Bristol City 3 Cheltenham 1

Last updated : 01 March 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Cheltenham Town's future in Nationwide Division Two looks more precarious after they became the architects of their latest defeat.

Their failure to defend a corner saw them go behind after just 66 seconds to a Mark Robins header and it was always going to be uphill after that.

No-one went out to cover a short corner and Mickey Bell's through ball set up Robins' third goal in three starts since he moved on-loan form Rotherham.

"I've never doubted I can get goals, but Rotherham have hardly given me a game this season," said 33-year-old Robins.

"So its good to come here, get some games and show I can still score." He came off after an hour, replaced by Liam Rosenior to give the home attack more pace but his strike had put the skids under Bobby Gould's Cheltenham.

With Aaron Brown and Bell combining well down City's left the visitors' defence was poorest.

They survived briefly when Christian Roberts had a goal chalked off for pushing, but on 20 minutes Brown put City two up as the ball fell invitingly to him off Roberts' left ankle.

City were cruising and further goals looked just minutes away until they gave their visitors a life-line right on half time.

Their centre-back Tony Butler pushed Julian Alsop in the back as they went for the ball 25 yards out.

The wall was too short on the right and Grant McCann bent a lovely free-kick around it and inside the near post.

Cheltenham had been looking to relieving runs from Martin Devaney and John Finnigan to keep their hope going, but lifted by their goal came out to carry the game to City.

Although he wasted crosses, McCann effectively ended the menace of Brown and Bell while the arrival of Tony Naylor on the hour began to threaten City's security.

Home confidence dipped and the chance of an equaliser began to look a possibility as Cheltenham moved forward with purpose.

Luckily for City their skipper Tommy Doherty kept plugging away at his job as the playmaker and as the game headed into three minutes extra time it was his through ball which finally knocked out Cheltenham.

From the by-line Brown pulled back a low ball, Lee Peacock missed it but behind him Rosenior was there to hit only the second league goal of his career.