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Cheltenham Town video: Robins held by promotion rivals

By JPEchoRobins  |  Posted: December 15, 2012

The Abbey Business Stadium

The Abbey Business Stadium

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Cheltenham Town 1 Port Vale 1

Cheltenham Town were pegged back by promotion rivals Port Vale and had to settle for a point at the Abbey Business Stadium this afternoon.

Darren Carter's fifth goal of the season gave Mark Yates' side a deserved lead in the 62nd minute, but Louis Dodds levelled for the visitors five minutes later to leave honours even.

Cheltenham played well and were the better side for most of the 90 minutes, but they missed out on the chance to leapfrog their opponents into second place behind leaders Gillingham.

Yates made one change to the side that beat Hereford United after extra-time in the FA Cup second round on Tuesday evening, with Marlon Pack replacing Jermaine McGlashan.

That mean a right midfield role for Russ Penn, with Jake Taylor on the other side and Pack alongside Carter in the middle.

The formation worked well, with Penn prominent and Cheltenham carving out some good opportunities in the first period.

Penn's cross reached Zebroski at the far post in the 22nd minute, but he could not direct his header towards goal.

Vale broke quickly and Scott Brown saved former Robins winger Ashley Vincent's shot.

Goalkeeper Chris Neal denied Carter in the 29th minute and Zebroski was guilty of missing another good chance before half-time.

Billy Jones' corner was met by Taylor who drove it towards Zebroski and he could only slice it harmlessly wide from six yards.

Jones crashed a shot against the angle of bar and post in the 48th minute, going so close to his first Cheltenham goal.

Pack's header from Jones' corner was cleared off the line by Doug Loft and Neal saved well from Steve Elliott.

Penn hit one narrowly wide before cutting inside and setting up Taylor for a header that was brilliantly saved by Neal.

But Zebroski's pull-back towards Shaun Harrad was cleared as far as Carter, who made no mistake with his second right footed goal in successive Saturdays.

Dodds levelled when Loft's cross reached an unmarked Pope whose header was well saved by Brown, but the loose ball was fired into the net.

Cheltenham looked the more likely winners, with Pack trying his luck from close to the halfway line, but Cheltenham-born Ryan Burge forced Brown into a save after a mistake from Sido Jombati.

Substitute Darryl Duffy should have won it at the death, but his weak shot towards an empty net was cleared off the line by Chris Shuker and Vale returned north with a point.

Cheltenham Town: Brown; Jombati, Bennett, Elliott, Jones; Penn (McGlashan 75), Pack, Carter, Taylor (Goulding 89); Harrad (D Duffy 75), Zebroski. Subs not used: Lowe, Deering, Roberts, D’Ath

Port Vale: Neal; R Duffy, McCombe, Chilvers, Loft; Vincent (Williamson 82), Morsy, Burge, Taylor (Shuker 87); Pope, Dodds (Andrew 90). Subs not used: Yates, Johnson, Andrew, James, McDonald.

Referee: M Haywood.

Attendance: 3,760 (331 away).

Star Man: Russ Penn.

To relive the action as it unfolded, click below:

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  • ALChelt  |  December 16 2012, 10:52AM

    Regular Robin...Ditto..Pack in general was releasing the ball earlier,which in turn creates more chances,I still feel you have to get McGlashen in the side ,but I understand your views,I did feel Sido although full of effort and at times his forward runs helped I thought his alround play was poor,but hey I guess they cant all be brilliant. Zeb is far more effective than Mo but he should have done better with both his chances in the first half . All round it was a good performance it's a pity we stood off when they got there goal,and we almost paid the price again from a similar position,you cant back away and give ground, someone as to close down!

  • LP1212  |  December 16 2012, 10:35AM

    Fully agree. Everyone in the starting XI played really well, and the team looked much more creative. Jombati gave us some width (in the absence of a winger), though he also gave us one of his nightmare lackadaisical moments in defence. Carter is much better playing bursting forwards from midfield - let's hope we can keep him beyond January, though I think D'Ath could play a similar role if he stays. Pack played better than for a while, though he still at times slows things up too much by turning backwards first before playing it out wide. Just a shame that we didn't take our chances, though to be fair Vale had a few as well. Let us hope we take that form (and formation) to Rochdale on Friday evening. Probably the most entertaining league match played at WR this season as well.

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  • RegularRobin  |  December 15 2012, 9:31PM

    Congratulations to MY. I think you've cracked it. What a game and what a performance. Best of the season by far. Great to see the skills, effort and passion from the team for the full 90 minutes. The formation played today enabled the Robins to attack in numbers and always looked dangerous. Carter has looked a different player in this new role. Gets into the box regularly and will always score goals. Pack was better today and Russ Penn immense. The defence coped admirably with a very prolific Vale frontline and its impossible to criticise any member of the side today. What a great pity that Zeb was unable to find the net with two chances that he would normally tuck away and cap another excellent effort from him. More chances in the second half, headed off the line, and the woodwork denying Cheltenham the win that this performance thoroughly deserved. How did Darryl not score in the closing stages ?? If only we could play like this every game then promotion would be assured.

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