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Match Previews

Read | Cheltenham Preview

Andy Phillips previews Tuesday night's trip to Whaddon Road.

16 October 2017

Michael White
Russell Slade

TOWN'S next assignment sees them head to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night, as they look to continue a good run of form that has seen them lose only one of their last seven games.

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The Mariners drew 0-0 with Crawley Town at the weekend and Russell Slade's men will now be looking for another away victory against the side that returned to League Two along with Town last campaign.

Town nursing knocks

Town boss Russell Slade has a couple of knocks that could result in certain players not being able to make the game. Karleigh Osborne has been struggling with a hamstring injury, whilst Ben Davies also picked up an ankle knock against Crawley Town on Saturday. However, the Town boss is hoping that both will be available for selection. New signing Reece Hall-Johnson could also be involved after signing on Monday but Jamey Osborne and Sean McAllister remain sidelined, whilst Akwasi Asante has go on a three month loan to Solihull Moors to build up his fitness.

Cheltenham are likely to be without defender Jordon Forster and forward Jaanai Gordon, who have been missing for several games now, but midfielder Kevin Dawson and on loan Bristol City striker Freddie Hinds returned in their defeat to Port Vale from the substitutes bench, so could both be in contention for a start if Robins boss Gary Johnson wants to freshen things up.

Cheltenham in good form

Cheltenham lost 3-1 at Port Vale at the weekend but have been in good form as of late, with that being their only defeat in the last six games.

Manager Gary Johnson has been in charge since March 2015 now and successfully guided the side back to the EFL in his first full season at the helm.

The Robins made a number of changes to the squad after they narrowly avoided relegation last campaign, with many of the players that Town fans will be used to having moved on since the last time the two sides played. The likes of Danny Wright and former Mariners loanee Harry Pell still remain and both have history with the Mariners in previous games so are sure to relish another clash with the Mariners.

Amongst the new signings at the club is striker Mohamed Eisa, who has been banging in the goals as of late, having bene on the scoresheet eight times this season already. He is striking up a good partnership with former Hibernian striker Brian Graham, who is also a new recruit so that will be something that Town will be keen to watch out for. 

A Robins double last season

Cheltenham did the double over Town last season, with the last meeting between the two sides being the first away game of Russell Slade's second spell at the helm back in April.

The Mariners went down 2-1 at Whaddon Road that day through goals from Will Boyle and Harry Pell despite James Berrett halving the deficit in a spirited second half performance, and the reverse fixture at Blundell Park last November saw a Billy Waters goal send the points the way of the Robins in a 1-0 win.

Both sides have played each other 11 times over their history, with Cheltenham winning six including the 2006 League Two play-off final, Town winning on three occasions and there being three draws. It has been 11 years since the Mariners came away with all three points against the Robins so they will be hoping to change that on Tuesday night.    

Managers in summary 

Russell Slade: ''Gary [Johnson] will have them organised. Before Saturday they had been on an excellent run of form – I think there was three straight wins or something like that. He will be looking to put that right. We know how they are going to start, there will be no respite, big intensity from his team. It couldn’t be tougher really, but we’ve got to be up for that challenge and we will be up for that challenge.”

Gary Johnson: We’ve enjoyed recent games with Grimsby. Both sets of supporters are animated and we have a good record against them that we want to continue. We’ve got to respond well. We will go over what we did and didn’t do well last weekend and hopefully put it right for Tuesday night.”

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