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Cheltenham Town video: Robins suffer nightmare before Christmas

By JPEchoRobins  |  Posted: December 20, 2012

Spotland

Spotland

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Rochdale 4 Cheltenham Town 1

CHELTENHAM Town suffered a nightmare before Christmas, going down 4-1 to a rampant Rochdale side at Spotland this evening.

They trailed 2-0 at the break, but an own goal from central defender Phil Edwards handed them a lifeline in the 48th minute.

Rochdale were far superior however, and they added two more goals to compound the Robins' misery and Mark Yates said immediately after the game: 'Christmas is cancelled'.

Only a virtuoso display from goalkeeper Scott Brown kept the scoreline respectable in the first half.

The Robins’ last line of defence made save after save with Rochdale looking capable of scoring with nearly every attack.

Brown made a smart block in the seventh minute, but the way he recovered to touch Andrew Tutte’s effort over the bar was a magnificent piece of goalkeeping.

Alan Bennett found himself unmarked to meet a Billy Jones corner three minutes later, but he made a poor contact with his header and it flew harmlessly wide.

Grant led a swift counter attack for the home side in the 12th minute and an attempted clearance cannoned back off Sido Jombati, providing Jason Kennedy with a good chance, but Brown blocked with his legs.

Cheltenham had another sight of goal after quarter of an hour after a mistake from goalkeeper Josh Lillis.

His attempted roll out to a defender was cut out by Shaun Harrad, who rounded the diving goalkeeper, but his low shot was blocked on the line.

Rochdale then took control and Brown had to save from Dele Adebola, who was through one-on-one, with Cheltenham far too open.

Grant cracking a shot against the bar in the 18th minute with Brown a spectator, but he was finally beaten in the 39th minute.

Kennedy broke away on the left and fed Adebola, whose lay-off to Grant left the livewire winger with plenty of work to do.

But he curled a beautiful shot inside the top left corner, giving Brown no chance and it was no more than John Coleman’s side deserved.

Brown made yet another save in the 44th minute, denying Kennedy, who cut inside Sido Jombati.

But Rochdale added another in the second minute of stoppage time, with Ashley Grimes curling one into the top right corner.

It was another fine strike and Cheltenham left the pitch for half-time seconds later with bemused looks on their faces.

Mark Yates sent on Jermaine McGlashan and Jeff Goulding at the break, with Marlon Pack and Harrad making way.

Cheltenham were handed an early Christmas gift three minutes into the second period.

Taylor’s shot was parried by Lillis and Phil Edwards, under no real pressure, looked set to clear his lines, but he contrived to slice it into his own net.

Bennett popped up at the far post to reach a flick on from Steve Elliott after a lovely Jones cross, but the skipper shot harmlessly wide.

A mistake from Bennett allowed Adebola to run through on goal again in the 57th minute, but Brown was once again equal to it.

Despite their defensive frailties, Cheltenham looked capable of finding a leveller, but Grimes scored his second in the 67th minute, curling another well placed shot inside the bottom right corner.

Less than two minutes later Grant cut inside Jones and shot low across Brown who stopped it, but he could only scoop it to Adebola, who tapped in from almost on the line.

Cheltenham then rediscovered some form of solidity for the remainder of the match, but the damage had been done and Yates was left fuming at his team's ineptitude.

ROCHDALE: J Lillis; R Bennett, R Edwards, P Edwards, K McIntyre; B Grant (R Putterill 82), A Tutte, J Kennedy (I Craney 86), P Cavanagh, A Grimes; D Adebola (G Donnelly 75). Subs not used: J Rafferty, B Barry-Murphy, M Pearson, B Smith.

CHELTENHAM TOWN: S Brown; S Jombati, A Bennett, S Elliott, B Jones; R Penn, M Pack (J McGlashan 46), D Carter, J Taylor (D Duffy 67); S Harrad (J Goulding 46), C Zebroski. Subs not used: K Lowe, S Deering, C Roberts, L D’Ath.

REFEREE: M Naylor.

ATTENDANCE: 1,605.

STAR MAN: Scott Brown.

To see how the action unfolded, click below:

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  • tonybeaven  |  December 22 2012, 9:03PM

    Having gone to the trouble of getting up early in Brisbane Australia to see JPs coverage of the match one thing is crystal clear the money they get from the Everton game needs to be spent immediately to secure a squad of players who will consistently play a high quality game not be sporadic in their performances Mr Baker please let him have some money to do this otherwise we will always be the club that strings together some good performances and then have a few blinders not promotional material start with the defence !!

  • tonybeaven  |  December 22 2012, 9:02PM

    having gone to the trouble of getting up early in Brisbane Australia to see JPs coverage of the match one thing is crystal clear the money they get from the Everton game needs to be spent immediately to secure a squad of players who will consistently play a high quality game not be sporadic in their performances Mr Baker please let him have some money to do this otherwise we will always be the club that strings together some good performances and then have a few blinders not promotional material starting with the defence

  • CheltRobin  |  December 22 2012, 5:35PM

    I hate criticising the team I support, but last night's match sounded a total joke on Radio Glos. Every time Rochdale attacked (especially 1st half), it felt like they would score – and without the brilliance of Brown, they would've done far more often than did – we were lucky we didn't lose 7 or 8-1!. As noted by the commentators, Chelt have now conceded 17 goals in their last 6 away matches – frankly it's nowhere near good enough. Chelt have been lucky it that the teams below us have been too busy taking points off each other because we could easily be on the edge of the play-offs by now with those recent results. The problem definitely stems from the midfield – they aren't putting in enough tackles or closing down opposition players soon enough – as was the case yet again last night. Many of Rochdale's shots were from distance and that is the responsibility of Pack / Carter / Penn (or whoever else is in there) to stop – and they are not doing so. The odd "blip" result away from home (which can happen to any team) seems to have turned in a very worrying run of horrendous form. I've said this before and I'll say it again – Pack and Carter are too similar midfield players (creative, but not tough tacklers) to play alongside each other away from home. Teams have figured Chelt out now – we no longer have the surprise element that we did last season. As such, most teams at home flood the midfield with 3 or 4 players, meaning that Pack / Carter are totally over-run and they not have the tenacity in the tackle to overcome this. MY should only play either Pack or Carter away from home and put Deering and Penn in there so we can do to the opposition what they are doing to us at present. Although this would give us less attacking options, we wouldn't be conceding 3 or 4 goals every match and maybe we could get back to winning away matches 1-0 as we were doing earlier in the season – less exciting I know – but the route to automatic promotion!! In January, MY needs to be given the funds to buy another tough-tackling experienced midfield dynamo, a left back for competition for Jones (great at set pieces + crossing, but lacking pace) – Andrew looks on his way out the club (shame, think he could do a good job on side of midfield). We also need another experienced CB for cover in case we lose either Bennett and Elliott in the 2nd half of the season for any period of time. Not quite panic stations yet concerning our away form (but the red light is starting to glow), but MY needs to stamp on this "powder-puff" midfield ASAP (which I'm sure he will. Oxford next up away – we can't our local rivals walk all over us as Bradford, Rotherham, Chesterfield + Rochdale have done

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  • LP1212  |  December 22 2012, 12:47PM

    What a disappointing result and performance! I didn't go so can only judge from the radio commentary and other reports. Would be interesting to get comments from anyone who was there. It was the same starting XI as performed so well against Vale. What went wrong last night? Do we need to set up differently for away games? It sounds as though we were overrun in midfield. I have to say that I prefer Penn always to play in central midfield rather than wider right; he is our ball-winner and breaks up the opposition's play too. I don't think we should panic or over-react. We nearly scored first last night (through Harrad) and Bennett seemingly might have equalised in the 2nd half. It can be a fine line between success and failure. We have a good group of players (and manager) who have got us into a great position. But they need to be a lot better on Boxing Day. I wonder what the team selection will be.

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