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Match Reports

Cheltenham Town 1 Imps 2

20 April 2024

Match Reports

Cheltenham Town 1 Imps 2

20 April 2024

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City's play-off hopes are in their own hands after a battling performance to claim all three points at Cheltenham Town.

The home side, buoyed by their 2-1 win at Burton Albion, started the match fighting as they looked to keep their hopes of surviving in Sky Bet League One.

Lukas Jensen had to be alert with just five minutes on the clock after Will Ferry was played through, getting down low and making himself big as the home forward seemed caught between shooting and trying to take the ball around the home keeper.

Jordan Thomas was a main threat for the hosts, with a couple of shots - one straight at Jensen and one which went over - and it was little surprise that he was involved for the home side when caught by Danny Mandroiu in the area to concede a 15th-minute penalty kick which Liam Sercombe blasted home.

The hosts had started well, but it was an even affair and Joe Taylor had gone close earlier when he picked the pocket of Curtis Davies before forcing a low save from Luke Southwood. The resulting corner created an opportunity which Mandroiu headed over.

There was plenty at stake for both sides and both were fully focused on trying to get the next goal.

City had an opportunity after 21 minutes when Sean Roughan won the ball back inside the opposition half and sending Ben House away down the left. City's No.18 produced a great low pull back looking for Taylor, with a last-gasp interception nicking the ball behind for a corner.

It took another vital block so prevent the ball finding Taylor in the area after Ethan Erhahon's smart backheel found Lasse Sorensen in space down the right, with the Danish wing-back aiming for Taylor who was free and running towards the far post.

It was little surprise that Taylor was heavily involved in the equalising goal, running from inside his own half after Roughan had lifted the ball off the feet of Thomas inside his own area.

Taylor kept going without running with the ball and, although he was squeezed out of a shot initially, the ball found its way back to him and he fired home.

City started the second half brightly, with an early opportunity coming when Mandroiu was felled just outside the area. He dusted himself off to take the set-piece, with his well-hit effort clipping the wall and bouncing behind for a corner.

That corner resulted in another opportunity as Paudie O'Connor headed the ball back across the area, although there was no one in the spot to turn it home.

Chances were continuing to come for the Imps, with only a great save from Southwood denying House after 52 minutes.

But that reprieve was short-lived as as City kept hold of the ball through Sorensen, whose delivery into the area found Draper who controlled the ball before firing home on the half-volley to put the Imps ahead.

City looked the most likely to get the next goal, with Sorensen having plenty of joy down the right - with one pullback bouncing off Alex Mitchell. Sorensen also outmuscled his man after 66 minutes, forcing Southwood to tip his shot over at the near post.

Opportunities continued to come for the Imps, with Jackson and O'Connor threatening from corners and a Mandroiu effort blocked behind for a corner.

Darrell Clarke made a raft of changes looking to get his side back into the game, but the visitors enjoyed most of the ball and Taylor nearly added gloss to the result after 78 minutes after House's great pullback from the right. Taylor turned his man well before firing a low effort which Southwood did brilliantly to block.

Michael Skubala waited until the 81st minute before making his first change, bringing Jovon Makama on.

Late chances continued to mostly come the way of the Imps, with Sorensen clipped for a foul as he tried to get a shot away inside his own half - after spotting Southwood off his line.

Makama was flagged offside after played through by House, then the latter was offside after a neat flick from Sorensen as the Imps tried to keep the ball in a corner.

Imps: Lukas Jensen, Lasse Sorensen (TJ Eyoma, 90+2), Adam Jackson, Paudie O’Connor (c), Alex Mitchell, Sean Roughan, Ethan Erhahon, Ben House, Danny Mandroiu (Jack Burroughs, 90+2), Freddie Draper (Jack Moylan, 86), Joe Taylor (Jovon Makama, 81). Subs not used: Jordan Wright, Zane Okoro.

Cheltenham Town: Luke Southwood, Sean Long (c), Ben Williams (Jack Shephard, 57), Tom Bradbury (Josh Harrop, 71), Liam Kinsella, Liam Sercombe, Matty Taylor, Will Ferry, Elliot Bonds (Joe Nuttall,57), Jordan Thomas (James Olayinka, 67), Curtis Davies. Subs not used: James Pardington, Andy Smith, Sopuru Obieri.

Referee: Thomas Kirk

Attendance: 5,323 (1053 away)

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