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26 December 2020 Venue Jonny-Rocks Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Stevenage

25 December 2020

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Stevenage are the visitors on Boxing Day as Cheltenham Town play at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium one last time in 2020 (kick-off: 3pm).

Unfortunately the match will take place behind closed doors with Gloucestershire being entered into tier 3 restrictions as of 00:01 on Boxing Day.

Depsite the huge disappointment that the club's supporters will be unable to watch the game live at the stadium, the squad are determined to put right the frustrating defeat at Barrow last weekend, and manager Michael Duff has also called on a reaction from his side.

Watch the match in full online by purchasing an iFollow match pass.

Team news

There are no new injury concerns for the Robins. Conor Thomas and Sean Long both continue to step up their training schedules but won't be fit enough to be involved.

Goalkeeper Scott Flinders could return to the bench after a recent training injury that's impacted on him in the last two weeks.

Watch Michael Duff's pre-match press conference looking ahead to the fixture.

Opposition

The match will be Stevenage's first in a fortnight after covid-19 cases caused them to postpone their last two games. They've still been affected by infections which will see them travel to Gloucestershire low on numbers but no doubt determined to get back to winning ways having only won once in League Two since September.

That win came against Port Vale at the end of November, but they head into their trip to the Jonny-Rocks having not won in their last three league games, though they have taken points off Walsall and Southend. They also notably did knock Hull City out of the FA Cup to set up a third round tie with Swansea City in the New Year.

They are currently 23rd in League Two and determined to avoid relegation to the National League. Something which they avoided at the end of last season when they earned a reprieve following the demise of Macclesfield Town through off the field matters.

Their squad includes Chelsea loanee Jamie Cumming in goal. The 21-year-old is one of five loanees in their set-up.

Defensively Terence Vancooten is an international teammate of former loan midfielder Elliot Bonds with the Guyana national team, while they'll look to rely on the Football League experience provided by the likes of ex-Southend man Ben Coker.

Another with plenty of League knowhow in their midfield is Romain Vincelot. The 35-year-old can list Bradford City and Coventry City among his former sides. Tom Pett is back at Boro for his second spell having left Lincoln City at the end of last season, meanwhile Charlie Carter offers legs in midfield.

In their attack they've got 22-year-old Aramide Oteh on loan from QPR. He's netted three times for them so far. The well travelled Tyrone Marsh, non-league product Femi Akinwande and Marcus Dinanga, who signed in the summer after a successful trial following a season in the National League North with AFC Telford United last term, could also play a part in leading their front line.

The manager: Alex Revell

One of the youngest managers in the EFL, Alex Revell was appointed Stevenage manager in February 2020 but had very little time to try and hoist them away from the League Two relegation zone until the season was cut short because of coronavirus.

The 37-year-old had been managing the under-18s at Boro where he ended his playing career, a spell in the game that saw him enjoy noteworthy success in the League. He represented the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion, Leyton Orient, Rotherham United, Cardiff City and MK Dons before hanging up his boots.

In the summer they appointed former Cardiff manager Lennie Lawrence as an advisor, while they've recently been joined by Dean Wilkins who is Revell's new assistant manager. Former England Ladies boss Mark Sampson is also on the coaching staff.

One to watch: Danny Newton

Front man Danny Newton is expected to return following a recent suspension for Stevenage and could offer a threat at the top of the pitch.

The 29-year-old has two goals to his name so far this season and scored both of Stevenage's goals when they last visited the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

He's been at Stevenage for a number of seasons having made the step up from non-league football and in his first campaign for Boro, the 2017/18 campaign, bagged himself 16 goals.

Before joining he'd been at Tamworth and spent most of his career in non-league football around the Midlands with the likes of Leamington, Brackley Town, Barwell, Nuneaton and Hinckley United.

Watch the match on iFollow

Unfortunately with no fans allowed into the stadium to watch the game the best way to watch the full action on Saturday is by purchasing an iFollow match pass.

You can subscribe online and get a pass for only £10.

Match programme

The match programme is available to purchase online and is available in either print or digital format.

Finn Azaz is the big interview as he reflects on his loan spell at the club from West Brom. There's also a look back at some of the key moments in the calendar year of 2020 around the club, Michael Duff previews the game, a review of the under-18s 2020, a detailed look at the day's opposition and much more.

Get your limited edition print copy online by buying it for £2.50. It's also possible to get a larger download version - this is available for £2.

Coverage

Stay up to date with goings on by following @CTFCofficial on Twitter. There will also be updates on the club's Facebook account and Instagram.

Post-match you can check out an on the whistle match report plus reaction from the manager and a player to the final score.

Afterwards visit iFollow and view extended highlights online from the game.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 1-1 Stevenage

26 December 2020

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Liam Sercombe’s sixth goal in all competitions was not enough to seal three points for Cheltenham Town as they were held by Stevenage in their final home game of 2020 in Sky Bet League Two.

The Robins’ number 26 let fly to net arguably his best of the campaign so far in the first half but substitute Jack Aitchison’s effort from just outside the penalty area squirmed in with ten minutes to go to leave the hosts frustrated and five without a win.

Michael Duff made one change to the team that lost at Barrow last weekend as Finn Azaz came into the midfield for Tom Sang for the Robins’ last home game of an eventful year.

The visitors came into the game having not played a competitive match since December 12, with six changes made to their last line-up which lost 4-0 to high-flying Carlisle United.

Alex Revell’s side, who were the only team in League Two without an away victory this term, started brightly as Danny Newton and Scott Cuthbert tried their luck from distance inside six minutes.

Newton then missed a huge opportunity to open the scoring after a corner was cleared and then deflected into his path, but the striker headed inches wide following an impressive dive to reach the ball.

The Robins had not managed an attempt on goal despite controlling possession inside the first quarter of the game, but Sercombe ensured they went ahead in the 28th minute with his fourth League Two strike of the season.

Some neat build up play on the left-hand side led to the former Bristol Rovers man having time to size up his options just inside the penalty area and he unleashed an unstoppable strike that was too powerful for Jamie Cumming to break the deadlock.

With confidence flowing after scoring for the first time in three league matches, Duff’s charges went in search of another as Alfie May’s low effort was held by Chelsea loanee Cumming at his near post but that proved to be the final action of a quiet first-half.

Cheltenham were faster out of the blocks in the second period with Matty Blair forcing a corner and skipper Tozer causing problems with his trademark giant-throw as the Robins sought to double their advantage.

At the other end, Blair was forced into his defensive duties volleying behind a dangerous Luther James-Wildin cross for a corner with two Boro players waiting to pounce at the back post.

Searching for his sixth goal of the season, May crashed a half-volley against the underside of the crossbar in the 62nd minute with the ball not adjudged to have crossed the goal-line, despite heavy protests from the home players, staff and directors at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Sub Aitchison, who scored for Forest Green Rovers at the same ground last season, then stunned the Robins with a hopeful left-footed shot from the corner of the penalty area to give the Hertfordshire side hope of a rare point on their travels.

May tried not once but twice to beat Cumming the final stages before being replaced by Reuben Reid but Duff’s men had to settle for a draw which keeps them fourth in the division ahead of a midweek trip to Colchester United.

ROBINS (3-5-2): Griffiths (GK), Hussey, Tozer ©, Raglan, Clements, May (Reid 86), Blair, Williams (Lloyd 75), Boyle, Azaz (Chapman 68), Sercombe. Subs not used: Harris (GK), Bowry, Freestone, Sang.

STEVENAGE (4-4-2): Cumming (GK), James-Wildin, Vincelot (Aitchison 58), Cuthbert ©, Carter, Newton, Vancooten, List (Oteh 76), Smith, Read, Fernandez. Subs not used: Johnson (GK), Iontton, Dingana, Williams.

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Ticket News

Refund information for Stevenage match

30 December 2020

Supporters who purchased tickets for the club's Boxing Day fixture against Stevenage will be receiving a refund for their tickets after the match was played behind closed doors.

Fans were unable to attend the game at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium after a change in tier restrictions was enforced at 00:01 on the day of the fixture.

Supporters who booked online for the match will be receiving an automatic refund on their ticket in the next seven days through to the bank account they purchased tickets from.

Those who bought tickets directly from the ticket office will need to get in touch with the ticket office to arrange a manual refund.

Please email tickets@ctfc.com or call 01242 573558 (option 1) to arrange your refund.

The ticket office is open from 10am to 4pm on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

The club will issue a further communication regarding tickets that have been sold for the FA Cup third round match against Mansfield Town scheduled to take place on Sunday 10 January.

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