New Broom sweeps in with im­prov­ing dis­play

Gloucestershire Echo - - CHELTENHAM TOWN -

» Jon Palmer looks at the main is­sues ar­riv­ing from Chel­tenham Town’s 4-1 home vic­tory over Scun­thorpe United in League Two

» Thor­oughly de­served vic­tory with­out four big play­ers

A Chel­tenham team with­out Luke Var­ney, Will Boyle, Ro­han Ince and Reuben Reid came from be­hind to pick up their first vic­tory of the sea­son.

The first half was de­void of goalscor­ing chances and heav­ily in­flu­enced by gale force winds.

But Chel­tenham passed the ball around well with Aston Villa young­ster Jake Doyle-hayes pulling strings on his de­but.

» Ryan Broom trans­formed af­ter half­time

Not much went to plan for Broom in the open­ing 45 min­utes.

Moved from his at­tack­ing cen­tral mid­field role at Ori­ent to right wing­back, he saw plenty of the ball and of­ten found space.

But he was clat­tered a cou­ple of times by Scun­thorpe’s no-non­sense left-back Ntlhe and also sent over some way­ward balls into the box, ad­mit­tedly not helped by the con­di­tions.

Cru­cially, he did not let his head go down and af­ter be­ing de­nied by one out­stand­ing save in the 50th minute and then see­ing Scun­thorpe snatch the open­ing goal, he re­sponded in the per­fect man­ner.

Broom re­ceived a pass from Sheaf, beat one de­fender and curled a fine left-footed ef­fort into the bot­tom left cor­ner to reg­is­ter Chel­tenham’s first goal of the 2019/20 cam­paign.

If he was not quite man of the match, he was prob­a­bly man of the sec­ond half.

» A bril­liant cameo and first Foot­ball League goal from Alex Ad­dai

Ad­dai went on for Tahvon Camp­bell just af­ter Broom’s equaliser and he was soon caus­ing ma­jor prob­lems for the Scun­thorpe de­fence, who had bat­tled well to con­tain Camp­bell and full debu­tant Gavin Reilly for most of the open­ing hour.

The sec­ond goal came from a Chris Cle­ments cor­ner, which was cleared back to him and his volleyed de­liv­ery was pow­ered into the net by the head of Raglan, mak­ing up for his er­ror in the build-up to Scun­thorpe’s goal.

The third was all about Ad­dai’s power and pace, rac­ing onto a through ball from Reilly and hold­ing off the chal­lenge of Andy But­ler be­fore fin­ish­ing through the legs of East­wood.

Reilly also played Ad­dai through in the 94th minute be­fore he was tripped by Jor­dan Clarke in the box and Thomas calmly stroked in from the spot to com­plete the em­phatic turn­around.

Ad­dai is in the process of be­ing con­verted from a winger to a cen­tre for­ward and judging by this im­pact, the tran­si­tion is go­ing smoothly.

» Pos­i­tive first im­pres­sion for Aston Villa young­ster

Michael Duff used one deeper-ly­ing mid­fielder be­hind two more at­tack­ing play­ers dur­ing most of pre-sea­son and also at Ley­ton Ori­ent.

But with Ince serv­ing the first of his five match ban, Duff opted to re­vert to two hold­ing play­ers and one in the hole.

Doyle-hayes looked com­pletely com­fort­able in Chel­tenham’s mid­field, play­ing next to Cle­ments, with Sheaf op­er­at­ing in a move ad­vanced role.

All three of Duff’s mid­field tech­ni­cians made a pos­i­tive im­pres­sion, but Doyle-hayes edged it, par­tic­u­larly in the first half.

He showed com­po­sure, neat touches and ob­vi­ous pass­ing abil­ity on his de­but, of­fer­ing plenty of en­cour­age­ment and it will be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to leave him out if he main­tains these stan­dards.

There will be dog­fights and aerial bom­bard­ments to come and Chel­tenham’s mid­field will need to show real mettle to stand up to that if they are to prove last sea­son’s frail­ties in the cen­tre of the pitch have been ad­dressed.

But this was pleas­ing on the eye and bodes well for the rest of the sea­son, es­pe­cially with the more phys­i­cally im­pos­ing Ince still to come back.

» Ben Tozer bat­tles on through ill­ness and Sean Long un­der­lines value

The cap­tain was not feel­ing well and Duff con­firmed he had been sick at half-time, but he bat­tled on, play­ing on the left of the back three in place of the in­jured Boyle, with Raglan in the mid­dle and Sean Long on the right.

Long un­der­lined his value with an ac­com­plished per­for­mance af­ter mov­ing in from the wing-back role he ful­filled at Ley­ton Ori­ent.

Duff will have been pleased with his team’s or­gan­i­sa­tion and de­fen­sive shape on the whole and Raglan took on the cen­tral role well.

Chel­tenham were able to cel­e­brate their first win over Scun­thorpe for more than 15 year and they have now lost only one home league game since the 2-0 de­feat by Steve­nage on Oc­to­ber 27 last year.

Im­prov­ing away re­sults re­mains one of Duff’s big­gest chal­lenges.

Ryan Broom cel­e­brates his goal

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