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08 February 2022 Venue Jonny-Rocks Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Sunderland

8 February 2022

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The Jonny-Rocks Stadium is ready and set for another big League One matchday on Tuesday night when Sunderland are the visitors (kick-off: 7.45pm).

Tuesday's fixture is the third ever competitive meeting between the two clubs but will be the first time they've ever faced off in Whaddon.

Cheltenham are eager to get back to winning ways having drawn five of the last six, while for Sunderland, who are managerless, it's an opportunity for them to keep applying pressure on the top two in the division.

Tickets for tonight's match are on sale online and can also be bought at the stadium this evening. With a significant crowd expected though fans are advised to leave plenty of time ahead of kick-off to buy or pick up pre-paid tickets.

Fans in the Optimising IT Stand can use the new half-time bar that will be open selling pints of Fosters and Thatchers at £4 a pint. Please note this is a cash only bar.

Team news

Ben Williams will be back available after his recent one match suspension.

There is also a possibility Jamie Soule (pictured) could make his debut after joining on loan from West Brom.

Conor Thomas, Sean Long, Dan Nlundulu, Ellis Chapman, George Lloyd and Charlie Brown all miss out because of injury.

Media talk

Despite consecutive losses before their visit to Gloucestershire, Michael Duff knows how powerful a team Sunderland can be from previous experiences against them this season.

"They've just lost back-to-back and they're still fourth in the League which shows you what a strong position they are in," he told the media on Monday.

"We know what they're all about. They beat us 5-0 earlier in the season. There is a little bit of upheaval in terms of losing the manager. We can't worry too much about Sunderland. We know they're a really good team, we know they've got some very good players and we know about the size of the club as well."

You can listen to the full pre-match press conference on iFollow.

Opposition

There was a crowd of over 38,000 on Saturday at the Stadium of Light to see Sunderland lose 2-1 at home to Doncaster Rovers.

It was a game that saw Tuesday's opposition give the newly re-signed Jermain Defoe his second debut. The 57 time capped England international has re-joined after leaving Scottish champions Rangers.

Saturday's action was only the second time this season they've lost back-to-back matches in League One this season and they sit 4th - two points off the automatic promotion places but having played more games than the top two.

In Ross Stewart they have the division's joint highest goal scorer with 18 goals, and he is just one of several attackers that include deeper lying Elliot Embleton and former Bayern Munich striker Leon Dajaku who is on loan from Union Berlin.

Their squad boasts vast international experience with Northern Ireland man Corry Evans, though experienced winger Aiden McGeady has been missing of late.

Goalkeeper Ron-Thorben Hoffmann is on loan from Bayern Munich, while Robins fans will be familiar with Carl Winchester, who has been with the Black Cats for a year.

Caretaker manager: Mike Dodds

Following the sacking of Lee Johnson, Mike Dodds has been installed as interim boss, and Saturday's loss to Doncaster was his first game in charge.

He serves Sunderland usually as Head of Individual Player Development and was previously the academy manager at Birmingham City where he worked for 12 years until Sunderland’s Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman took him away from the Midlands.

The 35-year-old has also previously worked as an academy coach at Coventry City.

Tickets

Fans can buy tickets online up until 4pm while they'll also be available to purchase in person at the stadium. You must have a ticket to go through the turnstiles which are cashless.

Buy tickets on the night for the Colin Farmer Stand from next to the Parklands turnstiles. For the Autovillage Stand they are on sale from the ticket office and for all standing areas from the ticket collection point in the car park next to the bowls club.

Pre-paid tickets for the Colin Farmer Stand can be picked up from just outside the Parklands turnstiles. For all other areas they are available from the ticket collection point in the car park.

With the large crowd attending the game fans are advised to leave plenty of time before kick-off to pick up or buy tickets.

Match programme

Copies of Tuesday's match programme will be on sale around the stadium at a price of £3.

The main interview is with Charlie Raglan while there's also the latest thoughts from Alfie May and Michael Duff.

The programme is also available to buy online.

Coverage

Watch: Purchase an iFollow match pass online for £10 to watch the game live.

Social media: Follow @CTFCofficial on Twitter for updates. You can also check out the club's Facebook page and Instagram account.

Website: Make a post-match visit to the club website to read the match report and watch the press conference.

Listen: An iFollow audio match pass is available to buy for the game at a price of £2.50

Highlights: Watch extended highlights on iFollow and on the EFL iFollow app, while you can also see footage from the game on YouTube and Sky Sports

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 2-1 Sunderland

8 February 2022

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Alfie May’s winner completed a sensational comeback for Cheltenham Town as they condemned Sunderland to a 2-1 defeat at the Jonny Rocks Stadium.

The forward has reached double figures in a league season for the very first time in the Football League.

Alex Pritchard opened the scoring for Sunderland with a sublime first half free-kick, before Elliot Bonds equalised with a rocket from range that deflected over Anthony Patterson.

May decided proceedings by latching onto a through ball from Kion Etete and lashing a powerful finish into the far corner.

Sunderland posed the biggest threat during the opening exchanges, particularly down the left with Jack Clarke. The 21-year-old, signed on-loan from Tottenham Hotspur in January, pickpocketed Charlie Raglan, but drilled a low shot wide from the edge of the box.

They maintained their attacking momentum when Ross Stewart crashed his header against the woodwork, although the League One top scorer was subsequently flagged offside.

May and Etete showed signs of promise with both working exquisitely hard off the ball to contribute to the build-up play. Nevertheless, the Robins failed to test Patterson between the sticks for Sunderland in the first half.

The Black Cats took the lead in impressive style from Pritchard’s free-kick in the 32nd minute. The former Huddersfield Town midfielder was fouled by Charlie Colkett on the edge of the box and curled an unerring free-kick beyond the reach of Owen Evans.

Evans prevented Sunderland from scoring a second in quick succession when he showed supreme reflexes to divert Dajaku’s header over.

Michael Duff introduced Callum Wright for Colkett on the hour-mark and his substitution breathed new life into the attack. Cheltenham then equalised in the 64th minute through Elliot Bonds. A loose ball dropped to Bonds outside the penalty area and his thunderbolt from range took a deflection to sail over Patterson.

This lifted an already electrifying crowd as Cheltenham started to flex their muscles in their search for a winner. May drew a relatively comfortable save from Patterson before Charlie Raglan headed wide at the near post.

Sunderland did provide a scare when Raglan was perfectly positioned to head clear Pritchard’s header in front of goal, but it was the Robins who were doing most of the knocking.

The winner duly came when Etete plucked Evans’ long ball from out of the air with a beautiful first touch. He helped the ball onto May, who fired an unerring finish into the far corner to send the Whaddon Road crowd into raptures.

Mike Dodds introduced Jermain Defoe from the bench in a desperate attempt to salvage a point but Evans thwarted his only chance with a comfortable save at his near post. Sunderland battled until the very end but Cheltenham weathered a series of late corners to end their 12-match winless run.

The crowd stayed to present the players with a standing ovation as Cheltenham climbed seven points clear of the relegation zone. It was a third defeat in a row for Sunderland, although they stay fourth-place in League One.

ROBINS (3-5-2): O Evans; C Raglan, M Pollock, W Boyle (c); M Blair, E Bonds, A Ramsey (L Sercombe 73), C Colkett (C Wright 60), B Williams (L Freestone 80); K Etete, A May.

Subs not used: S Flinders, A Williams, R Hutchinson, J Soule.

SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1): A Patterson; D Cirkin, D Batth, C Doyle, T Hume; C Evans (c) (E Embleton 84), J Matete; L Dajaku (P Roberts 75), A Pritchard, J Clarke (J Defoe 81); R Stewart.

Subs not used: J Carney, C Winchester, A Xhemajli, D Neil.

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 5,744 (1,520 away)

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Ticket News

Don't miss out on Sunderland tickets

4 February 2022

Cheltenham Town host one of the biggest games of the season on Tuesday when Sunderland visit the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

The former Premier League side have just added England international Jermaine Defoe to their squad ahead of Tuesday's trip to Gloucestershire, which gets underway at 7.45pm.

There's been a huge level of interest in the game and only single seats are now available to purchase in either the Colin Farmer Stand or Autovillage Stand.

There are however plenty of terrace tickets still available if you wish to buy in groups for the fixture.

Tickets are available to buy online at any time or from the ticket office during opening hours.

Buy before midnight on Monday to save £2 on the price of tickets on the day.

With a large crowd the club are advising fans to arrive early and leave plenty of time to collect pre-paid tickets if buying in advance before entering the stadium with the turnstiles cashless at the Jonny-Rocks.

Supporters are also reminded that the upcoming fixtures against Fleetwood Town, Crewe Alexandra and Doncaster Rovers have been designated as Kids for a Quid matchdays for under-16s - you must buy in advance to take advantage of this offer.

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