrate on the league worked again didn't it?


algarvefan added 22:13 - Aug 17

I'm not overly worried just yet, we had players on the pitch tonight who only signed Sunday and yesterday. Positives for me were Burgess, looks a good centre half, Edwards is class and the first half performance was much better, if Bonne had scored I think we would have won, but as usual the second half away jitters started and players started having a go at each other and the team lost all it's confidence. Fair play to Cheltenham, what they lacked in quality they made up for with sheers guts and determination.

The response on Saturday will be interesting, we need a win and start looking for a settled side. I'm worried that Paul Cook, whose record is dreadful, is starting to look like a lame duck, some come on Town, dust yourself off and roll your sleeves up Saturday, the second half tonight simply wasn't good enough.

I still believe we will be OK though after about the 10 game mark.

Oldozblue added 22:13 - Aug 17
Early days but now 8 points behind Pompey. Looking at their social media on youtube they are matching the ITFC supporters enthusiasm but winning. Sensible commentary from the Cowleys'. Long way to go but which manager will finish higher?

DaGremloid added 22:14 - Aug 17
Are all you Paul Cook devotees starting to understand why a few of us were concerned now?

Monkey_Blue added 22:14 - Aug 17
If we win on Saturday the cook cultists will judge him a success but tell anyone who questions him after such poor results and performances since he arrived “it’s too early to judge him” despite him judging players almost immediately and “see, we told you so” if we beat a team we’ve robbed of their best players with an inexperienced management team.

PhilR added 22:14 - Aug 17
This was the first game I have been able to watch this season, glad that iFollow is still available. First half was at least promising, with periods of excellent play, a good goal and a great opportunity squandered by Bonne. Relatively speaking, we looked like we had some skilful players, while Cheltenham looked better balanced, combative and decently organised. That was in stark contrast to Ipswich in the second half. How is our midfield supposed to be working? We were well closed down and resorted 90% of the time to long balls from our back four. In contrast, when they came forward Cheltenham often played through our midfield like it pretty much wasn't there. Lot of work to do to get this group of players to work better together, work harder and more effectively, and turn some individual flair into an effective unit. No threat in the second half. Get your act together Cook.

istanblue added 22:14 - Aug 17
Losing to a tiny tinpot team: tick
Losing to ANOTHER club we had never lost to before: tick
Striker misses the easiest chance he will ever get: tick

New era, same old Ipswich.

Blueactually75 added 22:15 - Aug 17
It's getting embarrassing now. We keep buying all these new players but if they are no good and the manager is no good then we are no better off. Still don't understand how PC landed this role. This is the best opportunity we will ever get and PC is the best we could get in to oversee it?

BecclesBlue500 added 22:15 - Aug 17
I’m sorry but “Burgess impressive at centre half..” - I’ve only read the description of the goals, not seen the footage but we’ve been done by two crosses/long throws that weren’t dealt with by………….our Centre backs!?!?

Is there any good news? Is is masochistic that I can’t wait to hear what Cook says in his post match press conference?!

Now that’s entertainment!

DavoIPB added 22:16 - Aug 17
Beaten by a bad league one side. Our players on attacking quality are at least two leagues above them. Why were the players not looking for the ball in the second half? What is most worrying is that we lost any intent and seeming desire to win the game once they scored. Surely as an Ipswich player in that team you look at the players around you and think we are so much better than them we just need to keep up the pressure on them. No we start passing it around at the back, then to our goal keeper, then pass it straight out of play. Why? Is it not the job of the captain on the pitch and the manager to start calming everyone, showing them what to do, leading by example.

Had enough now, thought after first half we were going to win comfortably. Cheltenham did not have good players.

This season is over as far as promotion is concerned.

And oh look, the players we let go are playing well and scoring goals, now there's a surprise.

Norwichbeater added 22:16 - Aug 17
7 games to show significant improvement. He won’t have many more than that and rightly so. Let’s hope the tide turns on Saturday and we get 2 home wins in a row. We need it

Billysherlockblue added 22:17 - Aug 17
Cooks need another pair of eyes because All the decisions he made tonight made no sense. 20 mins in we were flying then tippy tappy football. Where is the high press and tempo we were promised. Burgess harper Edwards outstanding. The rest mmmmmmm. Ive supported Ipswich since 1970. I luv my club. But remember one thing ull ONLY GET OUT WHAT U PUT IN. Example Brentford v arsenal. Our players should watch that game and then theyll understand high press and WORKRATE. ... shameful mr cook.

Talbs77 added 22:18 - Aug 17
No doubt Paul cooks under pressure now, he shouldn’t be but he is due to not delivering results and this game is a results business. The new owners haven’t ploughed the
money they have for these results. I listened to first half, p*ssex all over them, Bonne misses an open goal. I turned it off at half time as so predictable what would come.

After all this positivity, all the signings, all the hope, have the same familiar feeling as had for last 15 years. Now hardly looking forward to Saturday.

It really is the hope that kills you.

abandon_hope1978 added 22:18 - Aug 17
So now we’ve been beaten by Cheltenham Town. There was a time when we didn’t know who or what Cheltenham Town was but again we’re showing how far we’ve fallen. 16 new signings but same results. Probably struggle against Bury Town the way we’re going.

Otesus added 22:19 - Aug 17
I know that it takes time to settle a raft of new players and the season is 46 games. But it seems that all the issues and frailties are still here. Can't defend, can't hit the target more than a couple of times ........ but can have all the posssession. Well, we will win that stat everytime if we are passing left side to right side to back side .

Am I seeing a recurring theme with our last 3 permaent managers??

All called Paul!
All born north of the Watford Gap!
All stubborn in the way they set up their team!
All got thier heads, shoved up thier own backsides of self importance!
All full of crap excuses!
AND it's always everyone elses fault but mine we lost!

We are lower in the 3rd tier of the football league, then I can ever remember. NOT acceptable for my beloved club!!

Please Gamechangers - when you replace the manager ................. don't get one called Paul for God's sake!!!

Nottsboy added 22:21 - Aug 17

Pettabelieveit added 22:22 - Aug 17
All those calling for Cooks head are probably the same that called for Micks, were then overjoyed with the appointment of Hurst and sung Lambert is a blue - embarrassing.

ThaiBlue added 22:23 - Aug 17
Well done burgess edwards harper.the rest average at best.think the cheltenham keeper never had to make a save so so poor.dont think the sherman tanks will be happy with this start few more bad results and cook will go.honymoon period is well and truely over.well done to the 995 town fans tonight you deserved better.

pup12 added 22:23 - Aug 17
Awful !Simply not good enough.I agree with this gel business,Morecambe have started well they had a big turnover of players .Ive said it and others have ...Richardson W was the brains .Once we couldn’t get both should have called off deal.Donacain should have stayed cd that’s his position Hurst put him rub poor sod been stuck since.Wolfy should be dropped KYV in.Scott F out wide as mentioned before best number 10 in league last season .Cook has next two home games ,no wins and he will be on very thin ice .COYB for sake

19781981twtd added 22:24 - Aug 17
All these new super stars were cook choices we must be the laughing stock of league one cheque book fc F*** up fc quality yet to be convinced all the new mob should have been I year contract not nice cozy 3 and 4 year deals this current situation has got to change or taxi for cook I would drive it my self back to scouse land.

KiwiTractor added 22:24 - Aug 17
No guarantee that any club can buy their way to success - just look at Derby County.

I want Cook and the team to do well, but currently struggling to see where the first win is coming from?

As mentioned many times above, I'm confused by the substitutions and timing of them. Dobra has been one of our best to date, but gets left on the pine...

blue86 added 22:25 - Aug 17
I'm not going to pretend I'm happy with the result, far far from it. But..... it really is early days. The players we have signed are proven players at this level, Piggot, Evan's, Bonne, Chaplin, Fraser etc. So on paper and reality we DO have good players, just need to bed in with such a massive overhaul of the squad. I would say let's see where were at in say 8ish games further into the season, must bee three points Saturday as it's my first game since before covid at Portman Road! 😎 only thing I would say is Cook has no excuses if this continues too long, and if were not top six by November then yeah, that's unacceptable in my eyes.

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