Cheltenham Town: Two valuable points dropped against ten-man Aldershot Town
Cheltenham Town 1 Aldershot Town 1
Cheltenham Town dropped two valuable points in their quest for automatic promotion as they were held to a 1-1 home draw with ten-man Aldershot Town.
They fell behind to Danny Rose's 23rd minute goal, in which ex-Robins striker Jeff Goulding was involved.
But Paul Benson's second goal in two games rescued a point in the 67th minute.
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The looping header was Benson's 100th league career goal, having turned professional at the age of 24.
Aldershot lost left-back Anthony Tonkin in the 74th minute for two yellow cards - both for challenges on ex-Shots wide man Jermaine McGlashan - but Dean Holdsworth's team held on to pick up a valuable point in their relegation battle.
Cheltenham lost Steve Elliott to a dead leg during first half stoppage time and his replacement was Manchester United loan youngster Luke McCullough.
Having celebrated his 19th birthday on the eve of the game, McCullough went on for his Football League debut and performed well in the second half alongside Michael Hector.
Hector, who spent time on loan at Aldershot earlier this season, crashed a shot against the underside of the bar in the eighth minute, with goalkeeper Jamie Young beaten.
He also delivered Cheltenham's best cross of the first half, showing his touch and skill as well as his impressive defensive qualities.
Keith Lowe struck a free-kick just wide in the 13th minute, but it was a stop-start and abrasive half.
Aldershot led after Goulding flicked on a cross to Peter Vincenti at the far post and he teed up Rose, who beat Scott Brown with a neat finish.
Robins boss Mark Yates had named an unchanged starting XI, but Billy Jones was unwell and his place on the bench was taken by fit-again Darren Carter.
Russ Penn started on the left for the second game in a row, but he was taken off at half-time and replaced by Kaid Mohamed.
Cheltenham improved after the break and Mohamed made a positive impact, with McGlashan causing major problems on the other side.
Jason Taylor took the armband in Penn's absence and Cheltenham levelled when Lowe's long throw was flicked on by Sido Jombati and Benson's header evaded Young's dive, going over the Australian goalkeeper.
Shaun Harrad was another substitute to make an impact and he had a chance in the 70th minute, but a shot with the outside of his right boot was off target.
Young parried an effort from McGlashan and Harrad almost pounced, but Aldershot defended well to see out the remaining minutes a man short.
Goulding looked lively for the first 15 minutes or so, but he offered little thereafter, seeing several efforts fly well wide, with one going off for a throw-in.
Cheltenham's inexperienced central defensive pairing coped well without Elliott, but it was a frustrating occasion overall as Yates' side remain in fourth, having dropped out of the top three on Friday night when Exeter beat Accrington.
Their point took them back above Exeter, but Burton's 4-0 win at Fleetwood saw them climb into the final promotion place.
Cheltenham Town: S Brown; K Lowe, M Hector, S Elliott (L McCullough 45), S Jombati; J McGlashan, M Pack, J Taylor, R Penn (K Mohamed 46); P Benson, B Harrison (S Harrad 63). Subs not used: D Carter, S Deering, D Duffy, C Roberts.
Aldershot Town: J Young; B Herd, S Bradley, T Brown, A Tonkin; L Ainsworth (K Cadogan 37, A Morris 75), O Risser, D Rose, P Vincenti; J Goulding, D Hylton (A Hall 60). Subs not used: A McNamee, A Mekki, T Forbes, G Morris.
Referee: Keith Hill
Attendance: 3,119 (270 away)
Star man: Jermaine McGlashan
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