It’s a battle to secure a place in the Checkatrade Trophy southern section quarter-finals this evening when Cheltenham welcome Oxford United to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium (kick-off: 7.45pm).
Sky Bet League One Oxford make the short journey along the A40 to Gloucestershire with both teams only 90 minutes and potentially penalties away from reaching the next stage.
Both sides suffered narrow defeats at the weekend, so tonight’s game represents an ideal opportunity to bounce back positively, while Michael Duff’s charges will be aiming to make it nine consecutive home games without defeat.
Tickets are available on the turnstiles with adult tickets only £5 and concessions £3 in all areas of the stadium.
New signing Cameron Pring is cup-tied and unable to play, while Will Boyle, Sean Long, Nigel Atangana and Johnny Mullins – who misses out against his former club – are all unavailable due to injury.
Ryan Broom is expected to be part of the squad after returning as a substitute in Saturday’s loss at Crawley.
Tyrone Barnett is another due to be involved after turning his loan deal into a permanent move to the club. He may line up against his old side. George Lloyd and Manny Duku are also back from loan spells and could feature.
It has been a difficult season for Tuesday’s opponents in the league, though they have impressed in the cups.
They were in FA Cup third round action on Saturday, losing 1-0 at Championship side Brentford, went out of the Carabao Cup to Manchester City in front of a home crowd of just under 12,000 and have reached the third round of this year’s Checkatrade Trophy.
Karl Robinson’s side navigated a group that included Northampton, Wycombe and Fulham under-21s to get into the second round where they went onto defeat Tottenham Hotspur under-21s convincingly to set up Tuesday’s trip to Cheltenham.
In League One they are currently in the drop zone – sitting 22nd out of 24 teams – but are just a point off safety.
Despite their current low league position they travel over the border to Gloucestershire with an eye-catching number of options that includes ex-Burton Albion defender John Mousinho, ex-QPR hit man Jamie Mackie, former Wolves midfielder James Henry and versatile ex-Derby man James Hanson.
There are Cheltenham links too. One-time loan youngster Luke Garbutt is a member of their squad, as another former loanee is in the shape of Rob Dickie, who was part of the Robins set-up that claimed promotion back to the Football League at the first attempt in the 2015-16 campaign when on loan from Reading.
Cast your mind back to the first month of last season for the two clubs last encounter. That was a Carabao Cup clash at the Kassam Stadium where the Robins came out on top of the right side of a seven goal thriller.
Mo Eisa and Danny Wright grabbed a brace each to help earn extra time progression in the competition having fought from being 3-1 down against Pep Clotet’s side.
Eisa had given Cheltenham an early advantage but Oxford raced into a 3-1 lead thanks to goals from Marvin Johnson, Jonathan Obika and Xemi Fernandez. Wright pegged the score line back to 3-3 though in the second half with a double, including a stoppage time equaliser.
That set up an additional half hour where Eisa would go onto strike with a stunning hit to secure the winning goal on 99 minutes. Revisit the action from that night below:
The last time the two clubs met in this competition was under its previous title – The Johnstones Paint Trophy.
That evening, in Sepember 2014, the Robins came out on top with a 2-0 Southern section first round win courtesy of goals from John Marquis and Koby Arthur. Jonathan Meades was sent off in the second half for Oxford.
Tickets can be bought on the turnstiles with Robins fans having been allocated the Autovillage Stand and Hazelwoods Stand. Oxford supporters are in the Completely Motoring Colin Farmer Stand.
Ticket prices are £5 for adults and £3 for concessions and can also be bought in advance online here.
The ticket office is also open tonight for fans wanting to buy tickets for Saturday’s home match with Tranmere and away travel for upcoming away fixtures at Carlisle and Colchester.
Stay up to date on Twitter by following @CTFCofficial where you’ll be able to catch match updates, team news and live in game images. Visit the club website post-match to read the match report and to hear full reaction.
Listen to full game commentary via iFollow. Check out ctfc.com/ifollow to catch the action.