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Match Reports

Cheltenham Town preview

18 April 2014

Cheltenham 1-2 Fleetwood Town

Goals from Antoni Sarcevic and Josh Morris hauled Fleetwood Town from behind to beat Cheltenham at the Abbey Business Stadium as they confirmed their place in the League Two Play-Offs. 

The Robins had controlled the first half and striker Jamie Cureton fired them in front, but Sarcevic equalised with a penalty after the break when Iain Hume was fouled.

Morris then grabbed the winner for his first Cod Army goal after the hour mark, and Graham Alexander’s side held on for victory with goalkeeper Chris Maxwell making important saves.

It was certainly a good Friday on Good Friday for Fleetwood, whose automatic promotion rivals in League Two dropped points.

Manager Alexander made one change to the side which played in the preceding four matches, with Stephen Jordan replacing Charlie Taylor at full-back.

And looking to continue their pursuit of the top three in the table, the Cod Army started brightly on a glorious afternoon in Gloucestershire.

Josh Morris burst into the Cheltenham penalty box after four minutes but delayed his shot from David Ball’s layoff, with the strike being blocked.

The midfielder also fired over from long range after being teed up by Antoni Sarcevic.

However, the Robins had Fleetwood penned in their own half for much of the first period, and Cureton opened the scoring for them in the 32nd minute.

The striker turned into Chris Maxwell’s far corner after an almighty scramble in the penalty area, which saw the Cod Army keeper bravely deny Harry Williams’s low effort on the left.

It was a case of failing to deal with the second ball, although Alexander’s men looked to hit back swiftly when Conor McLaughlin threaded Iain Hume in on the right, but his low strike hit the side netting from a tight angle.

Fleetwood went in behind at the break, and they were under more pressure at the start of the second period, with Byron Harrison being unable to glance his header from Matt Richards’ free-kick towards goal.

However, the Cod Army were almost level in bizarre circumstances when Troy Brown looped a header towards his own goal from Hume’s cross, and goalkeeper Scott Brown had to tip it onto his crossbar.

And Fleetwood were level just moments later, when Hume was fouled by Richards in the Cheltenham box.

Sarcevic stepped up to smash the penalty high into the right corner and equalise for Fleetwood in the 55th minute.

There was a moment of good fortune for the visitors, however, when Maxwell’s clearance flew back off Cureton and over from Nathan Pond’s backpass.

But the Cod Army turned the game on its head after 64 minutes, when Ball cut in from the left and picked out Josh Morris’ run. 

The midfielder finished the job by firing first time on the run, into the far right corner, to put Alexander’s side in front for his first Fleetwood goal.

Cheltenham responded with a double change, Ashley Vincent and Sam Deering on for Richards and Williams with 20 minutes left.

And Sido Jombati’s free-kick from the the edge of the box was heading towards the top-left corner, but Maxwell tipped it around at full stretch.

Substitute Jon Parkin was also required to head away a Cureton effort as Fleetwood were hanging on, while Maxwell denied the hosts again by tipping away Steve Elliot’s corner towards the bottom corner.

Morris could have added a third for the Cod Army at the end but fired just past the left post.

However, Fleetwood held on and are now unbeaten in their last five matches with three games left – the next being at home to Wycombe Wanderers on Easter Monday.

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