FOOTBALL

OPINION: Doncaster is done, now Cheltenham must try and get something at Exeter

Cheltenham Town went down 2-0 to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday in what was seen by most as a ‘free-shot’ against the league leaders, but they now need to move on and re-find the form that has seen them move seven points clear of the drop zone in recent weeks.

Gary Johnson’s men, or more specifically Russell Milton’s men after the Robins boss served his touchline ban at home recovering from an illness, by no means disgraced themselves in South Yorkshire and could have stolen a point had it not been for two lapses in concentration at the back.

Now, though, the focus in the Cheltenham camp will most certainly be turned to trying to pick something up at St James Park.

Exeter currently occupy the final League Two play off place as they sit seventh in the table, but Paul Tisdale’s men have lost their last two games and have won just once in their last seven matches.

The Robins won’t be travelling down to Devon expecting a win, but the belief will be there if they can play like they did recently in the wins against Carlisle, Leyton Orient and Yeovil.

Cheltenham will be hoping that match-winning players such as Carl Winchester, Harry Pell and Billy Waters can recapture their best form to cause The Grecians’ defence some problems, whilst it’s likely that Daniel O’Shaughnessy will come into the back three following Will Boyle’s red card up at Doncaster.

Boyle will be a big miss to a defence that has kept four clean sheets from the last five matches, but O’Shaughnessy is a capable replacement and his long throws will be another attacking threat available to The Robins.

Kyle Storer will also be unavailable as he serves his four-match ban for being sent off against Mansfield, leaving Johnson with a decision to make about who should play in the centre of midfield as some fans call for Jack Munns to be given a run in the side.

Elsewhere in the division the bottom two both have winnable games as they look to escape the drop zone, with Leyton Orient travelling to fellow strugglers Accrington and Newport County making the journey up to 15th placed Morecambe.

Cheltenham will know that the gap between them and the relegation places could be closed to just four points if they fail to come back to Gloucestershire with anything in the bag, but they will also know that a win will go a long way to ensuring safety and could lift them up to as high as 18th.

It’s not a must-win game by any means, but it’s certainly a chance to keep picking up points and edging closer to ensuring they’ll be playing in the Football League again next season.

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