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REPORT | Cheltenham Town 0-2 Yeovil Town

Impressive Town make it two wins from two

26 December 2017

Omar Sowunmi celebrates his goal PPAUK

The Glovers made it back-to-back wins in Sky Bet League Two with a festive three points at Cheltenham Town.

In an entertaining first-half the Glovers went closest to scoring through Tom James' rasping free-kick, as both sides trudged in at the break level pegging. 

An open affair, Town finally broke the deadlock after hitting the bar with 69 minutes played, as Omar Sowunmi thundered home an unstoppable half-volley from just inside the box. 

Keeping consecutive cleansheets away from home, the victory was sealed with five minutes remaining when substitute Jordan Green netted his first league goal after capitalising on a defensive mistake.

Fresh from seeing off promotion chasing Exeter City three days previous at Huish Park, Darren Way selected the same starting eleven for a third consecutive league encounter.

After falling ill in the warmup on Saturday and dropping out of the squad, Olufela Olomola returned to the matchday 18 at the expense of Sid Nelson who missed out on festive action.

Boasting a settled side for virtually the first time this season, the visitors were dealt a blow when captain James Bailey was stretchered off just minutes into the match, in what later proved to be a medial ligament injury.

Following the lengthy injury delay, the hosts enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges as Mohamed Eisa got off to a bright start up front.

Firing over early on, the pacey striker went closer just before the 10-minute mark when his effort from 12 yards was cleared off the line by a well-placed Tom James. 

Taking a bit of time to adjust to the early disruption, Town grew into the match and enjoyed the half’s two best chances in quick succession.

Switching flanks to find space on the right, Otis Khan engineered a few yards close to the by-line before cutting back to fellow nine-goal teammate Francois Zoko, who could only blast over the bar from a promising position.

If the Ivorian perhaps should have done better, there was nothing but applause for Yeovil’s following attempt. 

Lining up a free-kick at least 30-yards from goal, James unleashed his knuckleball technique to land a superb effort onto the roof of the net to win applause from all four sides of the ground.

Plateauing into an even affair, the game lost its cutting edge until five minutes before the break.

Upping the intensity, Artur Krysiak’s instant pinpoint distribution released Surridge isolated against Jamie Grimes, with the Bournemouth loanee stripping the defender for pace before firing a low drive inches past Scott Flinders’ post.

That marked the end of the final third action in the first half, as Bailey’s injury marred an otherwise promising performance.

Welcomed back out onto the pitch by steady rainfall, the Green and Whites went even closer to breaking the deadlock five minutes after the restart. 

Starting the move, Gray found Zoko out wide following a positive run before collecting the return pass inside the box, crashing a well-hit first-time effort off the bar with Flinders rooted. 

Opening up and becoming an end-to-end affair, the Robins thought they netted the opener just before the hour mark. 

Eisa's shot from the angle was destined for the back of net having beaten Krysiak, but former Glover Kevin Dawson got the final touch in an offside position to make the hosts' celebrations shortlived. 

Gunning for successive league victories, Way introduced the electric pace of Green for Gray with 66 minutes on the clock as Town showed no sign of settling for a point. 

In fact, just three minutes later the visitors took a giant step to securing all three. 

As all eyes were on referee Christopher Sarginson following a high foot on Green in the box, Sowunmi remained focused on the ball to brilliantly dispatch a half-volley with a superb display of skill past a hapless Flinders for his first goal of the season. 

Staring home defeat in the face, Gary Johnson emptied his bench of attacking options, but it was Yeovil who enjoyed more success in front of goal. 

Making an impact from the bench, Green pounced on a mishit Grimes pass, drove at his opposite number before poking an effort under Flinders to double the advantage. 

As the rain worsened the Glovers kept their defence impenetrable, earning a second successive festive win and back-to-back league victories for the first time since last October. 

Cheltenham Town: Flinders; Moore, Boyle, Grimes, Winchester; Dawson, Morrell, Atangana (Graham 70'), Sellars (Wright 77'); Pell, Eisa (Hinds 70').
Bookings: Boyle 86', Winchester 90'
Subs not used:
Lovett, Storer, Bower, Holman.

Yeovil Town: Krysiak; James, Sowunmi, N. Smith, Dickson; Gray (Green 66'), Bailey (C. Smith 4’), Worthington, Khan (Olomola 88'); Zoko, Surridge.
Bookings: C. Smith 61', N. Smith 64', James 84'
Subs not used:
 Maddison, Mugabi, Davies, Santos.

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