22 April 2023

Wade Elliott hails ‘massive achievement’ as in-form Robins make sure of survival

22 April 2023

Wade Elliott hailed Cheltenham’s survival in Sky Bet League One as a “massive, massive achievement” after they beat Gloucestershire rivals 3-1.

Alfie May scored twice along with one from Aidan Keena, with all the damage done in the first half before Jordon Garrick pulled one back for already-relegated Rovers in the second half.

Elliott’s side have lost one of their last 10 matches, moving to 50 points with three games left to play and guaranteeing a third successive season in the third tier.

“It’s a massive, massive achievement,” Elliott said after the home success. “It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work for 10 or 11 months on behalf of everybody at the club.

“When you look at the quality of the league and the stature of the clubs coming here, we have to get everything right to even be competitive, let alone what we’ve just done, so that’s the gratifying thing.

“Because we did it last year, I don’t think anyone has become blase about it or thought we have a given right to be here. It’s a big, big achievement.

“Right here, right now, just take a really deep breath and enjoy the evening.”

May opened the scoring in the 14th minute after Keena’s pass, finishing with a low shot in off the left post.

Keena added the second with another finish into the bottom left corner after seizing on a misplaced pass in the 31st minute.

Cheltenham were rampant and seven minutes later May reached Will Ferry’s cross from the left to steer the ball inside the far post, with goalkeeper Ross Doohan taken out of the game.

It was the in-form striker’s ninth goal in the last 10 games and his 20th of the campaign in all competitions.

Doohan fell on a shot from Keena at the end of a half dominated by the home side.

Rovers pulled one back three minutes into the second half when Corey O’Keeffe’s corner from the right was not cleared and Dom Bernard’s shot was touched in by Garrick.

Forest Green boss Duncan Ferguson admitted his team’s first-half display cost them dear.

“We didn’t turn up in the first half and gifted them two sloppy goals,” he said.

“It looked like it was going to be a very tough day for us, but we came out and played really well in the second half.

“When you go into a derby game you have to be ready and we weren’t. We never really had that threat, the final ball or the final cross.

“We changed the set-up at half-time and I definitely felt we had a more comfortable second half.

“We got a goal in the second half and they didn’t, but you don’t get points for that.

“Hopefully we can get a win before the end of the season to get a bit of momentum going into the summer.”

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