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Match Reports

Match Report | Port Vale 1-2 Cheltenham Town

28 October 2023

Match Reports

Match Report | Port Vale 1-2 Cheltenham Town

28 October 2023

Sean Long’s deflected strike was enough to earn the away side all three points at Vale Park.

In a stop-start opening to the game both sides struggled to find momentum, but it was Vale who carved out the first opportunity on the 13th minute when James Plant fired a cross into the Robins’ area, however, Luke Southwood was quick off his line to collect.

Despite enjoying most of the ball, the Valiants were tested in the 22nd minute as they had to defend a series of Cheltenham corners, including one where Alfie Devine turned Owen Bevan’s headed attempt away off the line to keep the scores level.

On the 25th minute a slice of misfortune for Vale forced Connor Ripley into action, when a bouncing ball fell to Robert Street just inside the box who fizzed an effort goalwards which was denied brilliantly by our number one.

Cheltenham continued to prove dangerous on the counterattack and on the half hour mark nearly poked in front courtesy of George Lloyd, who broke into the box and found space to shoot but dragged his effort just to the right of Ripley’s post.

Two minutes later, the Valiants earned their reward for their dominance in possession when Nathan Smith flicked on a Tom Sang corner to the back post where Alfie Devine met it acrobatically thumping home on the half-volley at the Hamil End.  

Just six minutes after breaking the deadlock Devine was hungry for more as he cut through the Cheltenham defence and sent an effort hurdling towards the top right-hand corner which caused Southwood to scramble, but the visiting keeper was able to gather the strike on the second attempt.

It continued to be all Vale, and five minutes before the break there was a chance to double their advantage. Ethan Chislett set up Ryan Loft on the edge of the box who ripped an effort down to Southwood’s left but the Robins’ stopper parried it behind.

Against the run of play, the visitors managed to find an equaliser three minutes before the interval. Robins’ captain Sean Long latched onto a loose ball in the box before striking low past Ripley to level the scoreline. 

After six minutes of additional time, the referee signalled for half-time with the sides all square as they exited the pitch.

The Robins came out quickly in the second period, as immediately from the kick-off Elliot Bonds tried his luck from distance and nearly gave them the go-ahead goal when his effort rattled Ripley’s crossbar before Vale cleared their lines.

Just before the halfway mark of the second half, the visitors snatched the lead, and it was their captain Sean Long who was on the scoresheet again. Unfortunately for Vale, his shot from just inside the box was heavily deflected, looping over Ripley and into the net.

The Valiants pursued an equaliser and were inches away from having one in the 79th minute, when Jesse Debrah rose above the Cheltenham defence and nodded over Southwood but the keeper recovered to knock the ball off the line and keep the visitors ahead.

Port Vale| Connor Ripley, Lewis Cass, Tom Sang, Nathan Smith, Ryan Loft (Uche Ikpeazu 63’), Ethan Chislett (Ollie Arblaster 79’), Alfie Devine, Funso Ojo, James Plant (Gavin Massey 79’), Jesse Debrah, Josh Thomas

Unused Subs| Jayson Leutwiler, Tom Conlon, Jack Shorrock, Rhys Walters

Cheltenham Town| Luke Southwood, Sean Long, Ben Williams, Owen Bevan, Will Goodwin, Robert Street (Tom Bradbury 76’), Curtis Thompson (Liam Sercombe 55’), Will Ferry (Nathan Butler-Oyedeji 55’), George Lloyd (Aidan Keena 63’), Elliot Bonds, Curtis Davies

Unused Subs| Max Harris, Josh Williams, Jovan Malcolm

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