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Match Reports

Cheltenham Town v Notts County

17 September 2016

Cheltenham Town 2-3 Notts County

Notts County beat Cheltenham Town 3-2 at the LCI Rail Stadium to secure their third consecutive away victory.

The Magpies took an early lead through Jonathan Forte and, after Danny Wright had equalised with a header, Jon Stead struck to send his side into the break ahead.

Cheltenham equalised again, this time through Harry Pell, but Stead responded immediately with an excellent finish to win the match.

John Sheridan made two changes to the side that faced Accrington Stanley at Meadow Lane last weekend.

In came Haydn Hollis and Rob Milsom in place of Thierry Audel and Vadaine Oliver as Sheridan opted for a 3-5-2 formation.

Notts had a shot within 15 seconds when Carl Dickinson played the ball forward to Stead, who fired wide from 20 yards.

Cheltenham had an early chance of their own on two minutes when the ball fell nicely for Asa Hall in the area. Richard Duffy made a crucial block to deflect his shot over the bar.

It seemed the game was destined for an early goal and Forte duly obliged on four minutes, controlling Dickinson's pass over the top, holding off Daniel Parslow and firing the ball powerfully beyond Russell Griffiths in the Cheltenham net.

And it was so nearly 2-0 a minute later, but Alex Rodman could only guide the ball wide after timing his run to perfection to meet Forte's low cross at the back post.

A flurry of bookings followed - Wright for a robust aerial challenge on Hollis, Dickinson for protesting the award of a corner against him and Pell for a late foul on Milsom, who in turn was booked for his retaliation.

Stead had another effort at goal on 22 minutes, receiving a throw-in from Dickinson and seeing his shot diverted just wide by a defender.

But, shortly afterwards, Town restored parity when Pell produced a sublime cross for the imposing Wright, who unsurprisingly rose highest to nod the ball beyond the helpless Adam Collin.

The sides then exchanged chances as they jostled for the lead, Forte left frustrated by Daniel O'Shaughnessy's crucial block before Collin palmed away Rob Dickie's snapshot.

Stead has started the season in fine scoring form - so much so he was entrusted with free-kick duty after being fouled by Hall in a dangerous position. He could only curl the ball high over the bar but, six minutes later, he got his goal.

Forte flicked the ball on for Stead, who showed brilliant footwork to work it on to his right, shaking off a defender in the same movement. His finish was clinical - low to Griffith's left and into the bottom corner.

There were no changes for either side at the break but the hosts made an alteration to the scoreline ten minutes after the restart, Pell controlling the ball with his back to goal in the area and firing it into the bottom corner with an excellent finish on the turn.

But, less than a minute later, Notts were back ahead when the ball dropped for Stead to strike it low across Griffiths and into the far corner.

Wright sent a looping header just over as Cheltenham looked to peg the Magpies back once again, shortly before Jordan Richards replaced Rodman for Notts.

Cheltenham's James Dayton was the next Town man to have a go, firing the ball just wide from 20 yards, before his fellow substitute Billy Waters found the side-netting with a shot from a tight angle.

And Waters had a golden opportunity to equalise on 70 minutes when Notts failed to clear the ball from their own area, presenting it to Waters eight yards out. Collin made a superb save with his legs to prevent the ball slipping by him at his near post.

Notts were coming under pressure from their hosts but Sheridan opted to persist with two up front by replacing Stead with Aaron Collins and Forte, who had been booked on 67 minutes, with Oliver.

Five minutes of added time were indicated, during which Collin saved from Pell and Notts defended two corners which Town keeper Griffiths went up for.

But the Magpies managed to see the match out to secure an excellent win in Gloucestershire.

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