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Match Report


Posted Sat 30 Nov 02 at 17:39 PM


Cheltenham Town striker Julian Alsop broke Brentford hearts with a stoppage time winner. The six foot four inch striker headed home a superb right wing cross from Mark Deveney, just as it seemed The Bees would leave Gloucestershire with a point.

Brentford manager Wally Downes made one enforced change, with Rowan Vine suffering a virus; he was dropped to the subs bench, with Kevin O'Connor taking the forward role. This allowed Martin Rowlands his first League start of the campaign.

Stephen Evans gave The Bees their first chance with five minutes gone, but The Welshman shot wide. Cheltenham made the early running, Stephen Hunt clearing Devaney's shot off the line after seven minutes.

Moments after Martin Rowlands shot wide in the 23rd minute, Paul Smith denied both John Finnigan and Grant McCann with fine saves. Brentford struggled to get any grip on the game, taking until the 25th minute to force their first (and only) corner of the half; the balance of play was firmly in Cheltenham's hands.

Richard Forysth and John Finnigan went into the book for crude challenges on McCammon and Hunt respectively. Robins' forwards Paul Brayson and Julian Alsop were a thorn in The Bees side, and the former whipped over a testing cross on the stroke of half-time that Paul Smith did well to smother.

Brentford forced a corner soon after the restart, but Cheltenham again took control, forcing five early corners. Brentford's best chance of the game arrived in the 59th minute. Martin Rowlands strode down the right-hand channel to feed Kevin O'Connor. He sent over a great cross that Stephen Evans blazed over from just outside the six-yard box.

Eight minutes later the game exploded, with Grant McCann sent off for an elbow on Martin Rowlands, much to the fury of the home crowd. The Brentford midfielder was also cautioned in the incident.

The ill feeling was still evident as Cheltenham captain Duff went into Referee Hill's notebook for a foul on Jay Smith. Rowan Vine replaced Stephen Hunt in the 76th minute, but could not find his way past the Cheltenham defence.

With seven minutes left, Jamie Victory nearly handed The Bees the match on a plate with a terrible back-pass that fizzed just wide of Book's left hand post. It was The Robins however that stole all the points, as in stoppage time, Alsop evaded Sonko for the first time in the match to claim all three points.

Attendance: 5013 (972 Bees)

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