“Disappointed” – Cheltenham Town Boss Reflects On Charlton Athletic Defeat

Cheltenham Town were left heartbroken late on as they conceded twice in the last five minutes to lose to relegation rivals Charlton Athletic at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium on Tuesday night.

The visitors took the lead after 19 minutes when Daniel Kanu’s close finish found a way past goalkeeper Luke Southwood. The Addicks were the better team for the first half, but it was the Robins who struck first after the interval. January signing Jordan Thomas’ shot was parried into the path of Liam Sercombe who fired into an open net for the midfielder’s eighth goal of the season.

The South London side responded quickly though as four minutes later Tyreeq Bakinson’s low effort crept past Southwood to find the bottom corner. Charlton made it 3-1 in the 90th minute when former Cheltenham striker Alfie May tapped into an empty net following a mistake by Tom Pett for his 18th goal of the campaign.

The Gloucestershire outfit’s loss leaves them 21st in the League One table, four points from safety but still with a game in hand over the majority of teams above them. Meanwhile, Charlton’s victory moves them up in the league to 14th and seven points clear of the relegation places. The Addicks also improved their unbeaten run to six games.

Cheltenham Town boss Darrell Clarke spoke to the media after the game and is still adamant his side will get out of the bottom four and they must retain their positive approach to games despite a disappointing loss this week.

“It was an end-to-end game. We have come out of it disappointed. It’s one of those nights when it wasn’t our night.

“I thought when we got the equaliser, we might go on to win it. A couple of sloppy goals from our perspective lost us the game,” the 46-year-old continued.

“We still have 11 games to go and there is a big quarter of the season to go, we are right in the mix, which is a testament to the players for staying in that mix. We still believe we can get ourselves out of it, so we’ll keep going.

“We have honest, hard-working lads in that changing room giving everything for the football club and we’ll make sure we continue to do that and move forward to Saturday’s game.”

Writer’s View

This loss doesn’t need to cause any panic for Cheltenham Town. Charlton are on a great run of form at the moment and their quality on paper suggests that they shouldn’t be anywhere near a relegation fight. The Robins have a tough game at the weekend against Oxford United but as long as they can put this defeat behind them, the side should fancy their chances of coming away with something as the U’s aren’t on a fantastic run of form and are slowly falling down the league table.

With 11 games left of the campaign, it is more than likely going to go down to the wire for Cheltenham but they have done remarkably well to give themselves a chance to stay up. They were one of the favourites to go down before the season began and under former manager Wade Elliott, they look destined for League Two, but their transformation under Clarke shows they are ready to prove the doubters wrong.

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