When you’ve lost your last two games to find yourself drifting back towards the relegation trap door, the last thing you need is a match against your ultimate bogey side. Paul Tisdale has been someone adept at breaking curses in the past, and Saturday couldn’t be a better day to exorcise another demon. One change will definitely be forced on Tisdale – captain Danny Coles became the first City player to see red this season in the defeat up at Bury so misses the Cheltenham match suspended – Pat Baldwin will expect to come in alongside Jordan Moore-Taylor, although Tisdale may be tempted instead to switch Scot Bennett back into defence allowing Matt Grimes to start.
To hear Mark Yates after last week’s defeat to Southend you may be forgiven for thinking he’d chucked this season in – Cheltenham’s promotion hopes were effectively ended and Yates was quoted as suggesting he’d finish the season with an experimental line-up. This could have a galvanising effect or, City will hope, see the Robins weakened leading to poor results. They may not be able to take their foot completely off the gas, however, as a couple of defeats could push them into the relegation dogfight. A couple of familiar faces may make an appearance – David Noble was withdrawn early in the Southend defeat but will hope to take the field against his former employers, while Jamie Cureton hasn’t been able to reproduce his City form (8 goals in 31 appearances) and has mainly warmed the bench of late. 14-goal Byron Harrison represents the chief goal threat, while Jermaine McGlashan is a tricky customer on the wing.
Now, the head to head record. If you are of a sensitive disposition, look away now. P9 L9. Eek. The reverse of this fixture on Boxing Day suggested that no matter how well City play against Cheltenham a nil return will occur, as City dominated for large periods but lost 1-0 thanks mainly to an inspired goalkeeping display by Scott Brown in the home goal. Almost the same week last season City hosted the Robins, who took the points with an early Russ Penn goal condemning City to another 1-0 reverse.
Match Officials: http://www.exeweb.com/2014/04/07/matchofficialscheltenhamtownathome/
Guide to St James Park for visiting fans: http://www.exeweb.com/2012/05/29/the-things-you-need-to-know-st-james-park-exeter/