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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Match Report: Cheltenham Town 2 – 1 Shrewsbury Town

Steve Cotterill will not have enjoyed his return to his hometown club as Shrewsbury fall to defeat in Gloucestershire.

Dan Udoh had given the visitors a wonderful start to the contest by opening the scoring in the 4th minute.

Yet any hope of Steve Cotterill recording a win at his former club took a huge dent in the 23rd minute with Elliott Bennett receiving his marching order.

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Cheltenham profited from the numerical advantage with Conor Thomas dispatching a penalty to even the scores. And Swansea City loanee Kyle Joseph found the winner in the 66th minute as Michael Duff got one over his former boss.

Steve Cotterill handed a first league start to Josh Vela in over a month after he recovered from a knee injury. Marko Marosi and Matthew Pennington returned from COVID-19 isolation whilst Shaun Whalley was absent altogether.

The aforementioned Matthew Pennington was cautioned early on. Former Town striker Kyle Vassell took the resulting free-kick which narrowly missed the target. At the other end, Pennington nodded over from a corner in a lively start.

It was Steve Cotterill’s side who drew first blood. Luke Leahy forced Sean Long into a mistake prior to releasing Dan Udoh. The Nigerian kept his composure to drill a shot beyond the reaches of former Crystal Palace stopper Scott Flinders.

Town continued to be the team in the ascendancy. The visitors forced a number of corners and the Robins could only clear one of them as far as Luke Leahy who saw his strike blocked. However, despite a dominate opening period, Town were the architects of their own downfall. Dan Crowley picked up the baton and fired goalward – Elliott Bennett stuck out a hand on the line and he was dismissed. Conor Thomas kept calm and collected to fire the penalty into the left corner.

Michael Duff’s side may have been 2-1 up moments later. Matty Blair drove into the box but was unable to beat Marko Marosi who kept his concentration. Blair and Marosi were enjoying their personal duel – the Slovakian came out on top to deny the ex-Mansfield man.

The Robins continued to lay siege to the Town goal in the opening stages of the second period. Former Arsenal playmaker Dan Crowley produced nimble footwork, but his effort failed to trouble Marko Marosi. Kyle Vassell enjoys scoring against Town having done so for Rotherham, but his weak header was never in danger of finding the back of the net.

Shrewsbury spent most of the time following the dismissal with their backs against the wall. A rare attacking foray saw Ethan Ebanks-Landell fire well over after trying to latch onto George Nurse’s throw in. Dan Udoh also saw a strike deflected behind as Town enjoyed some attacking play.

But the ten men were soon behind. Dan Crowley weaved his way through Shrewsbury’s defence. His low shot struck the woodwork and Kyle Joseph was on hand to convert.

Cheltenham had a number of chances to find a third, but Michael Duff’s side had to settle for just the two and in turn three points.

Shrewsbury are at home to Sunderland on Tuesday night, whilst Cheltenham visit Gillingham.

Attendance: 3,914 (603 Town fans)

Team Line Ups

Cheltenham Town

20. Flinders, 2. Long, 4. Pollock, 6. Freestone (58), 17. Blair, 8. Sercombe, 7. Thomas, 28. Crowley (90), 3. Hussey, 27. Norton (58), 9. Vassell

Subs: 1. Evans, 10. May (58), 14. Williams, 21. Joseph (58), 24. Horton, 26. Barkers (90), 34. Armitage

Subs Not Used: 1. Evans, 14. Williams, 24. Horton, 34. Armitage

Shrewsbury Town

1. Marosi, 5. Pennington, 4. Ebanks-Landell, 23. Nurse, 17. Bennett, 10. Vela, 16. Davis, 3. Leahy, 14. Ogbeta (56), 11. Udoh (78), 12. Bowman (78)

Subs: 6. Pierre (56), 9. Cosgrove (78), 13. Burgoyne, 15. Pyke, 18. Bloxham (78), 19. Caton, 24. Leshabela

Subs Not Used: 13. Burgoyne, 15. Pyke, 19. Caton, 24. Leshabela

Other League One Fixtures

Accrington 2 – 3 Sheffield Wednesday
Charlton 2 – 0 Plymouth
Crewe 2 – 0 Gillingham
Doncaster 0 – 0 Lincoln
Fleetwood 1 – 2 Morecambe
MK Dons 1 – 0 Burton
Portsmouth 2 – 1 AFC Wimbledon
Rotherham 3 – 1 Cambridge
Sunderland 2 – 0 Ipswich
Wycombe 1 – 0 Bolton

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