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In Focus: Bees v. The Robins

22 March 2013

Supporter and columnist Murry Toms looks ahead to this weekend's trip to Underhill

Goals by Jermaine McGlashan, Marlon Pack and the magnificent Steve Elliott gave Cheltenham Town a satisfactory 3-0 win over promotion rivals Rotherham United last Saturday.

The result moved Cheltenham back into fourth, pushed Steve Evans' Millers down to seventh and extended the cushion to eighth spot to nine points with seven games to play.

The Robins' push for an automatic route to League One football shifts this weekend to north London with a trip to struggling Barnet.

The picture is as topsy-turvy at the top as it is at the bottom, with at least 16 clubs in the division vying for promotion or safety as the season lurches head first towards a dramatic climax.

Edgar Davids' side are locked in an intriguing scrap for survival from which at least a third of League Two clubs are battling to escape.

The Bees remain two points and two places above the drop zone after a notable 2-0 success over play-off hopefuls Fleetwood Town in the capital on Tuesday night.

It was their seventh win at home, where the majority of their 43 points have been secured.

Mark Yates' team have put paid to some unwanted records this season, most notably against Hereford United (first success in 11 meetings) and Chesterfield (first league win in 12 attempts).

Tomorrow they have the chance to record their first win at Underhill since 1987, when a sole Chris Townsend goal handed manager John Murphy's side a narrow 1-0 Conference victory in front of 1,947 spectators.

The striker topped the charts that year, scoring 27 in all competitions en route to an 11th place finish. Barnet ended the season in second position, six points adrift of champions Scarborough.

Highlights at the famous old ground, from a Cheltenham perspective, have been pretty thin on the ground since then.

In the league the Robins have drawn on four occasions and lost twice since 1999, despite taking the lead in each of the six matches.

Earlier in the season Jeff Goulding left Barnet to rue a missed penalty when he sealed a 1-0 win ten minutes from time.

Barnet will be without former Ajax, Milan and Inter Milan midfielder Edgar Davids, sent off for the second time this season in the 3-2 loss at Accrington a fortnight ago.

The sending off earned the player-manager a two-match ban, and he completes that suspension tomorrow.

Striker Jake Hyde is available, and has already plundered 11 this season.

Of course Sam Deering is set for a return to his former employers, and wasn't born when Cheltenham last left the famously sloping ground with all three points.

With a move the Hive Stadium in the neighbouring London Borough of Harrow on the cards, this is the club's opportunity to sign off with a much needed win to press home its top three credentials.

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