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The key takeaways from Wanderers' 1-0 win against Cheltenham

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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Wanderers made it three wins on the bounce following a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Cheltenham at the UniBol.

Kyle Dempsey got the decisive goal, finding the bottom corner with a pinpoint strike 10 minutes from time.

The visitors’ best chance fell to Will Goodwin early in the second half, but he couldn’t keep his header down after getting on the end of Alfie May’s cross.

Patience pays off

It was starting to look like Wanderers might have to settle for a point until Dempsey’s moment of magic.

Before the game, Cameron Jerome spoke about how they needed to be patient and find ways to unlock stubborn defences.

That was exactly what happened against the Robins, who seemed content with a point from virtually the first whistle.

The Whites are likely to face similar challenges during the final months of the season, but they can take confidence from the way they grinded out a result.

Clean sheet kings

James Trafford has now kept 15 clean sheets in League One this season – more than any other goalkeeper in the division.

Moreover, Wanderers haven’t conceded at the UniBol since their 1-1 draw against Bristol Rovers on Friday, December 2.

Trafford has made some big saves when called upon but didn’t have much to do against Cheltenham in truth.

The Whites’ defensive resilience has been a key factor in their strong form over the past couple of months, and Evatt will be keen to see it continue in the coming weeks.

Bradley blow

One negative for Wanderers was the booking picked up by Liverpool loanee Conor Bradley during the second half.

The wing-back was instrumental against the Robins, causing defenders countless problems with his pace and dribbling ability.

However, he is now up to 10 yellow cards for the season and will miss the upcoming games against Peterborough and MK Dons.

Evatt has several options at wing-back in Bradley’s absence. Gethin Jones and Lloyd Isgrove have both played that role for the Whites, while Randell Williams can also play on the right side of defence.

Injury woes

After the game, Ian Evatt confirmed MJ Williams is set to have knee surgery and will spend several weeks on the sidelines.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and George Johnston are also currently out of action, while George Thomason and Dan Nlundulu aren’t too far away from a return.

Elias Kachunga remains suspended alongside Bradley, although the experienced forward will be back in time for MK Dons.

Injuries are inevitable over the course of a season but Wanderers’ recent bad luck has left them light in numbers in a couple of areas, with B Team prospect Nelson Khumbeni making the bench against the Robins.

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