1. ITV Report

Cheltenham's promotion dream crushed

Player clap fans after defeat Photo: Nick Windley

It's been a desperately disappointing afternoon for Cheltenham Town in the Wembley sunshine. They'd never lost in eight play-off games before today but hopes of a ninth that would have taken them back into League One were dashed when they were beaten 2-0 by Crewe Alexandra.

Wembley Way was awash with colour as fans from both clubs mingled ahead of their most important game of the season. At stake - promotion to the third tier of English football. And Cheltenham fans were feeling confident that Mark Yates could match as manager what he achieved as Robins captain ten years ago.

Temperatures inside the stadium soared and it was Crewe who started the match in red hot fashion. It was no great surprise when star striker Nick Powell gave them a 15th minute lead.

Cheltenham responded superbly and came within inches of an equaliser two minutes later when Jeff Goulding let fly from 35 yards, only to be denied by the crossbar.

That seemed to inspire Cheltenham. They created a host of great chances with Goulding and Kaid Mohamed both going close as the first half wore on and were so nearly level in stoppage time but desperate defending from Crewe saw them clear off the line not once but twice.

Goalkeeper Steve Philips came to Crewe's rescue early in the second half when Mohamed broke through again.

And Cheltenham keeper Scott Brown kept his side in it with a smart save as Crewe tried to kill the game off with less than 20 minutes to go.

But he could do nothing about the goal that eventually did clinch victory for Crewe in the 82nd minute, Byron Moore leaving the promotion dreams of around ten thousand Cheltenham fans at Wembley in tatters.

The supporter, though, remain proud of their team.

Afterwards, manager Mark Yates, defender Steve Elliott, chairman Paul Baker, midfielder Marlon Pack and captain Alan Bennett gave us their reaction.

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