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FT: Cheltenham 3 Imps 1

30 April 2016

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Match report...

Greg Tempest, Alan Power and Jamie McCombe all returned to the City starting line-up for this final game of the season against Vanarama National League champions Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road.

With an understandably bumper crowd in attendance, the title winners were given a rapturous reception as they took to what looked to be a sodden surface following heavy pre-match rain. Mark Pottage was the man in charge and once the two captains had done the honours play got under way with City kicking off.

It was a very quiet opening with neither defence troubled at all during the early part; in fact it wasn't until the 13th minute when a goalkeeper was called into action; Town Town stopper Jonathan Flatt claiming a Bradley Wood effort under his bar after the home defence failed to clear a Tempest corner.

At the other end Paul Farman got his angles right to claim a Rob Dickie cross under pressure from Danny Wright before ex-Imp Jordan Cranston picked out Dan Holman who scuffed his effort giving Farman the chance to gather.

In the 19th minute Flatt got down to claim a low Jack Muldoon drive at his near post after Matt Rhead and Terry Hawkridge combined on the edge of the box whilst three minutes later Rhead went for the spectacular but saw his overhead kick bounce a foot wide of the target.

With the Imps looking the more dominant, Wood then picked out Rhead with a curling centre but the striker headed just over before Power fired over from a Hawkridge pull back to the edge of the box.

Eight minutes before the break a superb double save from Flatt saw him deny McCombe and Rhead following a dangerous Hawkridge centre into the box and shortly afterwards a rare Cheltenham attack saw them win their first corner.

The corner was played in at pace and Farman did brilliantly to keep out Daniel Parslow's header but there to nod home the loose ball was top scorer Danny Wright from six yards out.

A minute after the restart an off-the-ball scuffle involving Wood and Kyle Storer ended with a yellow card apiece after players from both sides got involved on the touchline.

City's heads didn't drop after Wright's goal though and towards the end of one additional minute, a Tempest throw-in was flicked on by McCombe and there to nod past Flatt was LUKE WATERFALL to deservedly level matters.


Both teams emerged unchanged for the final 45 minutes of the campaign and the second period followed the same pattern as the first in that nothing of note happened at all during the early stages.

Things livened up in the 53rd minute when a great save from Farman and a subsequent block by Waterfall kept Town at bay and as the Imps responded a couple of minutes later Rhead released Muldoon down the middle. The City number seven showed a quick pair of heels but saw his effort past the advancing Flatt crash against the post with the ball bouncing back into the Town keeper's gloves.

The overlapping Wood then got in a great cross from the byline but Rhead headed over at full stretch. Cheltenham then made a double switch on the hour mark with Jack Munns and James Drayton coming on for Asa Hall and Jack Barthram.

Two minutes after this, Cheltenham re-took the lead with a neatly worked move on the edge of the City box ending with Holman setting up Storer who drilled home low past Farman.

A blow to the head saw Rhead require attention from physio Kev Oxby and as he got back to his feet James Caton replaced Terry Hawkridge on the City right. Amari Morgan-Smith for Danny Wright was Town's third and final switch.

The changes continued in the 76th minute with Robbie McDaid coming on for George Maris and two minutes later Cheltenham made it 3-1; Holman prodding home following a Morgan-Smith flick and with the flag somehow staying down, the goal stood. City's appeals fell on deaf ears as referee and assistant consulted.

A booking for Morgan-Smith for charging into Farman followed as the City stopper prepared to take a drop-kick. The City number one then pulled off a superb save to deny Holman who was one-on-one down the middle.

At the other end Caton was flattened inches outside the box by Burgess and before Caton sliced the set-piece wide Rhead was booked for standing in keeper Flatt's view as he lined up his wall.

Whilst this was a strange decision, the one to book Beevers a couple of minutes later wasn't as his mistimed challenge on the half-way line saw him the latest to see yellow.

In the first of four added minutes Rhead headed a Tempest corner wide of the target and this proved to be the last action of note with Chris Moyses' final game as City boss ending in defeat to the 2015/16 National League champions.


1    Paul FARMAN
2    Bradley WOOD
3    Greg TEMPEST
7    Jack MULDOON
8    Alan POWER
9    Matt RHEAD
12    Terry HAWKRIDGE
18    Lee BEEVERS
27    Jamie McCOMBE
29    George MARIS
19    Robbie McDAID (for MARIS 76)
21    Matt SPARROW
26    Callum HOWE
28    James CATON (for HAWKRIDGE 67)
13    Aidan GRANT



31 Jonathan FLATT
6 Daniel PARSLOW
7 Harry PELL
9 Danny WRIGHT
14 Asa HALL
15 Cameron BURGESS
21 Jordan CRANSTON
8 Billy WATERS
10 Amari MORGAN-SMITH (for WRIGHT 74)
11 Jack MUNNS (for HALL 60)
18 James ROWE
27 James DRAYTON (for BARTHRAM 60)




REFEREE: Mark Pottage
ASSISTANTS: Sam Allison & Sean Feerick

ATTENDANCE: 5,055 (233 City supporters)

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