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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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blue86 added 22:57 - Aug 17
@ DavolPb, Come on seriously! yeah we are having a crap start, but saying the season is over is laughable. We have had great starts and fell like a stone.....think a bit of perspective is needed really. Give it time, and yeah if were still crap in 10 games from now fair play. Then we will appoint Klopp, sign Messi and Ronaldo and all will be great again.

Umros added 22:59 - Aug 17
Sitting in hotel room in Cheltenham now still wondering how we threw that game away. Then I remember it’s ‘play for half the game’ Ipswich I support!. That was ridiculous. Sorry but all this ‘give it time’ for song or how long ? 4 wins in 20 with any team picked At this level is a joke!
For sour grapes effect I’m emailing football league about towel use in football, play to natural conditions - cheats !

Bezzer added 22:59 - Aug 17
@michael101 - Eddie Howe is currently earning very little p/a, so yes I do think he’d consider a club our (supposed) size! He managed Bournemouth, who have no where near the history, or support of our club! Don’t forget, once upon a time we attracted bigger names (granted, some unsuccessfully) than Eddie Howe, however his style of football would be welcomed by me! Would he turn down the Sunderland or Sheffield Wed job?? Probably not, so why not us? We can afford a decent wage for him, especially as he’s currently out of work!!

brittaniaman added 23:00 - Aug 17
It did not take long for the Portsmouth players to Gel ? 100% start for them //
I watched our game on Ifollow and we play lovely football in our own Half sideways backwards and sideways again then back to the Goalkeeper and sometimes he did kick it upfield, we were watching this type of football last season with Skuse etc. Where is the attacking game we are supposed to be watching this season Cooky, hope it happens this Saturday HEY ?????

Yorkshire_Townie added 23:03 - Aug 17
I am not especially sure all the new players are such an upgrade on last season's side as people seem to think. A few ARE good players- a fit Tom Carroll is a class act, R Harper - yes, defo an improvement as Skuse was past it (as happens in football).
It is telling where the players leaving have gone - some to the divs above (Dozzell, Gibbs, Downes, Cornell) others to rivals (Edwards, Wilson, Lankester) and some joined a local side as it suited them in this point in their lives -rather than not being wanted elsewhere (didnt want to move house, disrupt their families etc) Judge, Chambers etc
I REALLY want this to work, Cook to pull a 25 match winning streak out of the bag etc, but I just am not seeing it at present

TimmyH added 23:03 - Aug 17
Go and watch Kings Lynn say the same thing over and over, we've got new owners practically a new squad but you keep spouting the same old garbage.

dirtydingusmagee added 23:07 - Aug 17
SERIOUSLY, what has Paul Cook achieved since he arrived , he has talked the talk [like the others] end of . , Well ffs stop talking in sh#t riddles and get some results , friendlies, cups,gel . just excuses it dont wash .And who appointed Cook ? ...........OH DEAR ..Marcus Evans , it dosnt bode well. But when the team gel's and we get all the injured players back ,bla bla bla.... yer right . Still crap times im afraid, CANT, blame the owners this time .

Yorkshire_Townie added 23:11 - Aug 17
Not Cook out JUST yet, but we are rapidly approaching that point... he will have an actual crowd to deal with now, compared to the easy ride some clubs/players/managers have had in empty grounds in the last 18 months.
When you say the players are all gone (not good enough) and bring in a whole new squad you leave yourself open to criticism. Time to gel? Time is ticking....

number8 added 23:13 - Aug 17
I know we lost but I didn't feel like I wasted tenner like I did ever week last year on ifollow. Yes we lost but it's very early when you change the whole squad and I did feel like we should have won.

Edwards, Burgess and Harper looked good 👌

I know there are the glass half full on here but a whole new squad be realistic - time is needed!

londontractorboy57 added 23:14 - Aug 17
Funny how the know alls on here bluebore etc etc cannot tell what they wished for love him or hate him MM knows how to get enough points out of players to be able to compete on a very uneven playing field.
Idiot fans like Bluebore and his mates on TWTD led to him turning against the minority of fans.

londontractorboy57 added 23:18 - Aug 17
Truth hurts Timmy H keep waiting for the miracle you and your pals on TWTD are the problem With ITFC.

OliveR16 added 23:23 - Aug 17
We're giving him 10 games.
Tonight was game four.

Suffolkboy added 23:23 - Aug 17
Wow ! 5 pages of concerned commentary ; plainly ITFC have drawn attention to themselves — and sadly only for the wrong reasons it seems !
Whatever statistics are produced, however they’re interpreted ,and however we cast about for blame, there’s absolutely no getting away from the fact that so far Paul Cook has talked a good talk , brought a wry sense of humour and an odd sense of perspective to all he touches at ITFC .
What he has not brought is any sign of success on the field ; many imports ( but not time to train together ?) are failing in the basics of football AND I can’t see Mr Ashton allowing indefinite periods of grace .
Once again our goals to shots ratio almost belies belief ,and tonight a goofy miss influenced the momentum and result . Are these ‘new ‘ men really good footballers or merely cast off from other sides who don’t see them fitting adequately into their structure ?
PC MUST demonstrate he can and will man manage , coach and plan both strategy and tactically ,show us how astute he really is — for if it doesn’t happen soon the gathering storm will burst upon him and his group !
I wish him only the best ,but want him to show up very soon !

Yorkshire_Townie added 23:27 - Aug 17
The problem for Cook & the owners is they have been pretty open in stating the expectation is promotion this season. So far, they are making it VERY hard for themselves- giving others a handy head start in 2021-22 (how kind of them!!)
Being mid-table in the 2nd div is tolerable for this club & supporters. Struggling in the 3rd div is not.
Eddie Howe? He's a spender & Im not sure the yanks have THAT sort of cash available. He's always chased the (spending) money, bournmth to Burnley with parachute money, then back to Bournmth as their rich Russian fella had even more to spend. Didnt fancy Celtic as they wouldnt buy him every player he'd want...

Monkey_Blue added 23:31 - Aug 17
TimmyH…. I can disagree with people on here but telling people who’s opinions you disagree with to go support someone else? How dare you? Just because someone doesn’t agree with you it’s ok to tell people in effect they shouldn’t support Ipswich? Typical of the attitude that’s prevalent on social media. Not something you should do or be proud of.

Michael101 added 23:35 - Aug 17
Bezzer,the point I was trying to make is we are now in division one.
Why would any manager or player from the premiership want to come to any team in our situation??.if Howe or somebody had been earning anything like the money talked about evan after tax why would you need to work any more.

Michael101 added 23:39 - Aug 17
We can't afford to shop in Harrods only Tescos so any new manager would have to come from another five 1 or 2 team.

bluesince76 added 23:40 - Aug 17
Cook needs to win Saturday these results are unacceptable his record so far is really bad surprised hes still here.

Yorkshire_Townie added 23:48 - Aug 17
And Yes I was a 'Mick in' man. The results problems/relegation/ being stuck in the 3rd div all stems from him leaving Im afraid.
Ironically, Paul Wurst might not have been the worst appointment NOW, as he like Cook had had lower div successes. His way & pool of recruitment actually suited this level more. He just wasnt up to the 2nd div.
Really hope Cook can get an 11 to click & stick with them. Otherwise this may not be rock bottom folks!

DavefromWatford added 23:53 - Aug 17
I have just spent about 20 minutes reading all the comments made on TWTD and i have never seen so many people having a pop at one another. People have a right to voice their opinion whether it is right or wrong without getting popped at. I think PC will be worried about what Gamechanger might be thinking.

aas1010 added 00:01 - Aug 18
Itl be fine . One win on Saturday then all our wins will come . Rather a blip now then at end off season especially if 1st. 2nd 3rd are close in points .
What was the result in the walk out , goal celebration songs plz Twtd never let us know ?
Thanks. COYB

runaround added 00:04 - Aug 18
A very disappointing result. Obviously going to take time for all the new players to gel but we really need a win sooner or later to get up and running to ease everyone’s concerns

Monkey_Blue added 00:07 - Aug 18
Davefromwatford… I don’t mind a bit of an argument but it’s the “I don’t agree with you so shut up” or “I don’t agree with you so you can’t support Ipswich” stuff that really annoys me. Some idiot the other night thought it was ok to insult me based on a comment that wasn’t controversial and not even town related. If I insult someone I’ll back it up with why and I’d say it to their face. Social media creates a lot of cowards pretending to be tough but very little debate these days.

aas1010 added 00:12 - Aug 18
Monkey blue …. Ere ere I agree

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 04:13 - Aug 18
Who still thinks it was a good decision to get rid of big Mick. It may not have been pretty, but Mick knows how to win with what he's got. L1 isn't rocket science, teams will sit back and play route one. Is it any coincidence we look most dangerous when our keeper boots it up past half line (see Bonne goal against Morecombe)

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