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Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Cheltenham Town: Wade Elliott believes results will come if performances are repeated

Head coach Wade Elliott hailed Cheltenham Town’s performance as ‘committed and resilient’, but ultimately his side were beaten 1-0 by Bolton Wanderers in Lancashire.

The Robins left the University of Bolton Stadium with nothing to show for their efforts, after they were downed by a long-range effort from Kyle Dempsey in the 80th minute.

His right-footed shot 20 yards from goal curled past Luke Southwood into the bottom corner of the net, giving the Trotters the lead after a game of very few clear chances for either side.

The Robins’ best chance of the match came with five minutes left of normal time, when Alfie May chipped Bolton ‘keeper James Trafford, but Eoin Toal was able to scrape the ball away from danger has it bounced towards goal.

The defeat extends the Robins’ winless run to six league matches, since a 1-0 win away at Shrewsbury Town on December 29.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Elliott couldn’t fault the efforts of his team.

“If you were a fan that travelled up to watch it, in terms of the performance it would be everything you want to see,” said Elliott.

“It was committed, resilient, and I don’t think they really troubled us too much in all honesty. The overriding feeling is disappointment. I haven’t seen the goal back but it feels possibly the only time in the game where they’ve got a shot on goal without having to really work to get it away.”

Ben Williams had to be substituted in the second half after going down clutching his hamstring, potentially leaving the Robins without a left wing back in the near future. Last week saw the departure of Reece Hutchinson on loan to Sligo Rovers, whilst Will Ferry will be out of action for a period of time with a quad injury sustained against Plymouth Argyle, which has turned out to be more severe than first feared.

“Ferry was scanned on Friday, so we’re waiting for the scan back, and we’ve been very unfortunate to lose two wing backs in two days.

“[On Williams’ injury] Don’t know, the physios are assessing him now. If he’s fit, then great. If not, then we’ll just have to find a way around it like we always do.

Ben Williams had to be substituted in the 75th minute after going down holding his hamstring.

Ryan Broom became a makeshift left wing back for the rest of the game, and Elliott could consider him as an option to fill the position should Williams’ injury rule him out of the next match.

“He’s a good character, Broomy. He’s reliable, he’ll always give you everything he’s got. I didn’t really want to take him out of the middle of the pitch because he was doing really well there but needs must.”

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The defeat increases the importance of the Robins’ next two games, starting with a home match against Accrington Stanley on Saturday, February 11th, followed by a trip to Cambridge the following Tuesday night. Elliott expects his players to put together a complete performance in front of their own fans on Saturday.

“My focus turns to Accrington now, and you talk about games where we haven’t quite hit our levels, looking at teams that have been in and around us so that’s the next challenge for the group. Make sure we go and deliver a performance in the same ilk of today next week.

“Overall, our level of performance and endeavour and commitment has been top drawer, and it’s my job now to make sure the players keep their heads up. A goal from outside the box, a worldie at Derby, offside at [Bristol] Rovers, you just have to keep bringing the players back to recognize how good their performances have been. If they do that and maintain the level they’ve shown up to this point, then we’ll get our rewards.”

Saturday’s opposition Accrington currently sit 23rd in SkyBet EFL League One, four points behind the 18th placed Robins and with two games in hand, whilst Cambridge United are 22nd.

[Images: Cheltenham Town FC]

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