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Match Report: Cheltenham Town 3-1 Saddlers

11 January 2020

The Saddlers slipped to defeat at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium as Cheltenham claimed all three points thanks to goals from Max Sheaf, Conor Thomas and Alfie May.

It was a largely frustrating afternoon for Darrell Clarke’s side who struggled to get themselves into the game and they were made to pay for a slow start to the game as the home side took the lead after 18 minutes.

The ever advancing Chris Hussey cut inside full-back James Clarke before picking out Sheaf on the penalty spot and the midfielder was able to open his body up and tuck the ball into the bottom right corner.

Just before the half hour mark and the home side went close again as Hussey delivered a powerful cross to the back post but Tahvon Campbell was unable to direct his header on target.

It took the Saddlers a while to get into the game but three minutes before the break they could have found themselves on level terms as a one-two between Wes McDonald and Josh Gordon saw McDonald’s effort smack the near post after taking a wicked deflection but fortunately for the home side, it bounce away from the goal and not into the net.

Just seconds into the second half and Liam Roberts was forced to make a brilliant save from Alfie May as his effort from 12-yards looked destined for the bottom corner but Roberts pulled off a fine save to keep it at 10.

However, moments later and the home side doubled their advantage through Thomas. Another cutback to the penalty spot found the advancing Thomas who was able to take a touch before slotting the ball past Roberts.

Just before the hour mark and the Saddlers went close as a cross from substitute Cameron Norman found fellow substitute Elijah Adebayo but his header was inches wide of the near post in front of the packed out away end.

On 66 minutes, there were chances for both teams inside 30 seconds of each other. Cheltenham substitute George Lloyd laid the ball off for May superbly but his effort was well saved by Roberts.

Straight down the other end and the Saddlers were in a four on three situation as Josh Gordon was played clean through but his effort was always rising and it didn’t cause Owen Evans and problems in the Town goal.

With just shy of 20 minutes left to play, the home side added to their advantage as May capitalised on a mistake at the back before finishing powerfully past Roberts.

Six minutes after the home side made it 3-0, the Saddlers pulled one back when Lavery played a low cross into the box and Adebayo got there ahead of Evans to tap it into an empty net.

Despite pressing for a second goal, Clarke’s side were unable to breach the Town defence once more and the home managed to see the game out.

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