Next Up: Cheltenham Town vs Exeter City

City had a golden opportunity to put to rest any thoughts of dropping into the fourth tier on Good Friday, until an unfortunate own goal from Cheick Diabate gave Charlton a point in an entertaining encounter. With some of the teams at the bottom like Port Vale and City’s next opponents, Cheltenham, pulling off wins, Gary Caldwell knows that his side cannot afford to fall back into bad habits during the run in. With Zak Jules suspended and Vincent Harper injured, Caldwell turned to Yanic Wildschut in the left wing-back position, and his effervescent display will have given the manager some food for thought ahead of Monday’s fixture. There was good news for Caldwell on the injury front with Harper taking part in the pre-match warm-ups, perhaps a signal that he is ready to return.

After their nightmare start to the season where they seemed to forget that the object of the game is to put that round thing into the big netty thing, Cheltenham have continued to be amongst the relegation battlers, although with games in hand over most of their rivals the Robins will consider themselves to have a strong chance of beating the drop, and their chances were boosted on Good Friday with a win over fellow strugglers Fleetwood, ending a run of six games without a win. Darrell Clarke, installed as manager after the departure of Wayne Burnett, will be looking at this fixture as a must-win, and will be looking to a familiar face for inspiration – Liam Sercombe has entered the “veteran” stage of his career (something which makes your writer feel old having remembered him as a 16 year old!), and is enjoying an Indian summer with nine goals to his name. 38 players have been used in the league this season, perhaps a pointer to Cheltenham’s struggles this season.

The reverse fixture took place at a time when City were flying high and Cheltenham couldn’t hit a barn door, and the hosts’ dominance was eventually rewarded with a goal from Caleb Watts for a 1-0 win. Last season’s visit to Whaddon Road was an unhappy one as City dominated possession but were picked off in a 3-1 defeat to a Cheltenham side aiming to take Wycombe’s crown as timewasters in chief. The hosts led at the break through Keena, Josh Key grabbed a deserved equaliser but goals from Caleb Taylor and Alfie May sealed the points. Cheltenham have the lead in league head to heads with 13 wins to City’s eight, three matches finishing level.

The match officials for this game will be:-

Referee: Stephen Martin
Assistant Referees: George Byrne and Adam Crysell
Fourth Official : Craig Hicks

The last time Stephen Martin took charge of an Exeter City game was in November 2020 when City lost 2-1 at home to Oldham.

Pre-match interview with Kevin Nicholson

Pre-match interview with

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