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11 December 2021 Venue Jonny-Rocks Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Lincoln City

10 December 2021

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The aim is to continue occupying a space in the top half of League One for Cheltenham Town on Saturday when Lincoln City are the visitors to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium (kick-off: 3pm).

A positive result would go a long way to keeping the Robins in the top 12 in the third tier as they line up against an Imps side eager to shake themselves out of a poor run of form of late.

Saturday's match up is an interesting one, especially as the Robins themselves are looking to respond after a very disappointing result in midweek.

Tickets for Saturday's clash are on sale online. You can save £2 on matchday prices by buying before midnight on Friday.

Team news

There are no new injury concerns going into the weekend, while there are also no new additional faces expected to be back involved.

That means Will Boyle, Taylor Perry and Conor Thomas (pictured) all still remain out.

Media talk

Boss Michael Duff insists that despite their recent run of form and league position, Lincoln City will pose a threat when they visit Gloucestershire on Saturday.

"They are in a difficult moment in the season and have had a lot of injuries. They were in the play-offs last year. They have an established well respected manager who plays really good football," he said in his pre-match press conference.

"You look at where they've come from in the last three or four years form attendances to levels and they've improved everything.

"They've got a few players we looked at in the summer that we wanted to take.

"They are in a bad run at the minute but they are a good team."

Watch the full press conference with Duff on iFollow where you can also see Ellis Chapman's thoughts on the game.


After making it to the League One play-off final last season, the current campaign has been a little tougher for Lincoln, and heading into Saturday's match they sit 18th in League One having not won in the division since late October.

In midweek they lost 2-0 on the road at Crewe Alexandra on a difficult night where they went down to two penalties at the beginning of the second half from Mikael Mandron.

They'll travel to Gloucestershire on Saturday with a key member of last season's championship winning side in their squad. Goalkeeper Josh Griffiths is on a season-long loan with the Imps from West Bromwich Albion where he also spent time on loan at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium last season.

Elsewhere in their squad they boast quality with the likes of attacker Chris Maguire, midfield pair Conor McGrandles and Teddy Bishop and Manchester City loanee Lewis Fiorini all bringing good experience and quality to a team who have of late been missing the effective Anthony Scully in attack due to injury.

This is their third consecutive season at this level. They've enjoyed a fantastic rise from the National League in recent years and came so close last season to getting back to the second tier of the English game with the last time they were at that level in the early sixties.

The manager: Michael Appleton

A highly respected managerial talent in the Football League, Michael Appleton has faced more than just battles with his team of late as he has recently spent time recovering from testicular cancer after announcing he had been diagnosed in July.

He has been in the dugout at Lincoln since September 2019 when he replaced Danny Cowley in the hot seat.

A midfielder in his playing days for the likes of Manchester United, Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion, it was with the latter where he began his managerial career.

Since then he's managed Portsmouth, Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and Oxford United, while in 2017 he had a caretaker stint in charge of Leicester City for two games following the Foxes decision to sack Craig Shakespeare of whom Appleton had been his assistant.


Buy in advance before midnight on Friday to save £2 on matchday prices. You can buy online.

If choosing to buy on the day, you can purchase tickets for the Colin Farmer Stand next to the Parklands turnstiles, for standing areas from the matchday ticket point near the bowling club in the car park, and for the Autovillage Stand from the ticket office.

Pre-paid tickets for the Autovillage Stand, Paddock, Tunnel and Optimising IT Stand can be collected from the matchday ticket point in the car park, while for the Colin Farmer Stand they're available from just outside the Parklands turnstiles.

Match programme

As he prepares to line up against his former club, defender Sean Long is the big interview in Saturday's match programme.

Also in Saturday's edition you can read the latest thoughts of chairman David Bloxham, Michael Duff's pre-game notes, find out more about the launch of Proud Robins, discover more about the day's opposition and catch up on lots of other great reads.

The programme is on sale for £3 around the stadium and it's also available to buy online.


Social media: Stay on top of the match by following @CTFCofficial for updates. Check out the club's Facebook page and Instagram account for the latest score.

Radio: You can hear full match commentary of the game by subscribing to an iFollow audio match pass.

Website: After the game you can watch the post-match press conference on iFollow here on the club website and read a match report.

Highlights: You can watch extended highlights on iFollow, on the club's YouTube channel and on Quest on the night of the game.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 2-2 Lincoln City

11 December 2021

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Matty Blair’s late header in the dying moments of the match won Cheltenham Town a point as they drew 2-2 to Lincoln City at the Jonny Rocks Stadium.

Alfie May scored his seventh league goal of the season, after striking the ball low and hard past former Cheltenham loanee Josh Griffiths to give the home side the lead.

The Imps responded in the second half through Ted Bishop who placed the ball into the top corner, after receiving the ball on the edge of the box from a free kick.

The away side dominated the half and despite multiple strong saves by Owen Evans, they took the lead in the 91st minute and it seemed the visitors would steal all three points.

With seconds remaining, Blair headed in the bouncing ball to level the match and clinch a point for the Robins.

“I think it was a bit of a funny game. Quite open with lots of chances,” said manager Michael Duff after the draw.

“We showed character to come back from conceding late and hopefully we can build on that and gain some momentum.”

Conor McGrandles created the first big chance of the match, with his driven effort connecting the crossbar early on in the match, but it ended up being the best effort by the travelling side in the opening half.

May scored his tenth goal of the season, in all competitions, with a cool low driven finish into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, to put the Robins in front after 17 minutes.

A Chris Hussey long ball found Mattie Pollock afterwards, but Griffiths collected the goal-bound effort from the defender to keep it at one.

May then retrieved the ball from an Imps corner, and sent Vassell through on goal, however his effort was tame and down the middle.

The striker then created space down the right channel and fizzed an inviting cross into the City box, however no one could reach it.

Substitute Lewis Freestone made a goal stopping block off the line keeping the Robins in front, and then Evans made his first save of the match as the Imps pushed for the equaliser.

May should have doubled his tally for the match, but he was prevented by an outstretched Griffiths to keep the deficit at one.

Chris Maguire tested Evans in the 68th minute with another long-range effort, but again didn’t trouble the Cheltenham keeper.

Bishop received the ball on the edge of the box from a free kick by Maguire and placed it into the top right-hand corner of Evans’ net - there was nothing the 'keeper could do about it.

An outstanding save by Evans kept the game level, with Freddie Draper one-on-one with the Robins keeper, but the 25-year-old’s fingertips kept the ball out.

With five minutes remaining, Ellis Chapman volleyed the ball goal bound, causing Griffiths to dive into action. The bobbling ball fell to substitute Andy Williams, but his effort was parried by Griffiths whilst on the floor, and then May’s strike within the six-yard box was blocked by Regan Poole. 

The away end roared with minutes remaining as a Lincoln counter-attack was capped off by Bishop who replicated May’s earlier first half finish and it looked like the visitors had stolen the win.

In the final seconds of the match, Lincoln struggled to clear their lines inside a hectic box full of red and yellow shirts. The loose ball ended up landing near Blair who got on the end of it and scored another late goal to steal a point.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Evans, Long (c), Hussey (Freestone 35’), Pollock, Raglan, Sercombe, Vassell (Williams 84’), May, Chapman, Blair, Joseph (Crowley 72’).

Subs not used: Flinders (GK), Horton, Barkers, Wright.

LINCOLN CITY (4-3-3): Griffiths, Poole, Montsma, Maguire, Bishop, Adelakun (N’Lundulu 65’), Bramall, McGrandles, Fiorini, Bridcutt (c) (Sorensen 79’), Draper.

Subs not used: Long (GK), Sanders, Longdon, Robson, Roughan.

ATTENDANCE: 3152 (381 away)

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