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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 3 Cheltenham Town 2

23 October 2021

Goals from Joe Dodoo, Tom Anderson and Rodrigo Vilca secured three points for Rovers against Cheltenham Town.

Rodrigo Vilca returned to the starting XI after a bout of illness. Tommy Rowe moved to midfield while Joseph Olowu came in at left back and Ethan Galbraith filled in at right back for the suspended Kyle Knoyle.

Rovers started the game well - boasting the majority of the possession and chances.

The first chance for Rovers saw Ben Close stall in taking his shot. That allowed Cheltenham get into prime position to block his eventual shot, which was deflected into the path of Jordy Hiwula who could not get the ball to settle correctly at his feet.

Rovers were forced into their first change of the day on the eight minute when Rowe went down injured. He was replaced by Arsenal loanee Matt Smith.

Captain Tom Anderson picked up the ball in midfield shortly after play resumed and he fancied his chances from around 35 yards out, but was inches wide of goal.

Eventually Rovers strolled into the lead on the 23rd minute as a long ball played forward by Galbraith was brought down by Joe Dodoo who calmly finished past Scott Flinders.

Close almost scored a sensational goal from 25 yards out. The low powerful shot forced a stretching save from Flinders who managed to tip it around his post.

Rovers doubled their lead on the brink of half-time as John Bostock’s corner found the head of Anderson.


The visitors came close to pulling one back minutes into the second half as Conor Thomas stabbed a shot over the bar.

Straight down the other end of the pitch and Smith pulled himself away from three defenders on the edge of the box but his resulting shot was of no concern to Flinders.

Alfie May made his Rovers return as part of a double substitution as he and Christian Norton replaced Conor Thomas and Dan Crowley.

After the Cheltenham change Rovers went 3-0 ahead after a sublime strike from Newcastle United loanee Rodrigo Vilca opened his account for the club.

The Robins were awarded a penalty which was took by Liam Sercombe and parred back into play by Pontus Dahlberg. The follow up was hit off the cross bar by May.

May got his side back into the game with tap-in at the far post.

Rovers responded well down the opposite end of the pitch as Close’s ball across the box was fired over the bar by the charging Galbraith.

Wellens’ second substitute of the game saw Tiago Cukur replace Vilca. With only minutes left of the game Aidan Barlow was introduced.

As the fourth official added seven minutes onto the game Andy Williams grabbed a second for the visitors who stepped up the pressure.

After a pulsating end to the game where Cheltenham were hungry for an equalisewr, Rovers stuck together and held onto the three points. 


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