Supporter and columnist Murry Toms looks ahead to Friday night's trip to Spotland.Manager Mark Yates was more than satisfied with his side's performance against promotion rivals Port Vale last weekend, but felt it merited more than the single point it yielded.
In the end his side had to settle for a draw at the Abbey Business Stadium six days ago, Darren Carter recording the goal that retained his side's top three position.
The Robins will tomorrow make their eighth trip north to Rochdale's Spotland Stadium, looking to temporarily seize the number two spot from Micky Adams' side who host AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Mid-table Rochdale, managed by John Coleman, have made an indifferent start to life back in the basement division after two seasons in the third tier.
The former Accrington Stanley boss spent five hours with disgruntled supporters this week on the back of four consecutive league defeats in which his side has conceded a total of 13 goals, dropping away from the play-off zone in the process.
They had ended a 41-year wait for promotion back in 2010 and went on to achieve their highest league finish since 1969–70, finishing ninth with 68 points 12 months later.
But the Greater Manchester side currently reside in 15th spot, having registered the majority of their 30 points away from home.
There have been only three wins in 11 matches at Spotland, where Cheltenham have never lost.
In seven previous visits, Cheltenham have won twice and drawn on five occasions.
Julian Alsop's injury time winner earned Martin Allen's side a dramatic 1-0 victory in the most recent meeting, three years ago, while goals by JJ Melligan and Brian Wilson were enough to take all the points back in a 2-1 win in 2004.
Tomorrow night will not be easy though and Bobby Grant (with nine), Dele Adebola (five) and Ashley Grimes (also five) are the attack-minded players most likely to occupy the Cheltenham defence.
However a repeat of Saturday's positive display would put Yates' men in good stead to press home their promotion credentials and continue their rise up the table.