Robins hop away from the drop zone
PATIENT Cheltenham Town moved out of the League Two relegation zone with a comfortable home victory over tenman Accrington Stanley.
Second-half goals from captain for the day Danny Wright, Diego De Girolamo and Billy Waters sealed all three points for the hosts and their first win at the Whaddon Road in the league since October 15.
Following a first half that offered few chances the Robins made the breakthrough after 56 minutes as centreback Daniel O’Shaughnessy sent a cross from deep and Wright looped his header over the hapless Marek Rodak.
This sparked what had been a fairly cautious game into life and two minutes later Mark Hughes should have equalised, but could only head against the bar from four yards.
Things went from bad to worse for Accrington on 62 minutes as Scott Brown was shown a controversial straight red card for a foul on Waters, a decision which sparked outrage from visiting boss John Coleman.
Stanley then fell apart, with De Girolamo smashing in from six yards from an indirect free-kick given for a back pass, before Waters turned in a James Rowe cross to secure a much-needed victory for Gary Johnson’s men.
Johnson said: “We deserved it. We were jabbing in the first half, like the boxers do, and I said we just had to wait for that knockout punch to come.
“Maybe the red card might have been a little bit harsh, but to be fair Billy [Waters] took the tackle and got straight up so we didn’t get the lad sent off.
“The big positive is we’re above that horrible relegation line in the league and hopefully we’ve dragged a few clubs a little bit nearer to us. I’m really pleased.”
Opposite number Coleman said: “I think they only had three chances, but we didn’t play well.
“The game changed on the sending off. Everybody in the ground was shocked. “To compound that they get their second goal from a dubious decision and it’s an uphill battle after that.
“There were some strange decisions. When the referee looks back at it again he’s made a couple of decisions that he’ll probably regret.
“It was a disappointing day all round. That’s probably the worst performance we’ve turned in over the last 12 weeks.
“We can play a lot better than that and we won’t have more bad luck than that, I wouldn’t imagine.”