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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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30 January 2021 Venue The innocent New Lawn Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Forest Green

29 January 2021

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It's a short 20 mile dash to The New Lawn on Saturday as Cheltenham Town visit Forest Green (kick-off: 3pm).

Two of League Two's top performing sides meet in Nailsworth for an all Gloucestershire tie.

Having come out on top earlier in the season, Michael Duff's side will be aiming to do a season double over a Forest Green team who haven't beaten Cheltenham on their own patch since 1982.

The match is available to watch online by purchasing a match pass on iFollow ahead of kick-off.

Team news

The loan arrivals of Sam Smith and Indiana Vassilev will boost a squad that otherwise has Chris Hussey, Ellis Chapman and Liam Sercombe all missing through injury.

Scott Flinders is expected to be fit after recently returning to the bench.

Watch Michael Duff's pre-match press conference as he offered his views on the game.

Opposition

A 1-0 win over Leyton Orient last time out ended a tricky spell for Forest Green. They had gone four games without a win ahead of their trip to the capital.

It's been a January transfer window that's seen them bring in new recruits Josh Davison and Isaac Hutchinson from Championship clubs on loan and Baily Cargill from MK Dons. Carl Winchester and Liam Kitching have departed for moves further up the pyramid.

There's no doubt they'll be looking to see how they can strengthen their squad again before the January transfer window ends. They've recruited over a hundred players in the past four years and have the backing of a chairman who has ambitions of leading them up the pyramid, declaring a desire to earn promotion to the Championship, achieving one promotion on their way so far since taking over the club from legendary former chairman Trevor Horsley in 2010.

Goalkeeper Luke McGee is facing a fight to be fit which may see them turn to Wales youth international Lewis Thomas for Saturday.

Their defensive options include Chris Stokes, a promotion winner from this level with Bury, new signing Cargill who they paid an undisclosed fee for, another former MK Dons man in Jordan Moore-Taylor who boasts plenty of League Two experience and ever present Udoka Godwin-Malife.

In midfield Cheltenham will be aware of the in-form Nicky Cadden. The Scotsman arrived last summer. Ebou Adams offers plenty of legs while Elliott Whitehouse and Dan Sweeney are powerhouses who look to put themselves about.

At the top of the pitch Jamille Matt is a notable member of their front line. 23-year-old Aaron Collins offers a threat as does youngster Jake Young. New loan signing Davison has arrived having spent the first part of the season on loan at National League Woking.

One to watch: Nicky Cadden

Nicky Cadden made the long journey south to sign for Forest Green in July 2020. He spent last season playing in the Scottish Championship with Greenock Morton where he netted ten times in 30 appearances in all competition during the shortened campaign.

Prior to that earlier in his career he's been with Airdrieonians and Livingston, while also enjoyed a loan spell at Somerset Park with Ayr United.

He has had an eye for goal this season and has also been a threat from a wide position. His brother, Chris, is a Scotland international currently playing in the SPL for Hibernian.

Watch the match on iFollow

Don't miss a second of Saturday's game by ensuring you purchase a match pass to watch the game on iFollow.

A pass is available to subscribe to online for £10 and offers access to watch the game in full from the comfort of your own home.

Coverage

Follow @CTFCofficial on Twitter for match updates, team news, photos and more on matchday. There's also goal and score updates available on the club's Facebook page and Instagram account.

Post-match you can visit the club website to read a match report and to check out the final game stats. An interview with Michael Duff and a member of the playing squad will also be available to watch online.

Check out extended highlights on the club's iFollow channel on the website and EFL iFollow app.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Forest Green 0-0 Robins

30 January 2021

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Cheltenham Town came away from this freezing derby encounter with a share of the points against ten-man Forest Green Rovers.

The game itself lacked the ebb and flow of a full bloodied contest between these two county rivals, and in the end neither side did enough to come away with the win.

Midfielder Ebou Adams was given his marching orders with a little over 20 minutes remaining, handing Michael Duff's side the numerical advantage in the closing stages.

But despite enjoying most of the play, they couldn't force the breakthrough meaning the Robins have taken four points from six in the matches between the pair this season.

The result leaves Rovers with a two-point advantage in the table, sitting two places ahead of Duff’s side in fourth.

Overall though it has been a satisfactory week for the manager after the Manchester City match, the win against Oldham Athletic, two clean sheets and the acquisition of Sam Smith and Indiana Vassilev 24 hours earlier.

There was also a contract extension for defender Charlie Raglan ahead of kick-off.

“That was a bit like the weather – not very nice,” Duff said afterwards.

“It wasn't a good game but it was two good teams and the draw was probably a fair result."

He kept faith with the side that defeated Oldham Athletic four days ago, and named his two new strikers on the bench but George Lloyd missed out, isolating as a precaution.

There wasn't much to write home about before the break with neither goalkeeper having a meaningful save to make.

It started to open up in the second half and the first save of real note five minutes after the restart to deny Alfie May from 18 yards.

Rovers boss Mark Cooper rang the changes and his first substitute, Aaron Collins, almost scored with his first touch but he smashed the effort wide of the target.

Another replacement Odin Bailey went close with a 20-yard free-kick which clipped the bar on its way through.

The sending off arrived 21 minutes from time after a badly timed challenge by Adams on Charlie Raglan was punished with second yellow card.

Smith, the Robins' new number nine, was pressed into action for his debut moments later (for Andy Williams) and his first contribution was to barge down the left and cut one back into the path of Conor Thomas, who placed his shot wide of the left upright.

Vassilev joined him with seven minutes from time (at the expense of Finn Azaz) and the Robins finished the game the stronger of the two sides.

But Collins could have nicked it late on but his shot from 20 years faded a foot over the bar.

Smith turned it in three minutes into second half injury time but it was disallowed for offside, meaning the latest clash between these Gloucestershire rivals ended all square.

FOREST GREEN ROVERS (3-5-2): Thomas; Godwiwn-Malife, Stokes, Moore-Taylor, Cargill; Wagstaff (Bailey 62, Sweeney 79), Whitehouse, Adams, Cadden; Matt (Davison 79), Young (Collins 57). Subs not used: Wilson, Bernard, Hutchinson.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Griffiths; Raglan, Tozer (c), Boyle; Blair, Thomas, Azaz (Vassilev 83), Clements, Freestone (Long 90); May, Williams (Smith 70). Subs not used: Harris (Gk), Bowry, Chamberlain, Addai.

REFEREE: O Yates

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