FOOTBALL

Cheltenham Town put to the sword by valiant Port Vale

A 3-1 loss for Cheltenham Town was an appropriate result as Port Vale thoroughly earned their second win of the season.

The result meant Cheltenham remained mid-table and missed a vital opportunity to close up on the top end of the league at this early stage of the season. It marked the end of a brief unbeaten run of five games dating back to September.

Gary Johnson’s men were easily second best in the opening half, conceding before the break. Tom Pope’s opener from a cross was a poor goal to concede and Ben Whitfield added to the home side’s advantage with a cleanly struck volley from 20-yards out.

Pope then notched a second to add his earlier goal after Vale saw out the second half against a lacklustre Cheltenham side.

The Robins did notch up a consolation goal, Kevin Dawson poked the ball in after some goalmouth pinball action, but it was a goal and performance that will not live long in the memory.

The chance to come back from the disappointing loss will come on Tuesday night at home against Grimsby Town. The Mariners sit a point above Cheltenham in the League Two table and will present a difficult challenge for the home side.

There is cause to be optimistic though, they are undefeated against Grimsby in their last five against the side, a run that includes four wins. A victory would see Cheltenham leapfrog Grimsby in the table, a loss though and the Robins could drop to as low as 17th in the table.

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