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Match Previews

Match Preview : Cheltenham Town (A)

28 September 2018

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Danny Cowley’s side continued their impressive form with a 2-1 home win over MK Dons last weekend. Summer signing, Jason Shackell scoring another late winner for Lincoln City as they picked up their seventh set of three points this season.

Shay McCartan also scored for the Imps, equalising in the 72nd minute after MK Dons’ Rhys Healey opened the scoring eight minutes prior. The Northern Ireland international netting his first goal in competitive action for the club after arriving on loan from Bradford City during the summer transfer window.

Recent Form

Cheltenham Town returned to the Football league for the 2016/17 season after winning the 2015/16 National League title. The Robins finished 17th in the league last season with Billy Waters scoring 16 goals in all competitions.

Town have failed to claim three points in their previous two league games, the side’s last win came against Northampton at the start of the month when the Robins put three goals past struggling Northampton.

Last weekend, Michael Duff’s side travelled to Exeter City where they threw away a 1-0 lead to end up losing 3-1. The Robins had scored in the 42nd minute, going into half-time as leaders, however Exeter quickly fired back in the second half with Pierce Sweeney scoring one minute into the second half.

Jayden Stockley scored the winner for The Grecians with ten minutes remaining, their lead was extended eight minutes later by former Southampton striker, Jonathan Forte scoring his third league goal of the season.

Earlier this season, Cheltenham faced SkyBet Championship opposition Brentford in the Carabao Cup. French defender, Julian Jeavier scored the only goal of the game for The Bees forcing Cheltenham out of the cup in the second round.  

Last six games: DWLWDL

League position: 18th

Manager’s comments

Cheltenham manager, Michael Duff has been at Whaddon Road since 10th September 2018 following the departure of Gary Johnson earlier in the season.

Duff made over 300 appearances for Cheltenham during his playing career before moving to Burnley in 2004. The 40-year-old spent 12-years with The Clarets before becoming their Academy Manager in 2016.

Speaking to press ahead of the Robins’ clash with Lincoln, Duff praised his opposition manager saying: “Lincoln are top of the league and Danny Cowley has done a good job. He has brought some good players in and they have started well. It's a tough one and we know that.”

"I think everyone knows you have to stand up against Lincoln and if you are not prepared to fight, they will run over the top of you.

“That's one thing the players will be made aware of, that they need to stand up physically and mentally and then have the confidence to get on the ball and play as well,” explained the former Northern Ireland international.

Speaking about his side’s start to the season, Duff finished by saying: "It's the early stages and it's not going to be a quick fix. The weeks that we've had in between games have been important and the players have taken things on board."

Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides met was last season, the Imps came out on top with a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal from Neal Eardley. The former Welsh International picked up the Imps’ player of the season award last year which was followed by a new deal keeping him at Sincil Bank until 2020.

However, Cheltenham also picked up a 1-0 win when they hosted City last season in October 2017. Daniel Wright found the back of the net for The Robins on the day. The former Wrexham forward scored three league goals for Cheltenham during the 2017/18 season.

One to Watch – Scott Flinders

Currently Cheltenham Town’s number one, Scott Flinders is in his second season at Whaddon Road.

The shot-stopper started his career at Barnsley before moving to Crystal Palace in 2006. After a number of loan spells at clubs such as Brighton & Hove Albion, Blackpool and Falkirk the former England U20 signed a permanent deal at Hartlepool United in 2009.

During his time with the Monkey Hangers, Flinders made over 250 league appearances for the club. The former Gillingham loanee became the first goalkeeper to score from open play for Hartlepool when he scored a header in the 94th minute against Bournemouth earning a point for United. 

Flinders nearly scored a second goal for the club against Walsall in August 2011. The goalkeeper’s 70-yard clearance bounced over Jimmy Walker, however Colin Nish tapped the ball over the line scoring his first for the club.

Imps fans may remember Flinders’ impressive performance at Whaddon Road against City last season. The 32-year-old pulled off two fantastic saves from Jordan Maguire-Drew.

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