It’s the Robins against the Mariners at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Saturday as Sky Bet League Two football is again the main focus (kick-off 3pm).
After back-to-back cup games in the FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy Michael Duff leads his side into battle in the league again for a crucial outing against a Grimsby side five points ahead of the Robins.
Tuesday’s penalty shootout victory over Newport County has made for a happy camp leading into this weekend’s fixture and it’s hoped a large CTFC following will be at the game to back the players for a vital first league fixture in December.
Jordon Forster misses the game due to a one-match suspension from the accumulation of yellow cards.
Jacob Maddox is expected to return after missing out on Tuesday evening, while Sean Long and Kevin Dawson remain out of action through injury.
Watch Michael Duff’s pre-match press conference below:
A noteworthy 5-2 home win over Tranmere Rovers in their last league match at the end of November sees Saturday’s opponents sit 18th in the division, and they followed up that win with an FA Cup second round success over Chesterfield last weekend which has seen them draw Premier League side Crystal Palace away in the third round.
Heading into Saturday they are on a four match unbeaten run in all competitions and are five points ahead of the Robins.
Grimsby are managed by Michael Jolley who is in his first full season in charge since becoming manager in March 2018. He was in char at Swedish outfit AFC Eskilstuna before moving to Blundell Park having been under-23s manager at Burnley – he was replaced in his role at Burnley by Michael Duff.
Jolley’s Mariners squad includes former Cheltenham forward Wes Thomas, and includes a number of experienced Football League campaigners such as former Wales international Danny Collins, ex-Rotherham United midfielder Ben Pringle and one-time Liverpool youngster John Welsh.
Thomas and Charles Vernam are their leading goal scorers so far with four goals apiece, while Elliott Embleton, who is on loan from Sunderland, is a 19-year-old England under-20 international who has hit the back of the net on three occasions.
The two teams have met in league and play-off fixtures on 13 occasions previously, with Cheltenham’s most notable victory coming in May 2006 when Steve Guinan’s second half goal secured promotion to League One in the League Two play-off final at the Millennium Stadium.
The record stretching back between the two teams is relatively similar, but the Robins just have the edge courtesy of back-to-back wins in the 2015/16 National League title winning campaign and the first season back in League Two.
The last time the two clubs came head-to-head was in February last season. Simeon Jackson’s early goal had given Grimsby the lead after just three minutes. But a Will Boyle goal on 77 minutes rescued a point and secured a 1-1 draw.
Watch the highlights back from that last meeting:
Tickets are available to buy on the turnstiles on Saturday and can also be purchased online in advance.
For ticket price information for League Two games click here.
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