Cheltenham Town 1-0 Mansfield Town: Reuben Reid scores the winner as The Robins win five successive home league matches
(Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Reuben Reid scored the only goal as Cheltenham Town prevailed 1-0 in an intense encounter with Mansfield Town at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium. 

The 31-year-old has scored three goals in as many matches and guided Cheltenham to five consecutive home league wins in the Football League for the first time since 2013. 

Owen Evans pulled off two phenomenal saves to thwart Nicky Maynard and Danny Rose respectively, but Cheltenham fully merited the three points. 

Alfie May had a goal ruled out for offside just moments after Reid broke the deadlock and The Robins defended resolutely to grind out the win. 

Cheltenham have closed the gap behind fourth placed Plymouth Argyle to five points, while Mansfield drop to 21st. 

 

Cheltenham dominate but best chances fall to Mansfield

Cheltenham controlled the ball beautifully and dictated possession during the first half. They looked organized and disciplined and the movement in the midfield gave them endless attacking options.

May orchestrated the midfield with his tireless runs in the final third and Ryan Broom looked a threat down the right.  

The hosts mainly defended strongly, although Mansfield breached their defence when Maynard was presented with the two closest chances of the half. It seemed for all the world that Mansfield would take the lead when Will Tomlinson released a zipping through ball in behind the Cheltenham defence.

Maynard latched onto the ball, showing lighting pace to escape the clutches of his marker, but Evans ventured from his goal to produce a perfectly timed save at his feet.

Mansfield may have been the weaker of the two teams but they created the best opportunities during a first half largely dominated by Cheltenham. Maynard came close once again ten minutes before the interval when he curled a low strike narrowly wide of the near post.

Cheltenham should have created more chances for the amount of possession they had. May cut inside to thunder just over, Luke Varney fired an audacious volley over the crossbar and May was unable to make contact with an inviting cross from Broom on the cusp of half-time.

Effective in-game management propels Cheltenham to victory

Mansfield started the second half strongly and squandered two opportunities before the hour-mark. Tomlinson found himself one-on-one with Evans but crumbled under the pressure as the Welshman produced his second major save of the game.

Rose was also presented with his only chance of the match on the hour-mark. He was rewarded for his endeavour when he pickpocketed Ben Tozer and broke into the penalty area. But he lacked composure at the decisive moment and scooped the ball over the crossbar.

Michael Duff riskily made three changes just 11 minutes into the second half – replacing Varney, Nichols and Clements for Reid, Alex Addai and Conor Thomas respectively.

These substitutions ultimately changed the tide back in favour of the hosts. Addai bombed forward incessantly down the left and Thomas offered more accuracy in possession. Meanwhile, Reid provided the final product, which his side had been lacking during the opening 50 minutes.

Reid marked his appearance from the bench with his third goal in as many matches on 65 minutes. Broom was afforded far too much space out on the right and he delivered a picture-perfect cross for Reid to send a bullet header into the roof of the net.

The Robins momentarily thought they had doubled their advantage when May wheeled away in celebration. Hussey’s low drive evaded the Mansfield defence and zipped to the back post where May tucked the ball away, but his joy was short-lived as the linesman raised his flag.

It was an end-to-end encounter in the final 15 minutes with Mansfield is desperate search of an equaliser and Cheltenham looking to kill off the game.

Teams

Cheltenham Town: O. Evans, R. Broom, B. Tozer ©, C. Raglan, W. Boyle, C. Hussey, C. Clements (Thomas - 52'), J. Doyle-Hayes, A. May, L. Varney (Reid 52'), T. Nichols (Addai 52'). Subs: R. Lovett, S. Long, C. Thomas, M. Sheaf, A. Addai, J. Greaves, R. Reid.

Mansfield Town: A. Stone, R. Sweeney, K. Pearce, K. Watts (Davies 86'), H. White, W. Tomlinson, N. Bishop, CJ Hamilton, H. Charsley (Benning 71'), D. Rose, N. Maynard. Subs: B. Olejnik, M. Benning, C. Davies, J. Evans, J. Riley, J. Clarke, J. Knowles.

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