Cheltenham travel to Vale Park this Saturday for Vale’s third home fixture in seven days after the 1-0 loss to Portsmouth and 1-0 win over Stockport County.
The Valiants currently sit higher in the Sky Bet League One table in 19th on seven points, whilst Cheltenham sit in the relegation zone in 21st on four points.
Here is some interesting pre-match reading before the two sides face each other on Saturday.
The view from Darrell Clarke:
Darrell Clarke stated: “Another competitive game, Cheltenham, established themselves as a League One club last year with a mid-table finish.
"They’d probably have liked to be on a few more points this season, but it’s early days.
“We know Wade Elliot, it’s his first managerial role and he’s a fantastic coach, and he’s taken over from Duffy who did an unbelievable job there, we expect a tough game.”
Opposition’s Boss thoughts
“They [Vale] have got good attacking threat,” said Wade Elliott.
“They’re well organised defensively, it’s a tough place to go.
“We’re young, we’re athletic, we’ve got people that can cover ground, so that’s how we want to set up.”
FA Cup, Completely-Suzuki Stadium, Saturday 30th November 2019: Cheltenham Town 1-3 Port Vale
We do love a memorable FA Cup victory at Vale with this one being back in 2019 as the Valiants knocked Saturday’s opponents out of the cup in the second round.
The victory was thanks to Vale legend Tom Pope as he scored an eight-minute second-half hattrick to complete a turnaround after the Robins' early goal.
The hosts opened the scoring three minutes into the clash when Reuben Reid slotted home a penalty after Sean Long was bundled over by Cristian Montano.
With 30 minutes to go, Pope fired Vale level, getting his head on a Rhys Browne cross to score past Scott Flinders.
Only two minutes later the Valiants took the lead with Pope once again powering another header past Flinders, this time from a James Gibbons lofted ball.
Pope then sealed his eight-minute hattrick, this time with an effort from his foot, when he thumped in after some poor Town defending from a corner.
Vale didn’t have it all their own way in this game with both Reid and Alex Addai missing clear-cut chances to make it 2-0 to the hosts before Pope's quickfire hat-trick.
Former Vale wingback Chris Hussey, who was playing for the Robins in this one, also missed a good headed chance for the hosts just before our equaliser.
This result meant that the Valiants earnt a third-round trip to the Etihad to face Manchester City where Tom Pope famously netted, but sadly for Vale, City showed their quality and knocked us out of the cup with a 4-1 win.
Cheltenham Town | Flinders, Tozer, Boyle, Greaves, Long, Ince, Broom (61’ Sheaf), Doyle-Hayes (82’ Smith), Hussey, Addai, Reid (45+1’ Reilly)
Unused Subs | Raglan, Clements, Lloyd, Lovett
Port Vale | Brown, Gibbons, Legge, Smith, Montano, Taylor, Joyce, Conlon (90+2’ Brisley), Amoo, Pope, Browne
Unused Subs | Atkinson, Cullen, Evans, Burgess, Bennett, Maddison
Last Time Out (League):
Sky Bet League One, Completely-Suzuki Stadium, Saturday 27th August 2022: Cheltenham Town 1-2 Oxford United
A second-half brace from Cameron Brannagan condemned the Robins to their fourth defeat of the season, with both sides ending the match with ten men.
Taylor Perry’s 63rd-minute goal was cancelled out by Brannagan’s two goals, with Billy Bodin and Ellis Chapman both seeing red after receiving two yellow cards.
Perry opened the scoring with just under 30 minutes left in the game when he netted via a deflection after a free kick wasn’t cleared properly by Oxford.
However, the lead didn’t last long as former Liverpool midfielder, Brannagan, equalised through a brilliant curling free kick.
The visitors didn’t make it easy for themselves though, with Bodin sent his marching orders with 16 minutes remaining when he received a second yellow card.
Having 10 men did not stop the away side with their set piece specialist Brannagan converting from the spot with under five minutes left in the game after Matty Taylor was fouled by Caleb Taylor.
It was then the hosts' turn to have a man sent off after Ellis Chapman was sent down the tunnel in the final seconds when he got a second yellow.
Robins star player Alfie May came close twice in the first half for the hosts with one effort being saved well by Simon Eastwood, and the other strike being smashed just wide of the post.
The result left Town in the relegation zone on just four points, and hopefully, they don’t bounce back strongly at Vale Park on Saturday.
Ins and Outs:
It’s been a very busy summer down in Gloucestershire, with the Robins bringing in 13 players during the summer window, including two on deadline day.
One of those two deadline-day signings was the return of Ryan Broom, who re-joined the Robins two years after leaving them for Peterborough United.
Town bolstered their attack in the summer by bringing back Dan Nlundulu on a short-term loan from Southampton after his short spell last year, with the attacker netting his first goal of the campaign in their only win of the season away at Exeter City.
All arrivals | Dan Adshead, Tom Bradbury, Shaun MacDonald, Ryan Jackson, Will Ferry, Christian Norton, James Olayinka, Ryan Broom, Dan Nlundulu, Luke Southwood, Caleb Taylor, James Taylor, Taylor Perry
Only seven players left the door this window for the Robins, meaning overall the summer period has been a successful one.
One name that will be missed in Gloucestershire is Will Boyle, who after five years at Whaddon Road, returned to his boyhood club Huddersfield Town, which he left to sign for the Robins in 2017.
All Departures | Charlie Colkett, Andy Williams, Scott Flinders, Conor Thomas, Will Boyle, Owen Evans, Max Harris
Both James Olayinka and Ryan Broom will be available for the visitors after their deadline day moves to Cheltenham.
Elliot Bonds, Liam Sercombe, Matty Blair, and Ryan Jackson will all sit out of this weekend’s clash for the Robins as they continue their rehab on their respective injuries.
Whilst there are no new injuries for the away side, Ellis Chapman will not be able to play after his red card against Oxford United sees him suspended.
13/08/22: Cheltenham Town 0-2 Portsmouth, Sky Bet League One
16/08/22: Fleetwood Town 0-0 Cheltenham Town, Sky Bet League One
20/08/22: Exeter City 0-1 Cheltenham Town, Sky Bet League One
27/08/22: Cheltenham Town 1-2 Oxford United, Sky Bet League One
30/08/22: MK Dons 1-2 Cheltenham Town, Papa John’s Trophy Group Stage