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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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Nottsboy added 22:28 - Aug 17
Monkey blue I must congratulate you normally you say some home truths and get slated for it however this time you have positive marks LOL.

Orraman added 22:29 - Aug 17
That’s now 4 wins out of 20. Makes you wish for the return of the days of John Duncan and Paul Hurst. How long can Gamechanger allow this to go on and jeopardise the pension pots of the Arizona fire and police depts.
in the second half Cheltenham showed so much more desire to win the ball and as a result showed much more fight. I really thought that we were signing players who were a bit mote streetwise and up for a fight. I am not criticising any of the player’s abilities but there is still no steel or backbone amongst them. There is no doubt they can play football but they need guidance and leadership. Does Cook not do homework on the opposition and formulate a Plan A and a Plan B. We did not have one cross into the box tonight because we did not have a winger worthy of the name.
That’s now two games against teams just promoted from Lge 2 and one game against a current Lge 2 side and we have secured one draw and after only 3 league games are already 7 points off the top two. Cowley must be pi**ing himself

Michael101 added 22:30 - Aug 17
Bezzer, whatever you are taking can I have some please.Eddie Howe was on 7 million per year at Bournemouth. If you think he (or lampard ,Pearson etc) would come to a 3rd tier club to get about 500k per year you are a bigger idiot than I thought possible.

blueboy1981 added 22:31 - Aug 17
I think the more players than come in our door, the more our new Owners will start to wonder what, or who, was behind Paul Cooks previous success and achievements elsewhere.
Whether the team / squad has had time to gel or not, results tail end last season, and results against recent opposition this season thus far - does not fill anyone with confidence.
It definitely needs to change, these have been games that should have been easier to claim points in.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day, or even two -so time will tell on all fronts.

Billysherlockblue added 22:32 - Aug 17
Why is piggott not our main striker with fraser as our no 10. Then get the ball down the wings and cross low and high. Is this difficult. Also man up mr cook and play a team that will work hard not trying to please your so called star names. Burgess for capt for me.

LimerickTractorBoy added 22:34 - Aug 17
That f**King ruined my night

londontractorboy57 added 22:34 - Aug 17
Is now the time to ask those super know all fans if this is what they wished for ? A glance at the championship table show a certain dinosaurs team sitting 5th competing scoring goals, you fools.
Cook Out

Bluewelshman added 22:34 - Aug 17
Paul Cook or Paul Hurst?

Starting to wonder if history is gonna repeat itself when we draw at home to Morecombe, lost at home to Newport, lost away to Burton, and lost away to Cheltenham...CHELTENHAM; this new dawn is starting to look very familiar.

It's embarrassing; we got torn apart by f*****g Cheltenham in the second half, and I know I'm gonna be told we need games to gel...if we need games to gel why did Cook change the team for Newport at home. Also I will hear the classic "Blackpool started badly last season and look what happened"...B*****ks, many, many, more teams have started this badly and finished mid table or bottom of the table. I am allowed to be p****d off and nobody can say I can't be.

I'm fearing Saturdays match, because if we get ripped up by Cheltenham FFS God help us against MK Dons. So Paul Cook find a sodding team and stick to it whatever the competition so the team can "GEL". We are supposed to have some of the best players in the league so play the players in the right positions and get the partnerships shaped.

I am not a Paul Cook out fan, but as long as these type of results continue..4 wins in 20...questions need to be asked.



Titters added 22:34 - Aug 17
We have had 20 years of this. It’s beginning to wear thin. Ok the team are just getting it together but they need to sort it soon or we will be too far behind.

Billysherlockblue added 22:38 - Aug 17
Oh and mr cook get in an assistant manager to have a second opinion. Not ure buddys who were pals and bootmen. Sorry if this is harsh but its a reality and im so dissatisfied with our LIMP performance. When i played soccer ud throw yourself at the ball to make sure u scored not hope it crosses the line with its own momentum. Come on guys roll up your sleves were so sick of thisS...E

DaGremloid added 22:38 - Aug 17
blue86 - Agreed. And it's not the players I'm concerned about. It's the manager. I said it when he was appointed last season and I'll say it again: he's not up to it, is overrated, and was the wrong choice for our club. I genuinely hope I'll be proved totally and utterly wrong because I want my club to succeed, but equally genuinely I don't think I will. Something about PC just doesn't seem right.

GiveusaWave added 22:41 - Aug 17
Seriously...what did people expect this season?

Complete overhaul of squad (which nearly always results in a dodgy following season). It isn't Championship Manager....players need time.

Those mentioning relegation; no chance. Look how poor our results have been so far and we are still outside of the relegation zone. It'd take a catastrophic run of bad form to be relegated which isn't going to happen with this squad of players. We have match winners...and we will (eventually) start winning...

We should expect mid-table this season though...

Wouldn't take much at the moment to motivate rival players either....just show them the "chequebook fc" song...

Orraman added 22:42 - Aug 17
@ Otesus - brilliant post. You are spot on there

Yorkshire_Townie added 22:43 - Aug 17
Well Monkeyblue said it a while ago... either 'shambert' was a bad manager OR the squad we had over the last 2 seasons was far worse than we reckoned. Cant have been both or they'd have been fighting relegation from the 3rd div.... hmmm. As it was those players were around the play off places for most of the time, or better. Then Cook turned up. Im NOT particularly a lambert fan but I do think the timing of his departure was odd. He never got a full season with us, so in truth it is hard to say we definitely wouldnt have got up from this div in the last 2 yrs. Instead Cook turned up and messed up a clear opportunity to get up in 20-21. The team was in form and there or thereabouts in the playoff race. Instead he tells them they are all out & he was gonna bring in a whole new team. I wasnt happy at their reaction (downing tools) but it is perfectly understandable human response. A more sensible management action would have been to encourage/cajole & try to get a playoff spot. Even if they failed IN the playoffs it is easier to sell an 'on the up' club to new players.

Monkey_Blue added 22:43 - Aug 17
Michael101… I think the Eddie Howe idea is far from as outlandish as you suggest. Also £7m a year? Are you his accountant. Evans who is the largest individual share holder of the club is big mates with Harry Redknapp. Harry knows Eddie very well and Howe has shown himself to be attracted by the project more than the bright lights. I’m not saying he would be attracted, but having been to Bournemouth and seen their portacabin stadium, he might realise if he can get us going, the potential is far bigger here than it ever was there. He’s still a very young man In management terms and he’s who I wanted the second lambert was sacked. I was happy we got cook initially until I saw his actions, heard what he said and the results and performances. I think it’s a close call but I’d say Northampton away is the lowest point in my life as an Ipswich fan and I’ve been all over the country and overseas for 3 decades watching us. Tonight might make a top ten of low points as well.

PackwoodBlue added 22:43 - Aug 17
I'm glad I'm not in the trenches with you lot..!
No, it's not been a great start to the season by any stretch of the imagination, but get a grip and get behind the team and manager. It's been 3 (league) games. I'll happily eat humble pie if we're not too six at Christmas. Will all those calling for PC's head now, be calling for it if he gets us promoted. Have some patience and faith FFS.

abandon_hope1978 added 22:43 - Aug 17
Mick McCarthy seems a dream appointment now. Would still be a championship club but now hurtling headlong toward Non league.

RobsonWark added 22:43 - Aug 17
Making substitutions with 2 minutes of the match only do that when you are winning the game and want to waste some time. Why would you waste time bringing on substitutes when you need to win the game?

Jackson? What? Why you anyone bring on Jackson with 2 minutes to go? Why would any one pick this "professional" footballer in the squad at all? Whenever he loses the ball he stops and throws his arms up in the air and looks at the ref for a freekick rather than play to the whistle, like we were told to do at school, and try to win the ball back.

I wouldn't pick Jackson for the U23's.

thecheek added 22:45 - Aug 17
We could easily have got in the play-offs last season when Cook took over and now one draw from 4 matches against this lot -


Clearly he should be given more of a chance but the fact that he couldn't get anything out of the last lot of players and the dire start with the new ones is very worrying


Cloddyseedbed added 22:46 - Aug 17
A game of 2 halves. 1st half excellent, only one team in it. How the hell Bonne could mess up that certain goal scoring chance is beyond me and no doubt he will relive that moment for many nights to come, very poor. If we'd have gone 2 up the game would have panned out differently........or would it? Penny's goal, what can you say, he'll probably never ever score another and certainly not better than that. 2nd half was the opposite of the 1st a complete shambles of a team, no cohesion and a defence that looked like conceding from every free kick, corner and throw in to Cheltenham. Cheltenham were a well drilled side that played to their strengths, as all sides that play us do. Forget another player signing, what we need is a good defensive coach. Whoever is responsible for our defensive organisation needs to step their game up. 2nd half the whole team were bad. Couldn't defend, couldn't create, didn't look like scoring and didn't put pressure on our opponents. Edwards for me looks a player.....but fell asleep like the rest of the team in the 2nd half. Team needs time to gel and play to our strengths and be able to sustain it for 90 minutes, not one half wonders. Paul Cook you have a lot of work to do, things need to start to improve and come together. I'm sure they will, you can't just buy a successful team or squad.

Norwichbeater added 22:48 - Aug 17
Londontractorboy57 we are where we are partly because of that useless dinosaur who run off after he knew he had run the club into the ground and there was no chance of avoiding relegation. His football was appalling and disgraceful in the end 😡😡😡😡😡😡

nowinecrisis added 22:50 - Aug 17
Im afraid the managers tactics lost this game - concerning

Norwichbeater added 22:52 - Aug 17
Abandon hope. I have now after that comment

blueboy1981 added 22:52 - Aug 17
LondonTractorboy57 ..... Why are you not with your Messiah at Cardiff ? - surely that’s where you worship, so just go and bug them.
Your Messiah may even treat you to Supper ... !!!

RobsonWark added 22:54 - Aug 17
I can't see the Gamechanger 20 owners coming to Portman Road any time soon...

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