Fleetwood Town travelled down south to face Cheltenham where they suffered their first defeat in five games, 2-0, on Saturday afternoon at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Goals from Alfie May and Charlie Raglan inspired a late surge from Cheltenham who would go on to lead 2-0 at the break. Despite Fleetwood’s best efforts in the second half, the closest the visitors came to getting back into the game was through Danny Andrew’s free-kicks.
Paddy Lane was the first player on the pitch to try and test either of the two goalkeepers as he coolly brought down Andrews’ deep cross before smashing a half-volley into the side netting inside the first 45 seconds.
A few minutes later, May looked to test Alex Cairns but after he cut inside from the left-hand side of the box, his tame effort never even reached Town’s #1 as it was cleared with ease.
After a slow start to the game from both sides, with the majority of the first 15 minutes played in the middle of the park, Matty Blair made an overlapping run into the middle of the box where he was free to get his shot off which rattled the crossbar.
Town continued to press high and make life difficult for the home defence, as a result, they managed to create a couple of half-chances through Lane and Daniel Butterworth, with the latter’s effort striking Ellis Harrison’s back.
It was Harrison’s turn to stop attacks at the other end of the field this time, as he halted a promising attack and put the ball out for a corner. He then also cleared the corner and sent Fleetwood on their way.
Kion Etete latched onto Callum Wright’s cross at the far post but his header from a few yards out went just as far over the bar and didn’t cause Cairns any trouble.
It was a rough end to the first 45 as in the space of five minutes, Fleetwood found themselves 2-0 down. Alfie May opened the scoring for the hosts with an effort that was just too much for Cairns as, despite his best efforts, it still found the back of the net. While Raglan’s header doubled the scoreline.
In the second half, some brilliant solo play from Anthony Pilkington who brought what looked like a dead attack back to life, he managed to wriggle his way out of the corner and take on two Cheltenham men before whipping in a great cross for Zak Jules – the effort was well saved unfortunately by Owen Evans.
Andrew was stood over a free-kick from 30-yards out, which caused a massive problem for Evans as it was dipping into the bottom right corner before he parried it away. However, another free-kick was awarded for encroachment from the wall, which of course Andrew took again – this time he went for the top left corner, but it went marginally wide.
Andrew was involved once again, this time he was attempting to create a goal rather than score, but his low-driven cross was intercepted by Evans before it could reach its intended target.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for the away side, as they struggled to create any real chances to threaten Evans’ goal and provide themselves the grounding for a late comeback.
Cheltenham XI: Evans (GK), Pollock, Raglan, May, Boyle (C), Wright, Blair, Bonds, Ramsey, Williams, Etete
Subs not used: Flinders (GK), Freestone, Williams, Hutchinson, Soule, Colkett
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Andrew (C), Jules, Butterworth, Harrison, Pilkington (Hayes 65’), Batty (Boyle 70’), C.Johnson, Biggins (Macadam 56’), Lane, Nsiala
Subs not used: O’Hara (GK), Clarke, Morris, Johnston