Cheltenham Town v Southend United



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:CTcrest1.png v http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Southend_United_FC.png

BLUES

Saturday was a disappointing result, but we've been there before, it just makes Tuesday's game even more important to get three points. Can they really lose seven league games in a row though?

It's been a mad Blues news day but it did give a chance for some team news.

The one we all wait for is the good Lord Lee Barnard, the official site assured us he was fit for Oldham and we are told today that he 'could' be involved.  

Did give James another chance, scored one of his brilliant efforts but missed a sitter and did little else. What are we to do with him? No chance of Dougie or Francis, the head-butting Frenchman's last game suspended.

A good debut by the Fulham boy, looked confident on the ball. Macca was back to his best, so the midfield is fine if someone could wake up Betsy.

Of course it's the defence, (yawn), we'll all concerned about and we all know Tilly's not going to touch his alpha males in central defence so we might as well just hope they get it right on the night. "We have to work on it" re the set piece fiascos at the weekend. Tilly, when did Spinner retire?

Welcome back Mr. Mildenhall, a tough job following the Aussie but he made a good start in the Cup replay and I'm sure he wont let us down on Tuesday.

So, if not the same outfield ten, bloody close, maybe Barnard for Walker.

Good Luck all who are going, wrap up warm, try and get a drink in and enjoy. Oh why not? 2-0 to the Blues!

OPPOSITION

A manager we know well from his Brentford days, he has had mixed results Whaddon Road. 3 wins (2 of those in cups), 3 draws and 8 defeats, including six league fixtures on the trot for the first time in their history.

Allen has inherited a side lacking in investment, their best player Gillespie got them 300k, and they find themselves second from bottom of the table, a state of affairs that got the previous manager, Keith Downing, the sack!

The Bottom

20Leyton Orient 17234712224610458132217-9
21Colchester United 161258113141820439263115-5
22Hereford United 17324980172173311112512-14
23Cheltenham Town 1731412150187263212194111-22
24Crewe Alexandra 172251218017822231220409-20

Martin Allen is determined to remain upbeat despite watching his team slump to their sixth successive league defeat at Carlisle United on Saturday. Graham Kavanagh's second half strike sealed a 1-0 win for the Cumbrian club, who parted company with former Robins boss John Ward earlier this month.

Cheltenham are now six points from safety, which is effectively seven due to their inferior goal difference.

But Allen is adamant that the Robins are showing signs of improvement and that more positive results are on the horizon: "The players gave everything they have got, there is no doubt about that. They could have done better in the final third, but overall they had a real go and I can take that. I couldn't take that last week, (3-0 defeat at Hereford), but they worked their socks off and it's coming. There have been huge amounts of changes and I knew it was going to take time, but they are moving in the right direction. We are looking a better unit and a better team, tightening up and starting to gel. We are not looking like a side that's going to be rolled over and battered, which is a start."

Allen confirmed he was still hoping to make at least one more signing before the loan deadline passes on Thursday, with a striker likely to be his overriding priority: "I am still working hard to improve it, but it takes time and it costs money."

Wigan Athletic midfielder Lewis Montrose, 20, will extend his loan spell with the Robins to a third month this week and West Ham's Josh Payne, who turns 18 on Tuesday, is expected to do the same.

Robins striker Lloyd Owusu was granted permission to leave Cumbria on Saturday evening to attend the birth of his daughter, who arrived in the early hours of Saturday. Allen said: "Football is a job, not a matter of life or death, and there was no way I was going to stop Lloyd leaving to be with his young lady. He had the choice to do what he wanted to do and I am delighted for him."

Perhaps this dismal run of results was inevitable after the sweeping changes that have been made at the club since Martin Allen took over as manager in mid-September. There is no doubt that Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Carlisle United was altogether more acceptable than the 3-0 humiliation at Hereford United seven days earlier, but the Robins are in danger of being cast adrift at the bottom of the League One table.

They were sunk at Brunton Park by a goal from the best player on the pitch by some distance, Graham Kavanagh. The Ireland international midfielder is on loan at Carlisle from Sunderland and he showed frequent glimpses of his Premier League quality. His decisive strike arrived in the 64th minute and came at the end of a sweeping move that he initiated deep inside his own half. Kavanagh carried the ball into Cheltenham's territory at pace and found Simon Hackney on the left. Goalkeeper Scott Brown could only push Hackney's low cross-shot out as far as Kavanagh, who had the simple task of tapping into an empty net.

Former Robins loan defender Richard Keogh went as close as anyone to scoring another for Carlisle when he smashed a shot against the bar from four yards out, but he also had Cheltenham's most notable attempt on goal. Late in the first half, Keogh headed Alan Wright's long ball against his own bar, but Cheltenham failed to create many significant goalscoring opportunities themselves.

Shorn of Lloyd Owusu, and with Damian Spencer, Ashley Vincent and Elvis Hammond all working their way back to peak fitness, Cheltenham offered little going forward. In similar style to Tuesday's FA Cup success at Oldham, the defence looked solid, with Andy Gallinagh performing well at centre-back alongside Drissa Diallo, left-back Alan Wright returning to his best and David Bird looking comfortable at right-back. The midfield four worked hard, but were frequently bypassed as Paul Connor and Hammond were denied quality service, and when the starting front pair did receive the ball they failed to retain possession often enough.

Lee Ridley's long throws were Cheltenham's most dangerous attacking weapon and Allen will be fully aware of the need to recruit a proven line-leader in attack. He faces a vitally important month in January when the transfer window opens and all he can do until then is work hard to ensure the gap between his team and 20th place is not already insurmountable.

Cheltenham's gruelling schedule continues with a home match against Southend United tomorrow night and an FA Cup second round visit to League Two outfit Morecambe on Saturday.

CHELTENHAM TOWN: S Brown; D Bird, D Diallo, A Gallinagh, A Wright (D Spencer 80); S Murray (A Vincent 58), L Montrose (J Payne 87), I Westlake, L Ridley; E Hammond, P Connor. Subs not used: S Higgs, D Kenton.

(Player ratings supplied by the Gloucestershire Echo)

BROWN - 6; Made the same mistake he made at MK Dons, but other than that coped well.

BIRD - 7; Seems to look the part at right back at the moment. Has good pace and reads the game.

WRIGHT - 7; Good in possession once more, and won many challenges.

GALLINAGH - 7; Complements Diallo well as he covers while the big man challenges aerially.

DIALLO - 7; Made several good challenges and won headers he needed to.

MURRAY - 6; Criminally underused by Cheltenham as he was our most creative midfielder.

WESTLAKE - 7; Impressed me more than he has so far. Good on the ball and won tackles.

MONTROSE - 7; Drifted in and out of the game, but more confident than he has been. Perhaps a goal has done him good.

RIDLEY - 7; He is starting to become something of a cult hero. Good in possession, but slow.

HAMMOND - 7; Lively every time he got the ball. Will score at this level.

CONNOR - 6; Ineffective by and large and the one chance he had, he ducked out of.

SUBS: SPENCER 6 (for Wright, 80); High profile as ever, but no threat to Carlisle.

VINCENT 6 (for Murray, 57); Couldn't get a run at the defenders.

PAYNE 7 (for Montrose, 86); Brief cameo, but got Cheltenham on the front foot

PREVIOUSLY

Played 16: Won 5 Drawn 4 Lost 7.

Games against the Gloucester club started in their very first football league season with a 1-2 defeat on Oct. 9 '99, Carruthers the Blues goal. We did win the home return on May 6 2000 2-0, the two Jones boys, S. and N., grabbing a goal each.


We are now unbeaten against Cheltenham since an opening day 0-2 home defeat on Aug. 7 2004. The Blues kick started the road to the Championship with a wonderful 3-0 win at Whaddon Road on Mar. 19 2005, a double from Gray and a Freddie special sealing the points in the first half hour. A very rare Bradbury hat-trick, along with Adam, got the goals when we beat them 4-1 after extra time in the Coke Cup on Aug. 14 2007.


Last season; On Nov. 17 07 we were two down at half time to the then bottom of the league side before a second half rally allowed Gower and Hammell to grab a point. The evening of Feb. 29 this year saw a late Bailey shot rescue a 1-1 draw and continue our unbeaten record which wouldn't end until we were in the play-offs.

At Cheltenham T. (6)At Southend Utd. (10)
ResultsTotal%ResultsTotal%
Cheltenham T.233.33Southend Utd.440.00
Southend Utd.116.67Cheltenham T.550.00
Draws350.00Draws110.00
GoalsTotalAv.pgGoalsTotalAv.pg
Cheltenham T.71.17Southend Utd.121.20
Southend Utd.81.33Cheltenham T.101.00
On Neutral Ground (0)Overall (16 matches)
ResultsTotal%ResultsTotal%
Cheltenham T.00.00Cheltenham T.743.75
Southend Utd.00.00Southend Utd.531.25
Draws00.00Draws425.00
GoalsTotalAv.pgGoalsTotalAv.pg
Cheltenham T.00.00Cheltenham T.171.06
Southend Utd.00.00Southend Utd.201.25
Records
Highest Aggregate5Southend Utd. 4 - 1Cheltenham T.2007/2008
Highest Cheltenham T. score:2Southend Utd. 0 - 2Cheltenham T.2004/2005
Highest Southend Utd. score:4Southend Utd. 4 - 1Cheltenham T.2007/2008
SeasonDateHomeScoreAwayCompetition
2008/2009Tue 12 AugSouthend Utd.0 - 1Cheltenham T.League Cup
after extra time
2007/2008Fri 29 FebCheltenham T.1 - 1Southend Utd.League One
Sat 17 NovSouthend Utd.2 - 2Cheltenham T.League One
Tue 14 AugSouthend Utd.4 - 1Cheltenham T.League Cup
after extra time, 90 minutes 1-1
2004/2005Sat 19 MarCheltenham T.0 - 3Southend Utd.League Two
Sat 07 AugSouthend Utd.0 - 2Cheltenham T.League Two
2003/2004Fri 09 JanCheltenham T.1 - 1Southend Utd.League Division Three
Sat 09 AugSouthend Utd.2 - 0Cheltenham T.League Division Three
2001/2002Tue 19 FebCheltenham T.1 - 1Southend Utd.League Division Three
Fri 28 SepSouthend Utd.0 - 1Cheltenham T.League Division Three
2000/2001Sat 05 MayCheltenham T.2 - 1Southend Utd.League Division Three
Tue 05 DecSouthend Utd.2 - 0Cheltenham T.(Associate Members)
Sat 25 NovSouthend Utd.0 - 1Cheltenham T.League Division Three
1999/2000Sat 06 MaySouthend Utd.2 - 1Cheltenham T.League Division Three
Tue 07 DecSouthend Utd.0 - 1Cheltenham T.(Associate Members)
Sat 09 OctCheltenham T.2 - 1Southend Utd.League Division Three


REF


The man in the middle is first year rookie James Linington from Newport, Isle of Wight. Tuesday will be his tenth ever League match and second at this level.

FIXTURES

Tuesday, November 25 2008; (all 19.45 kick-off): Colchester v Yeovil, Hartlepool v Bristol Rovers, Huddersfield v Leyton Orient, Leicester v Crewe, Millwall v Carlisle, MK Dons v Hereford, Northampton v Leeds United, Oldham v Walsall, Stockport v Brighton, Swindon v Peterborough, Tranmere v Scunthorpe.

BET

Cheltenham (15/8) Draw (12/5
) Southend (7/5)

The Robins are 2/5 to be relegated, Farmers 4's, Borient 2's.

For all the footy odds go here: www.oddschecker.com/football/english/league-one.

WEATHER

Sunny and 6 C's, during the day..........might be a degree or two down by kick-off time, and no sun.

GROUND


At one end of the ground is the newest addition to the stadium. The Carlsberg Stand was opened in December 2005 and has a capacity of 1,100 fans. This stand is given to away supporters and is particularly steep in its design. It has a perspex windshield to one side and perspex panels incorporated into its roof, to allow more light to reach the pitch. The stand is unusual in the respect that it has a couple of more rows of seats on one side of it. There is also a small electric scoreboard on its roof. As would be expected from a new stand, the view of the playing area and the facilities are good, plus the bonus is that it also has good leg room. Just over 1,100 supporters can be accommodated in this area. If demand requires it, then up to 1,500 seats can be allocated in the In2Print Stand at one side of the pitch. This is another relatively new stand which was opened in November 2001.

This stand sits proudly at one side of the pitch and houses 2,034 supporters. It is a covered, all seated, single tiered stand, part of which is sometimes given to away supporters. The ground is now enclosed in one corner where the two new stands meet, although it is not used for spectators. On the other side of the pitch is the Stagecoach Main Stand, which has seating to the rear and terracing at the front. Straddling the half way line, it does not extend the full length of the pitch, having open spaces to either side. At one end is the small, covered, Cheltenham & Gloucester Terrace, which is the home end of the ground.


TRANSPORT


For information on getting to the game by all forms of transport including times, prices and maps, go to Last Call to Cheltenham: www.thelittlegazette.com/news/loadsngl.asp?cid=EDW4&id=418605

PUB & PIES

For the best pubs to visit and grab something to eat go to Last Orders in Cheltenham: www.thelittlegazette.com/news/loadsngl.asp?cid=EDW8&id=418610

HISTORY


The Robins were founded in 1887 by Albert Close White. They joined the Southern League in 1935 but the true revolution at the club started with the appointment of Steve Cotterill as manager during the 1996-97 season. Cheltenham won promotion to the then Conference in his first season and two years later gained promotion to the football league where they even beat us, thanks guys. You can even throw in the FA Trophy Final in 1998 when they beat Southport 1-0 in front of 27,000 at Wembley, 19,000 from the town. After a couple of mid table finishes in the old Division Three Cotterill gained them promotion to Division Two (now League One).


It was only a matter of time before Cotterill moved on, he finally choose Stoke City, while his replacement Graham Allner lasted just seven months as relegation back to League Two threatened. His successor Bobby Gould was unable to starve off relegation and the following season was replaced by John Ward, who guided Cheltenham to glory in the 2005-06 play-offs, beating Grimsby Town in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.


Following Cheltenham's 3-0 defeat to Port Vale, John Ward announced he had agreed a four year contract with League One side Carlisle United and would begin his tenure the following day on October 3rd, 2007. Ward said he couldn't turn down the possibility of managing a team who could soon be playing in the English Championship. He left the club lying 23rd in the league, above only one team and are now expected to struggle to avoid relegation. Keith Downing was appointed caretaker manager until the position could be filled.


After a scathing attack on the fans and Ward on a radio interview on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, chairman Paul Baker Downing was made permanent. Cheltenham's results after Downing took charge were mixed having drawn 1-1 with Oldham Athletic, a 3-1 win in the Johnstones Paint Trophy against rivals Swindon Town and then a bad 3-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest, which left many fans disgruntled with Downings tactics, which appeared as one dimensional as Wards were, not surprising due to their close links together.


On November 25 2007, a sell-out Whaddon Road enjoyed a brave performance against Leeds United, which, after riding their luck, the Robins won 1-0 thanks to an 86th minute winner by in-form striker Steven Gillespie. This result gave them their first win in over two months, and it is now one of the most famous in the clubs recent history, and they hoped it would be the spring-board for a good run and rise up the table.


In January 2008, Cheltenham did win four games in a row, the first time the club had achieved this feat since joining the Football League in 1999. During these games they didn't even concede. After the 1-0 loss to Millwall at the end of January, manager Keith Downing was pipped to the Manager of the Month award by Swansea City manager Roberto Martinez. Steven Gillespie was nominated for Player of the Month, but he too was pipped to the post by Edrissa Sonko of Walsall.

After a run of bad results, Cheltenham had a five match unbeaten run in March/April. This started with a stunning 2-1 victory over Leeds at Elland Road, as Cheltenham became the only team to complete the double over them this season. Then followed a 1-0 victory over West Country rivals Bristol Rovers, with another win against Leyton Orient and draws against Luton Town and Northampton Town.

Cheltenham's survival was secured on the final day of the season as they beat Doncaster Rovers 2-1 at Whaddon Road, denying their opposition automatic promotion. Whatever happened to them?

Cheltenham started off the season away at Northampton Town which resulted in a 4-2 defeat. In their first home match of the season they defeated Swindon Town 2-0 with loan signing Jennison Myrie-Williams getting on the score sheet. Cheltenham also had success in the Carling Cup defeating The Blues 1-0 after extra time and setting up a home tie against Premier League side Stoke City in the next round, they went on to lose that tie 3-2. On the 29th August 2008, it was announced that Josh Low had agreed a 2-year deal with the club subject to a medical, becoming manager Keith Downings's second permanent signing of the season. On transfer deadline day Downing added to the squad by signing striker Lloyd Owusu on a free transfer from Yeovil Town.

However the above were the highlights, league results were poor and on the 13th September Cheltenham Town parted company with Keith Downing.

On 15th September 2008, Cheltenham Town appointed Martin Allen as their new manager at Whaddon Road. Martin Allen, 43, has been out of the game since leaving Leicester City in August 2007 after only three months in charge.

(Thanks to the Gloucestershire Echo, SUFC Database and Wikipedia for their help with this article.)