Match Preview: Cheltenham Town

By Rob Davies
Last updated : 11 November 2005
After a week dominated by takeover talk, it's great to get back to the on-the-field stuff that, lest we forget, has improved drastically in the past few weeks.

There shall be no more mentions of debts, loans or overdrafts in this preview. Though we could have witnessed the beginning of another defining period for the club, it is tomorrow's visit of the Robins that is the most immediate concern.

Notts County manager Gudjon Thordarson will be keen to see his team's last two performances on the road translated onto home turf for the visit of John Ward's men.

Thor: Keen for home win
It's now over two months since the Magpies last won on the hallowed Meadow Lane turf, though Thordarson can - and has - point towards the fact that his team have lost only once at home, that coming with a 2-1 defeat by Boston Utd.

The team's recent upturns in fortunes can, in fact, be directly traced back to the last home match against Carlisle Utd, where the Magpies were unlucky to come away with a 0-0 scoreline despite heavy pressure.

That game saw a switch to a 3-5-2 formation from Thordarson, and the Magpies' have impressed - and improved - in all three of the subsequent fixtures' since the change of structure.

Notts supporters - who, of course, will be adjusting their pre-match rituals in order to cater for a 2pm kick-off - will be hoping that the undoubted improvement can continue tomorrow, against a Cheltenham side who themselves were boosted by a Cup win last weekend.

The Robins had previously been struggling, having notched-up three straight league defeats, before last weekend's morale-boosting 1-0 success.

Despite their recent woes though, Ward's side only lie three places below the Magpies, and can leapfrog them should they chalk-up a win tomorrow.

Cheltenham will have no qualms over visiting the 'Lane tomorrow, as it was on their travels that their last league victory came - courtesy of a 1-0 win over Lincoln City.

Wilson: Returns from ban
Though that has been their only win on the road this season, the Robins have also only been defeated once on their travels in the league - with draws at Rochdale, Maccesfield and, most notably, Wycombe, giving tomorrow's opponents an impressive-looking away record going into the encounter.

Ward has built a workmanlike side of few stars - or, top-quality League Two players - with ex Notts loanee Grant McCann, in midfield, probably the man likely to pose most danger tomorrow.

Left full-back Craig Armstrong is the other recognisable face, having rejected a summer move to the Magpies in favour of the switch to the Robins.

Thordarson, meanwhile, will have to make at least one change to the team that won 2-0 at Bristol City last weekend, with Steve Scoffham fracturing his cheekbone during the encounter.

Andy White - who impressed after replacing Scoffham last weekend - will hope to take advantage of his first start since early-August in his colleague's absence.

Lewis McMahon, meanwhile, has made a drastic recovery from the ankle injury he sustained during the tie at Ashton Gate. Though the midfielder is still not 100%, he has been named in the squad for tomorrow and could play some part.

Kelvin Wilson returns from his one-match suspension, with Mike Edwards moving into midfield to replace either McMahon or Matt Gill in order to accomodate the 19-year-old defender. Adam Tann is likely to make his home debut, after netting at Bristol last week.

Notts (possible): Pilkington; Tann, Baudet, Wilson; Pipe, Long, Edwards, Gill, Ullathorne; Hurst, White.

Subs (from): Marshall, O'Callaghan, Sheridan, Palmer, McMahon, Williams.

Notts. County Match Reports

Sky Bet League Two Tue 21st November 19:45

Yeovil Town 1 - 1 Notts County

Last game - Match Centre


Trending on the boards