Cheltenham Town video: Robins ease past 10-man Morecambe
Cheltenham Town 3 Morecambe 0
GOALS from Matt Richards, Terry Gornell and substitute Byron Harrison earned Cheltenham Town a much-needed home victory over ten-man Morecambe to ease the strain on Mark Yates.
It was their most straightforward win of the season so far by a considerable margin and the perfect response to Saturday’s deflating 2-1 defeat by Rochdale.
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The Robins could even afford to miss a penalty early in the second half, with Richards seeing his spot kick saved, but Cheltenham cruised to their second home win of the campaign.
Boss Yates made three changes to his line-up, leaving out his captain Russ Penn and top scorer Byron Harrison. It was a bold selection, but it paid off in fine style.
Craig Braham-Barrett was ruled out with a facial injury so Richards moved to left-back and David Noble took his place at the bottom of the midfield diamond.
The other two alterations saw Gornell preferred to Harrison up front, while Sam Deering came in for Penn to operate in behind the front men.
There was a worrying moment during a nervy start to the match from Cheltenham as a mistake from Keith Lowe presented Padraig Amond with a clear sight of goal.
The Irishman ran into the box unopposed, but Scott Brown made an excellent diving save to turn the striker’s shot around the post for a corner in the third minute.
Morecambe threatened again seven minutes later when Deering tripped Stewart Drummond near the edge of the penalty area.
Ryan Williams’ free-kick was well struck, but Scott Brown made a flying stop to divert it over the bar.
Cheltenham settled down and began to work the ball into some promising positions, but the final delivery lacked quality.
Troy Brown nodded a corner from David Noble wide in the 21st minute and only a well-timed challenge from Andrew Fleming denied Gornell after a clever reverse pass from Jamie Cureton.
Gornell was fired up to impress after being recalled and he thumped an effort wide after a strong run in the 34th minute.
Cheltenham took the lead in the first minute of time added on at the end of the first half.
Gornell was tripped by Mark Hughes and Richards’ free-kick from 30 yards evaded everyone and curled inside the bottom left corner.
Barry Roche was unsighted by a crowd of players in front of him and Richards celebrated his fourth goal of the campaign.
Cheltenham have so often conceded at the worst possible times this term, but a goal on the stroke of half-time was a welcome lift as the tension was eased.
Things worsened for Morecambe in the first minute of the second period when Hughes scythed down Deering just inside the Shrimps’ half, earning the skipper a second caution and Jim Bentley’s team were down to 10 men.
A flowing break sparked by Gornell ended with Jermaine McGlashan feeding Jombati on the right and his cross was handled by left-back Robbie Threlfall, with referee Andy Davies pointing to the spot.
Richards stepped up to take the penalty, but Roche dived low to his right to keep it out in the 53rd minute.
Cheltenham were celebrating again in the 63rd minute however as Gornell scored the goal his performance deserved.
His determined run into the penalty area ended with a fine finish inside the top right corner for his fourth strike of the season.
Cureton almost added a third after Noble and McGlashan combined to tee him up, but Roche saved well and after blazing another attempt well wide, Cureton was withdrawn and Harrison sent on 20 minutes from the end.
Cheltenham made their extra man count to see the game out expertly, keeping possession well to frustrate Morecambe.
Harrison added the third in the 82nd minute, with a clinical low finish to make it six for the season and wrap up a thoroughly pleasing night’s work.
CHELTENHAM TOWN: S Brown; S Jombati, K Lowe, T Brown, M Richards; D Noble, J McGlashan (Z Kotwica 88), J Taylor (H Williams 86), S Deering; T Gornell, J Cureton (B Harrison 70). Subs not used: C Roberts, R Penn, J Hanks, S Elliott.
MORECAMBE: B Roche; A Wright, A Parrish, M Hughes, R Threlfall; S Drummond (T Diagne 65), A Kenyon, A Fleming; R Williams (J McGee 80), P Amond, K Ellison (J Mwasile 72). Subs not used: W Bell, A Arestidou.
REFEREE: A Davies.
ATTENDANCE: 2,050 (54 away).
STAR MAN: Terry Gornell.
To re-live the action as it unfolded, please click below: