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Cheltenham Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 27/01/2005

AFTER the disappointing home defeat to Lincoln last Saturday, Town will be hoping not to lose more ground to the chasing pack when they travel to John Ward’s Cheltenham, who are just two points ahead of the Mariners.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Previews > Cheltenham (a)

The Opposition

Since taking over in November 2003, John Ward (left) has made steady progress with the Robins. A difficult start to the season, Cheltenham have improved in recent months, but like Town, are lacking that consistency needed to make them serious play off contenders. For example, a few weeks ago they recorded a good win against Rushden with a few valuable draws at Bristol Rovers and Wycombe, but lost at home to Notts County. However, this will need to change if the Robins are to beat their 14th place finish last season.

Their Squad
A near ever-present in the Cheltenham defence this season has been Brian Wilson (not of Beach Boys fame, surprisingly) who is a young 21-year-old who was signed for £50,000 in March last year. Jamie Victory is a long-serving defender who was part of the team that saw the Robins promoted to the league under Steve Cotterill. With over 200 appearances to his name, Victory is due a testimonial next year, despite being 29 years old. JJ Meligan (with perhaps one of the coolest names in football) will play in their central midfield. Melligan started his career at Wolves but had loan spells with Kidderminster, Bournemouth and Doncaster before a £25,000 move to the Robins last July. Stephen Gillespie signed a loan deal from Bristol City earlier this month and in two starts for the club has netted two goals. The 19-year-old has worked well with the experienced Steve Guinan who has 5 goals this season. Guinan was brought in from Hereford in the summer and had played for the likes of Forest, Crewe, Plymouth, Scunthorpe and Halifax.

Key Player
Martin Devaney (left). Right midfielder who made his Robins debut in 1999. He scored a goal in the 3rd Division play off final to earn Cheltenham promotion in 2001-2002 and has been a firm fans favourite since. Always pops up with a goal or two, Devaney is one of a whole hoard of Robins players with five goals this season.

Recent Form


WLeyton Orient(a)2-1
Currently 17th in League Two.
DBristol Rovers(a)1-1
LNotts Co(h)0-2
DBristol Rovers(h)1-1
Currently 13th in League Two.

Top Scorers



Team News


  • Justin Whittle could return after suffering with ankle ligament trouble in the last month. A place on the bench is likely for the former Hull man. Jason Crowe remains injured while Ronnie Bull serves the second game of his three game ban.

  • Captain John McDermott is still struggling with a knee injury but may have to play through the pain barrier again.

  • Town could well go 4-4-2 as they did last week against Lincoln with Thomas Pinault recalled at the expense of Greg Young. However, Russell Slade may decide to keep faith with the 3-4-3 formation that has worked better away from home.
  • Grant McCann is suspended which means a place in midfield for JJ Melligan who will get a place ahead of Graham Ward.

  • David Bird will continue in the absence of John Finnigan who has a groin injury. John Brough’s ankle problem is healing but Friday nights game will come too soon for him.

  • Ashley Vincent is sidelined with a bruised foot from a midweek reserve game
  • Probable Teams


    1Anthony Williams
    2John McDermott
    3Greg Young
    4Simon Ramsden
    6Rob Jones
    28Terrell Forbes
    11Stacy Coldicott
    15Terry Fleming
    10Andy Parkinson
    9Michael Reddy
    26Martin Gritton
    1Shane Higgs
    15Jeremy Gill
    4Shane Duff
    23Gavin Caines
    3Jamie Victory
    2Brian Wilson
    14David Bird
    22JJ Melligan
    7Martin Devaney
    9Stephen Guinan
    26Stephen Gillespie



    17Thomas Pinault
    5Tony Crane
    6Justin Whittle
    12Graham Hockless
    13Paul Fraser
    10Damian Spencer
    16Graham Fyfe
    17Kayode Odejayi
    12Scott Brown
    24Graham Ward

    Last Meeting

    Town did what they have done so many times this season in their last meeting with Cheltenham on another Friday night last September. That is, take a lead tear the opposition apart but get only one goal and concede a late goal. Thomas Pinault missed a penalty in only the second minute until 14 minutes later when Andy Parkinson netted for Town. The Mariners looked to be heading to three points until five minutes from time when Damian Spencer netted for the Robins.

    Grimsby Team: Williams, Whittle, Forbes, Gordon, McDermott, Pinault, Fleming, Crowe, Sestanovich, Reddy, Parkinson
    Subs: (not used) Young,Coldicott,Bull,Robinson,Cramb,

    Cheltenham Team: Higgs, Gill, Duff, Brough, Victory, Wilson (Caines, 81), Finnigan, Bird, McCann, Vincent, Guinan (Spencer, 65)
    Subs: (not used) Brown,Fyfe,Ward,

    Attendance: 6,133    Report


    A repeat of our last meeting - a 1-1 draw


    Recent Predictions

    Leyton Orient1-12-10
    Notts Co1-03-21
    Reader's POMs


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