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16 April 2021 Venue The People's Pension Stadium Attendance

Kick off 18:30 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Crawley Town

16 April 2021

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With only six games left to go of the League Two season Cheltenham Town head to Crawley Town tonight ahead of the final back-to-back run of away games in the campaign (kick-off: 6.30pm).

Consecutive away games, with a trip to come to Stevenage on Tuesday, mark another major milestone in the closing stages of the season as Michael Duff's troops look to get over the line and secure promotion to League One.

A Crawley side that are one of many competing for one of the final play-off spots stand in the way though, and they'll see Friday's fixture as one of their last remaining chances to make a real push for the top seven.

Watch Friday's game live online with a match pass on iFollow. Buy online to get full match access.

Team news

There are only two absentees from the squad due to injury. Will Boyle and Chris Clements are unavailable.

Manager Michael Duff has been speaking to the press ahead of the game, as has defender Charlie Raglan to preview the 90 minutes.

Opposition

Though they earned an impressive 2-0 win at Bradford City last time out, Crawley will be disappointed that their run in the few weeks before that has made their quest to get into the play-offs a harder task than it could have been.

Ahead of their midweek win in Yorkshire, the Reds went seven matches without a win, but their win against fellow play-off chasers Bradford shows the quality they have in their side.

Goalkeeper Glenn Morris is a mainstay in their set-up having been their number one since first joining in 2016 from Gillingham.

Their defensive line-up includes the former England C international Jordan Tunnicliffe and long-serving Joe McNerney. Bristol born full back Nick Tsaroulla is another who could feature, while 35-year-old Tony Craig brings strong experience if he is involved.

In midfield, Sam Matthews brings good technical ability, while Jack Powell is another in their squad who has built on his League experience since making the step up from the National League in recent years.

Josh Wright brings good quality in the middle of the pitch after he made the switch from league rivals Leyton Orient in January. Another to make a similar switch from the same club, albeit on loan, is Jordan Maguire-Drew, who is a threat from wider positions.

At the top of the pitch former Fleetwood Town attacker Ashley Nadesan brings physicality and one-time Brighton & Hove Albion youngster James Tilley was another mid-season recruit from Grimsby Town.

They also offered Swiss born Davide Rodari a route into full time football in January with the attacker joining from non-league Hastings United having had a good goal scoring record for the Isthmian League South East Division team.

The manager: John Yems

John Yems has been in charge at Crawley since December 2019, but it's a club he knows well having previously worked as a coach and caretaker manager of the Reds when they were in non-league.

He has a good knowledge of the Sussex football scene having previously managed Horsham, but he's predominantly worked in the background at clubs, coaching at the likes of Fulham and Millwall, before going onto work as assistant at Exeter City and as part of the backroom team at AFC Bournemouth.

He's assisted by former AFC Bournemouth and Havant & Waterlooville manager Lee Bradbury.

One to watch: Tom Nichols

Former Cheltenham loanee Tom Nichols has played a pivotal role in Crawley's season. He's notched 15 goals for them, including one in their narrow FA Cup loss to Championship side AFC Bournemouth, and a hat-trick in the same competition against Torquay United earlier in the campaign.

He didn't quite get the chance to make the impact he wanted in a covid hit second half of the season at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium last season, but he's often provided quality at Football League level ever since he broke through the ranks at Exeter City.

His form with the Grecians earned him a transfer to Peterborough United, and then to Bristol Rovers, where he was loaned from to Cheltenham in January 2020.

Watch the match on iFollow

Check in on another crucial game in the season run in by watching in full online with an iFollow match pass.

You can buy a match pass for £10 online. Be sure to subscribe ahead of kick-off.

Coverage

Keep a track of events in West Sussex by following @CTFCofficial on Twitter. You can check out team news, match updates and live photos, while on the club's Facebook page and Instagram account you'll also be able to view the latest score.

Post-match make a visit to the club website to read the match report and to watch Michael Duff's post-match reaction.

Extended highlights will be available to view from the game on iFollow.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Crawley Town 1-0 Robins

16 April 2021

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Jordan Maguire-Drew's second half strike saw Cheltenham Town fall to a third consecutive defeat at Crawley Town's The People's Pension Stadium.

A Friday night trip to West Sussex ended in disappointment as Crawley claimed all three points in a scrappy affair.

Cheltenham did hit the woodwork twice but couldn't find a way past a Crawley side with an outside chance of making this season's play-offs.

The Robins remain firmly in the League Two automatic promotion places as they slipped to a first defeat in April.

There were two good opportunities early on with shots from distance. Conor Thomas' strike after only two minutes went for a corner via a deflection, while Andy Williams' snap-shot almost caught Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris out.

Ben Tozer's diagonal pass after the half hour mark was chested down well by Alfie May into the path of Callum Wright who curved a shot wide when working the ball onto his left foot.

The hosts had threatened little, but they had a huge chance to take the lead when Ashley Nadesan was sent in behind from a loose Cheltenham pass, but after getting past Josh Griffiths he couldn't finish into the empty net.

Shortly before half time the best chance of the game fell Cheltenham's way via a former Robins player. Chris Hussey's teasing cross was touched towards goal by former loanee Tom Nichols in an attempt to clear, only to see the woodwork rattled.

After the break Griffiths had to be lively to stop Crawley from taking the lead after they were again gifted the ball. Nichols found himself unexpectedly one-on-one with Griffiths, but the West Brom loanee stood tall and made an excellent stop.

Nadesan poked a later effort wide and Nichols' shot straight at Griffiths was plucked out of the air, while with quarter of an hour to go Sercombe's brilliant chip saw the Robins hit the woodwork for a second time after good pressure.

Failure to hit the back of the net would prove costly, as Crawley clinched their winner through substitute Maguire-Drew.

Nichols fed him with a good pass from a central area on a counter-attack and the Leyton Orient loanee finished low and hard with a shot that went in off the post.

Raglan came close to levelling as Cheltenham tried to hit back but he shot wide from a short free kick.

It was all Michael Duff's side could really produce in an attempt to earn at least a point, as Crawley held on to secure three points.

CRAWLEY: G Morris, A Davies, N Tsaroulla, J Tunnicliffe, J McNerney, S Matthews (T Craig 87), J Tilley (J Maguire-Drew 68), J Hessenthaler, J Powell, A Nadesan, T Nichols. 

Subs not used: S Nelson, D Sesay, D Rodari, J Wright

ROBINS: J Griffiths, C Raglan, B Tozer, S Long, M Blair, C Hussey, C Thomas (F Azaz 81), L Sercombe, C Wright (E Chapman 70), A May (S Smith 70), A Williams (I Vassilev 81).

Subs not used: S Flinders, L Freestone, G Lloyd

REFEREE: Sam Purkiss

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