Cheltenham boss Michael Duff hailed the ability of Dan Crowley as the midfielder shone in a 2-1 comeback victory over 10-man Shrewsbury.
Former Arsenal prospect Crowley saw a shot handled on the line which led to a penalty for the Robins and red card for Elliott Bennett midway through the first half after Daniel Udoh’s early opener for Steve Cotterill’s Shrews.
Crowley was heavily involved in substitute Kyle Joseph’s second-half winner as Cheltenham ruined Cotterill’s return to the club where he enjoyed so much success at the start of his managerial career.
Duff said: “Dan is a good player and we try to simplify his game when the opposition have the ball, but when we have got it, it’s a case of ‘give the ball to Dan as often as you can’.
“Sometimes he has to recognise it’s not the ‘Dan Crowley Show’ because we want him with the ball in certain areas and not just where he wants it, but he is still learning and he’s only young.
“He has undoubted ability and someone once told me he can beat a man in a telephone box, which is a good description.
“He has come in and been great. He’s no problem, trains every day and is keen to learn.
“With the career he’s had up until now, he could turn his nose up at Cheltenham Town, or not really want to be here, but I can’t speak highly enough of him.”
It was an emotional return to his hometown for Cotterill, who led the Robins to three promotions during his managerial reign and he was given a warm ovation around the ground.
Cotterill was pleased with his side’s start and felt the red card changed the complexion of the game instantly, but he praised the players’ workrate after losing Bennett.
“With 11 men, we were excellent,” Cotterill said. “We were so dominant and I thought there was only going to be one winner today when you look at the opening stages of the game.
“When you go down to 10 men, it makes it really, really difficult. We probably needed to get into half-time to try and regroup a little bit.
“We only gave them one chance in the second half and that’s happened to go in after coming back out off the post.
“I was proud of them because to a man they worked their socks off. They didn’t deserve that result and it’s a very tough one to take.”