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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

03 September 2019 Venue St James Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League Trophy

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Match Previews

Preview: Exeter City (A)

3 September 2019

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Cheltenham Town's Trophy campaign begins at Exeter City on Tuesday evening (kick-off: 7.45pm).

The game is the first of three group matches for the Robins in this year's competition.

Last season Michael Duff's side reached round three of the previously named Checkatrade Trophy. It was a competition that played a big part in building the impetus that saw the Robins progress to secure their highest league finish since returning to the Football League.

Exeter will provide a difficult first opposition but it's a good chance to make a positive start to the group stages.

Team news

Jake Doyle-Hayes is unavailable because of international commitments with the Republic of Ireland under-21 team.

He will miss the game alongside Rohan Ince, Luke Varney and Reuben Reid who won't line up against his old employers.


Exeter have made a strong start to the new League Two season and after six matches they sit top of the division.

It follows another win on Saturday when they picked up three points with a 1-0 success over Mansfield Town.

They are unbeaten at home so far and are managed by former Cheltenham defender Matt Taylor.

Their squad features two familiar faces from last season. Midfield men Nigel Atangana and Jordan Tillson both lined up for the Robins last term. Atangana is unlikely to feature as he's still returning from an achilles injury, while Tillson, who spent the second half of last season on loan, could be involved.

They're likely to shuffle their pack but boast a squad with strength in all areas that has the ability to hurt any opposition at this level.

A front line of Ryan Bowman, Nicky Ajose, Alex Fisher and youth product Matt Jay are all strong options up top, while in the goalkeeping department they could elect to go with one of two ex-Forest Green stoppers in the shape of Lewis Ward and Jonny Maxted.

Experience is provided by the likes of defensive pair Craig Woodman and Dean Moxey. Midfield man Jake Taylor, who had a loan spell at Cheltenham in the 2012/13 campaign, is another they can turn to for leadership in the middle of the pitch.

Last season Exeter won their Checkatrade Trophy group but were knocked out in the next round by Peterborough United.

Previous meeting

The last time the two sides came up against one another was back in April at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Dean Moxey gave the Grecians the lead in the first half when he found the back of the net from Craig Woodman's set-up.

Conor Thomas drew parity in the second half when he netted from the penalty spot for his sixth successful penalty conversion of the season.

Exeter were reduced to ten men in the depths of second half stoppage time. Goalkeeper Christy Pym, now of Peterborough, was sent off late on.


Ticket prices for the match are as follows:

Adult: £12
Over 64/Student: £10
Under-18: £4

If you opt to buy or collect tickets on the day they can be picked up or purchase from the away sales booth before you reach the turnstiles.

The Travel Club coach for fans booked on-board heading down the M5 to the game leaves the Jonny-Rocks Stadium at 3.30pm.


You can follow @CTFCofficial on Twitter for updates throughout the night. Score updates will also be available on the club's Facebook page.

Tune in to listen to match commentary via iFollow too online.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Exeter City 1-0 Robins

3 September 2019

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Apologies, this video is unvailable.

A young Cheltenham Town side suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Exeter City in their opening match of this season's Trophy.

On paper this will go down as another away defeat without a goal but this was much changed team with a focus on youth and they performed well against an Exeter side packed with experienced pros.

The 38 hardy souls in the away end could have been forgiven for thinking they were in for a long night after the Robins had conceded a goal with only five minutes on the clock but they responded positively to the setback and grew into the game, dominating the second period and creating the chances to get back into it.

In the end they didn't get the break their play deserved and left St James Park empty handied. Cheltenham will next host West Ham United and Newport County in the competition in the coming weeks.

Michael Duff rang the changes, retaining just four of the side defeated at Crawley Town four days ago.

Jacob Greaves, Ben Tozer, Ryan Broom and George Lloyd kept their places while Rhys Lovett (in goal), 18-year old Archie Brennan (right wing back) and 17-year-old Tom Chamberlain (midfield, pictured) were handed a chance to shine.

There was also a first start for Dan Bowry in defence in a side boasting an average age of 21.

The Robins though fell behind as early as the fifth minute when Nicky Ajose raced into the path of Matt Jay's free-kick to apply the faintest of touches and guide it past Lovett from close range.

But they rallied after the early setback and began to get a foothold in the game. There were a couple of half chances for Lloyd and one for Tahvon Campbell, his strike partner on the night.

There was a moment of controversy shortly after the half-hour mark when Lloyd was hauled down after rounding Gary Warren and bearing down on goal. The referee awarded the free-kick just outside the box and only carded the defender when it looked like a penalty or a red card could have been more appropriate. Broom struck the resulting free-kick into the defensive wall before it was cleared.

In the second half the impressive Chamberlain was presented a chance after some fantastic work by Josh Debayo down the left but he couldn't get a clean enough connection with the header to trouble Johnny Maxted in the Grecians' goal.

At the other end, Ajose was a whisker away from doubling the advantage from the edge of the box but his curling effort sailed a foot wide of the target.

Duff made a tripe substitution with a little over 10 minutes to play. Charlie Raglan (Greaves), Sean Long (for Brennan) and Alex Addai (Chamberlain) inspired a late spell of attacking which saw Ben Tozer call Maxted into a smart stop from a tight angle.

Then a well worked move saw Thomas thread a ball into the path of Campbell, who cut a cross back across goal but Lloyd was denied a headed chance by some last gasp defending.

Substitute Josh Key, with a ball in from the right, drew a low stop from Lovett in the final moments and there was a late corner for the Robins, but that came to nothing to leave them frustrated with the result after a promising performance in Devon.

EXETER CITY (4-3-3): Maxted; Richardson, Warren, Parkes, Woodman; Taylor (c) (Key 53), Tillson, Jay; Seymour, Fisher (Williams 61), Ajose (Chrisene 86). Subs not used: Ward (Gk), Martin, Sparkes, Collins.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Lovett; Bowry, Tozer (c), Greaves (Raglan 77); Brennan (Long 77), Chamberlain (Addai 77), Broom, Thomas, Debayo; Lloyd, Campbell. Subs not used: Flinders (Gk), Hussey, Reilly.

REFEREE: K Johnson

ATTENDANCE: 786 (38 from Cheltenham)

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Ticket News

Tickets & travel: Exeter City

27 August 2019

Tickets and away travel for Cheltenham's first Trophy fixture of the season at Exeter City on Tuesday 3 September are now on sale at the ticket office.

The Robins begin their Trophy campaign with a trip to St James Park in a competition that saw the club reach the second round last season.

Ticket prices for the game are as follows:

Adult: £12
Over 64/Student: £10
Under-18: £4

No advance discounts are in place.

The Travel Club coach heading down the M5 to the game leaves the Jonny-Rocks Stadium at 3.30pm.

Prices for a seat on the coach are £14/£12 for members, £16/£14 for non-members and £6 for Junior Robins.

If you opt to buy or collect tickets on the day they can be picked up or purchase from the away sales booth before you reach the turnstiles.

Cheltenham's other scheduled Trophy fixtures are against West Ham United under-21s on Tuesday 8 October and Newport County on Tuesday 12 November - with both matches taking place at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

The ticket office is open at the Jonny-Rocks on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 10am and 3pm.

Supporters can also buy tickets and away travel for the Saturday 31 August match at Crawley Town from the ticket office. Details for this game are available here.

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