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Match Reports


22 February 2022

Stalemate in Suffolk

Town could not make it five successive wins at home as Cheltenham held them to a goalless draw at Portman Road.

The Blues dominated the vast majority of the game, particularly during a first half where Wes Burns had the best chance of the evening, but could not find the all-important breakthrough against their visitors from Gloucestershire.

Kieran McKenna made three changes to the starting XI from Saturday’s 3-0 win over Burton as Tom Carroll, Bersant Celina and Conor Chaplin returned. 

Lee Evans, Sone Aluko and Joe Pigott came out of the side, with Kayden Jackson leading the line for the second successive game on what wass his 28th birthday.

Wes Burns miss vs Cheltenham (H).jpg

Having taken the lead after 43 seconds at the weekend, the Blues should’ve opened the scoring early on once again. With just under five minutes on the board, Celina worked his way to the byline before dinking the ball to the back post for Burns, but the latter volleyed over the top of the bar from six yards.

Celina looked to be a livewire in Town’s attack seven minutes later, this time switching the ball onto his left foot before firing just over the upright. 

Chaplin was denied twice in the space of no more than 20 seconds as McKenna’s side continued to push for the opener, the left-footed attacking midfielder seeing a shot blocked from inside the box before his stooping header was pushed away by Owen Evans.

Conor Chaplin vs Cheltenham (H).jpg

Celina saw a near-post drive parried, with Cheltenham hoofing clear before Sam Morsy could apply the finishing touch, while Luke Woolfenden glanced an in-swinging Carroll corner just over the top of the frame late in the half.

The interval did little to halt the Blues’ dominance, although it took just under 20 minutes for any chance of note in the second period, as a dangerous Celina free-kick somehow evaded everyone in a packed penalty area.

Having not troubled Christian Walton all evening, the visitors brought Town's keeper into action on 72 minutes as he collected Andy Williams' tame effort. Morsy denied Williams moments later when it looked like his free-kick had found its way through a busy Blues penalty area.

Substitute Macauley Bonne fired over five minutes later, with Chaplin unable to divert a dangerous Kane Vincent-Young cross on target as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Cheltenham stood firm through six minutes of additional time to claim a point.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns, Morsy (C), Carroll (Pigott 78'), Thompson (Vincent-Young 65’), Celina, Chaplin, Jackson (Bonne 66’).

Subs: Hladky, Burgess, Bakinson, Aluko.

Booked: Woolfenden.

Cheltenham: Evans, Pollock, Raglan (C), Freestone, May, Williams, Blair, Hutchinson (Williams 71'), Bonds, Ramsey (Wright 74'), Colkett (Long 88').

Subs: Flinders, Wright, Soule.

Booked: Colkett, Freestone, Williams, Raglan.

Attendance: 21,318 (251 Cheltenham fans).

Wes Burns vs Cheltenham (H).jpg

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