REPORT | Cheltenham Town 0 Wanderers 3

Dion Charles knee slide Cheltenham

Dion Charles opened his account for the season with a deadly double as Wanderers extended their winning start to the season with another polished performance, writes Pete Oliver.

Last season’s top scorer struck twice in a dominant first-half display as the Whites made it successive 3-0 wins to start their league campaign.

An own-goal from Cheltenham wing-back Liam Smith – as he deflected in an Aaron Morley free-kick – completed the scoring before half time.

And although Ian Evatt’s men were unable to add to their tally after the break, they had done more than enough to erase the memory of last season’s defeat at Whaddon Road and sustain the feel-good factor around the early stages of the current campaign.

Dion Charles goal Cheltenham

Wanderers, not surprisingly, returned to the starting line-up that had begun last Saturday’s League One-opening win after the changes they had made for their mid-week Carabao Cup success.

It had taken the Whites four minutes to open the scoring against Lincoln on day one and just 15 to go in front here as Evatt’s men again laid down an early marker.

Cheltenham had actually made much of the running in the opening exchanges but once Wanderers clicked into gear there was no stopping them.

The front pair of Charles and Victor Adeboyejo gave Town’s back line a torrid time once Adeboyejo had cracked it open for the first time with a lovely flick for Charles to find the space and finesse to beat Luke Southwood with a measured finish and make it 1-0.

Aaron Morley celebration Cheltenham

That was the catalyst for a power-packed performance for the remainder of the first half as Evatt’s men effectively got the job done by the break.

Southwood made a fine save to keep out a header from Randell Williams before Charles glanced an effort over the top.

Town’s goal didn’t remain intact for long, though, as Wanderers then struck twice in four minutes to take complete control.

Adeboyejo forced Curtis Davies into a foul and a free-kick that Morley delivered perfectly to fly in at the near post via a touch off Smith.

Adeboyejo then brought another save out of Southwood before an error by Davies teed up a chance for Charles he hungrily devoured, curling the perfect finish into the far corner of the net and past his Northern Ireland team-mate in the Town goal.

Dion Charles celebration Cheltenham

Charles was rampant and only another Southwood stop denied the striker a hat-trick before the break as Wanderers looked to keep their foot firmly on the pedal.

Jack Iredale almost added a fourth six minutes into the second half with a cross which bounced onto the top of the crossbar and with Wanderers attacking the end housing the delighted travelling fans, Morley had them on their feet again when testing Southwood with a skidding drive.

It was pretty much one-way traffic and only a question of whether Wanderers would increase their lead as Morley lifted another effort over the top.

Dempsey also worked Southwood with an effort from outside the box, while the visitors continued to pepper the penalty area without anyone able to get a decisive touch.


Dion Charles Victor Adeboyejo celebration Cheltenham

Cheltenham were a spent force, although Nathan Baxter was finally called into action with 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

The summer signing had barely had to make a save in a Wanderers’ shirt to date but showed his pedigree with a superb effort to touch over a header from Lewis Freestone as another clean sheet extended the Whites’ near flawless start to the campaign.

Wanderers: Baxter; Jones, Almeida Santos, Iredale; Sheehan (Thomason 80); Dacres-Cogley, Morley (Mendes Gomes 80), Dempsey (Maghoma 73), Williams (Goodwin 78); Charles (Jerome 80), Adeboyejo (Nlundulu 74). Substitutes: Forrester, Ashworth.

Booked: Adeboyejo

Cheltenham Town: Southwood; Long, Davies, Freestone; Smith, Sercombe, Thompson (Olayinka 61 (Ferry 70)), Hammond, Williams; Street, Keena. Substitutes: Harris, Bradbury, Goodwin, Ferry, Adshead, Chapman.

Booked: Davies, Smith

Referee: David Rocks

Attendance: 4,898 (Wanderers 1,486)

Read Time: 4 mins