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Club News

In Focus: Robins v. Cobblers

31 March 2013

Fan and columnist Murry Toms looks ahead to perhaps the most important match of the season so far.

Cheltenham Town host high-flying Northampton Town tomorrow, looking to bounce back to winning ways after Saturday's disappointing reverse at Port Vale.

The Robins dropped a place after the topsy-turvey encounter at Vale Park, and face another stern test tomorrow when the Cobblers come to town.

They've been on a steep upward curve since the arrival of former Watford, Colchester United and Coventry City manager Aidy Boothroyd towards the end of 2011.

Having hit rock bottom that season, his side recovered well to preserve their League Two status in 20th place.

They had an indifferent start this time around, languishing in 17th position at the end of October but a magnificent run of results has propelled the Northamptonshire side into the automatic reckoning.

Their performances at Sixfields have been a major factor. They boast the division's most impressive home record, with Saturday's narrow victory over Torquay United bringing their tally of home wins to 16 this term.

Of course Cheltenham produced a dramatic comeback to score an impressive 3-2 win there back in December, Darryl Duffy providing the winner ten minutes from time.

But only league leaders Gillingham and Bradford City have matched that achievement this season.

However, it's a different story on the road, with only four successes notched away from Sixfields.

That amounts to to the weakest showing on the road in the top half of League Two.

Meanwhile, Cheltenham rank third in terms of points gained at home after winning 12 and drawing six at the Abbey Business Stadium.

You have to go back 17 matches and six months to the last time they tasted defeat at home (Southend United, 1-3).

Northampton do come into this one on the back of one defeat in 10 matches, but the Abbey Business Stadium is not a happy hunting ground.

Tomorrow the Cobblers will be searching for only their third win from their 12th league visit to Gloucestershire, and their first since Jason Crowe's goal on the stroke of half-time divided the sides in February 2009.

Cheltenham have won five of those encounters and drawn four, including last season's match which ended 2-2.

Northampton were firmly in control at the break, Ben Tozer and old foe Adebayo Akinfenwa with the goals but Duffy responded with two of his own after the break to secure his side a point.

Cheltenham could pull level with a fourth successive home victory tomorrow to maintain their automatic promotion hopes, while Northampton have second place in their sights if they end their three-match winless run on the road.

It's shaping up to be another special afternoon at the Abbey Business Stadium.

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