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Preview: Cheltenham Town v Wycombe Wanderers


Wycombe Wanderers travel to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday for their 37th League game of the season.

After a dismal performance in a 2-0 loss at York City on Saturday, the Chairboys find themselves just three points above the dreaded relegation zone with ten games to play.

Optimists will rightly point out that collecting three points at Whaddon Road could see the Wanderers leap as high as 15th in a very congested bottom half of League Two. This also stands as Wycombe`s game in hand on Exeter City and Portsmouth and it represents a great opportunity for the Chairboys to give themselves a bit more breathing space.

For that to happen, there will need to be a significant improvement after a lamentable performance at Bootham Crescent on Saturday. Marvin McCoy had to clear an effort off the line as early as the first minute as the hosts immediately took the game to the visitors. The Minstermen took the lead in the 7th minute from the penalty spot as Dean Morgan and Matt Bloomfield combined to trip an attacking player and Ryan Bowman stroked the resulting penalty into the bottom right hand corner.

York doubled their lead on the stroke of half time and it was the least they deserved. Wycombe fluffed a corner of their own and seconds later it was in the back of their net, with Josh Carson firing an effort from the edge of the box that Matt Ingram will be disappointed not to have saved. The Blues' misery was complete as new loan signing Sam Togwell was dismissed in injury time for a second bookable offence.

Cheltenham Town go into the game entrenched in mid-table on 47 points, six more than the Chairboys, after a narrow 1-0 home success over bottom side Torquay United on Saturday. Midfielder Matt Richards scored the winning goal. That made it back to back home wins for the Robins after a 2-1 victory over Bury in their previous match at Whaddon Road. They are also four matches unbeaten after drawing at Oxford United and Portsmouth, although a 4-1 home defeat to Chesterfield, a side Wycombe recently managed to defeat, did precede this improved run of form.

Recent meetings suggest a mixed record between the two sides. In the 2005/06 season Wycombe supporters will not want to be reminded of the play-off tie which led to The Robins securing a place in the final. John Finnigan latched on to Shane Duff`s knockdown to give the visitors a 43rd minute lead at Adams Park, which was doubled by striker Steve Guinan on 75 minutes. in front of a crowd of almost 6,000, Tommy Mooney scored a last minute goal to give the Chairboys hope, but they did everything but score in the return leg and were knocked out 2-1 on aggregate.

The two sides next met in the 2010/11 season and the tables were turned as the Wanderers did the double over their opponents. On New Years Day of 2011 a Gareth Ainsworth header from a Chris Westwood cross sent the travelling supporters into raptures in a 2-1 success. This followed a first half that had ended level at 1-1 with Calvin Andrew`s free kick being cancelled out by Stuart Beavon`s long range effort. A Wes Thomas reply wasn`t enough at Adams Park either, as goals from striker Ben Strevens and winger Gareth Ainsworth won the spoils as Wycombe marched to a glorious promotion under Gary Waddock.

In the 2011/12 season, Cheltenham ran out 3-1 winners at Adams Park in the Johnstone Paint Trophy. Substitute Darryl Duffy bagged a brace and midfielder Brian Smikle sealed the win before Kevin Betsy netted a consolation.

A forgettable 1-1 draw followed in the Chair Metropolis in the 2012/13 campaign with Shaun Harrad`s penalty equalising an own goal from Joel Grant`s 4th minute cross. The return match saw Cheltenham thump the Wanderers 4-0 on Boxing Day courtesy of goals from JakeTaylor, Jeff Goulding, Duffy and Jermaine McGlashan.

The last meeting between the sides took place in November 2013 at Adams Park. Matt McClure had equalised Jamie Cureton`s opener but a fortuitous deflection off Billy Knott from a Sam Deering cross saw the ball loop over Ingram to hand the Robins the points in front of a crowd of 3,207.

Gareth Ainsworth will be relieved to see midfielder Josh Scowen return from suspension and it comes in the nick of time as Togwell sits out a one match ban. The match will also come too soon for longer term absentees Paris Cowan-Hall, Gary Doherty, Tommy Fletcher and Charles Dunne, with striker Matt McClure also doubtful. Captain Stuart Lewis is nearing full fitness and could return.

The Chairboys might line up something like this (4-1-3-2):

---------------------------Matt Ingram--------------------------------

Nick Arnold—Leon Johnson—Anthony Stewart—Sam Wood

--------------------------Josh Scowen------------------------------

Stuart Lewis------------Matt Bloomfield-------------Max Kretzschmar

------------Dean Morgan-------------Jo Kuffour---------------------

Substitutes: Charlie Horlock, Marvin McCoy, Aaron Pierre, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Anthony Jeffrey, Reece Styche, Steven Craig.


Cheltenham may line up as follows (4-4-2):

---------------------------Scott Brown--------------------------------

Sido Jombati-----Troy Brown-------Steve Elliott----Mitch Brundle

Jermaine McGlashan—Sam Deering—Matt Richards—Ashley Vincent

----------------Terry Gornell-------Jamie Cureton--------------------

Substitutes: Connor Roberts, Jason Taylor, Byron Harrison, Zack Kotwica, Craig Braham-Barrett, David Noble, Michael Ihiekwe.


Here are all the stats...


League positions & comparison with last season

Wycombe (7 points worse off)

After 36 games this season the Chairboys are 20th with 41 points

After 36 games last season they were 14th with 48 points


Cheltenham (11 points worse off)

After 36 games this season the Robins are 11th with 47 points

After 36 games last season they were 6th with 58 points


Wycombe Away Record...W 5 - D 6 - L 6 - Pts 21...Ppg 1.24 (Rank-12)

Chelt'am Home Record....W 5 - D 8 - L 5 - Pts 23...Ppg 1.28 (Rank-18)


Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

Lg2: Exeter (A)................Won 1-0

Lg2: Southend (A)...........Drew 1-1

Lg2: Hartlepool (H)...........Won 2-1

Lg2: Plymouth (H).............Lost 0-1

Lg2: York City (A).............Lost 0-2


Cheltenham's last five games (All Competitions)

Lg2: Chesterfield (H).........Lost 1-4

Lg2: Bury (H)...................Won 2-1

Lg2: Portsmouth (A)........Drew 0-0

Lg2: Oxford (A)...............Drew 1-1

Lg2: Torquay (H)..............Won 1-0


Wycombe Goal Stats (43 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 38...Cups: 9...Total: 47

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 44...Cups: 7...Total: 51

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 22...Cups: 5...Total: 27

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 22...Cups: 2...Total: 24

Clean Sheets....................Lg: 6.....Cups: 2...Total: 8

Failed to Score..................Lg: 12...Cups: 1...Total: 13


Cheltenham Goal Stats (40 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 41...Cups: 8...Total: 49

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 46...Cups: 9...Total: 55

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 24...Cups: 7...Total: 31

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 25...Cups: 6...Total: 31

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 12...Cups: 0...Total: 12

Failed to Score...................Lg: 7.....Cups: 1...Total: 8


Wycombe Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Matt McClure.............Lg: 5 - Cups: 2 - Total: 7

Dean Morgan............Lg: 7 - Cups: 0 - Total: 7

Paris Cowan-Hall.......Lg: 4 - Cups: 1 - Total: 5

Max Kretzschmar.......Lg: 5 - Cups: 0 - Total: 5

Jo Kuffour.................Lg: 3 - Cups: 1 - Total: 4

Anthony Stewart........Lg: 3 - Cups: 1 - Total: 4

Steven Craig.............Lg: 2 - Cups: 1 - Total: 3

Stuart Lewis..............Lg: 3 - Cups: 0 - Total: 3

Billy Knott.................Lg: 1 - Cups: 1 - Total: 2

Matt Bloomfield.........Lg: 0 - Cups: 1 - Total: 1

Gary Doherty............Lg: 0 - Cups: 1 - Total: 1

Kortney Hause..........Lg: 1 - Cups: 0 - Total: 1

Leon Johnson............Lg: 1 - Cups: 0 - Total: 1

Josh Scowen.............Lg: 1 - Cups: 0 - Total: 1

Sam Wood................Lg: 1 - Cups: 0 - Total: 1

Own Goal..................Lg: 1 - Cups: 0 - Total: 1


Cheltenham's top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Byron Harrison...........12

Jamie Cureton............8

Matt Richards..............7

Terry Gornell..............4

J McGlashan...............4

Troy Brown................3

Steven Gillespie..........2

Jason Taylor...............2

Ashley Vincent............2

Own Goals..................2

Three other players have each scored 1 goal


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - (All Competitions)

Dean Morgan........14 on-target...25 off-target...2 against woodwork

Matt McClure.........15 on-target...21 off-target...0 against woodwork

Stuart Lewis..........11 on-target...17 off-target...0 against woodwork


Cheltenham Shooting (Top-3) - (All Competitions)

Byron Harrison......28 on-target...30 off-target...0 against woodwork

Terry Gornell.........27 on-target...24 off-target...1 against woodwork

Jamie Cureton.......20 on-target...22 off-target...1 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - (League only)

Wycombe.....128 on target...165 off target...4 against w'work (Rank-23)

Cheltenham..137 on target...209 off target...6 against w'work (Rank-15)


Discipline - (All Competitions)

Wycombe.......9 Red Cards - 80 Yellow Cards (1 red card rescinded)

Cheltenham....0 Red Cards - 52 Yellow Cards


League Form Guide

All Season

Wycombe...Pld: 36...W: 10...D: 11...L: 15...Pts: 41...Pts per game: 1.14

Chelt'ham...Pld: 36...W: 11...D: 14...L: 11...Pts: 47...Pts per game: 1.31


First-third of the season (games 1-15)

Wycombe....Pld: 15...W: 6...D: 3...L: 6...Pts: 21...Ppg: 1.40 (Rank-12)

Chelt'ham....Pld: 15...W: 4...D: 5...L: 6...Pts: 17...Ppg: 1.13 (Rank-18)


Second-third of the season (games 16-30)

Wycombe....Pld: 15...W: 1...D: 7...L: 7...Pts: 10...Ppg: 0.67 (Rank-24)

Chelt'ham....Pld: 15...W: 4...D: 7...L: 4...Pts: 19...Ppg: 1.27 (Rank-12)


Final-third of the season (game 31 onwards)

Wycombe.....Pld: 6...W: 3...D: 1...L: 2...Pts: 10...Ppg: 1.67 (Rank-7)

Chelt'ham.....Pld: 6...W: 3...D: 2...L: 1...Pts: 11...Ppg: 1.83 (Rank-5)


Last Five league Games

Wycombe........WDWLL - 7 points (Rank-13)

Cheltenham....LWDDW - 8 points (Rank-9)


Last Five League Games (Away)

Wycombe........DLWDL - 5 points (Rank-15)


Last Five League Games (Home)

Cheltenham.....LDLWW - 7 points (Rank-15)


Against Top Half Opposition

Wycombe......Pld: 19...Pts: 24...Pts per game: 1.26...(Rank-7)

Cheltenham...Pld: 17...Pts: 17...Pts per game: 1.00...(Rank-18)


Against Bottom Half Opposition

Wycombe......Pld: 17...Pts: 17...Pts per game: 1.00...(Rank-24)

Cheltenham...Pld: 19...Pts: 30...Pts per game: 1.58...(Rank-10)


First Half v Second Half - Performance Comparison

Before half-time

Wycombe....W: 12...D: 14...L: 10...Gf:16...Ga:16...Ppg: 1.39 (Rank-9)

Chelt'ham....W: 8....D: 17...L: 11...Gf:18...Ga:28...Ppg: 1.14 (Rank-19)


After half-time

Wycombe....W: 7.....D: 15...L: 14...Gf:22...Ga:28...Ppg: 1.00 (Rank-20)

Chelt'ham....W: 15...D: 11...L: 10...Gf:23...Ga:18...Ppg: 1.56 (Rank-6)


Previous Meetings

In 32 previous meetings there have been 11 wins for Cheltenham, 10 for Wycombe and 11 draws.

At Whaddon Road the tally is 5 wins for the Robins, 4 for the Chairboys and 5 draws.

1980/81 FAT: Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 1

1985/86 GLg: Cheltenham 4 Wycombe 2

1987/88 Con: Cheltenham 2 Wycombe 2

1988/89 Con: Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 1

1989/90 Con: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 1

1990/91 Con: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 0

1991/92 Con: Cheltenham 2 Wycombe 1

2002/03 FLT: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 2

2002/03 Lg1: Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 0

2004/05 Lg2: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 1

2005/06 Lg2: Cheltenham 2 Wycombe 1

2005/06 Poff: Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 0

2010/11 Lg2: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 2

2012/13 Lg2: Cheltenham 4 Wycombe 0


The Man In The Middle

Tuesday's referee is Tony Harrington from Cleveland who was promoted to the National list of Referees in 2012. His only Wycombe game was a 2-0 win at Accrington in December 2012 secured with ten men after Matt McClure was sent off in the 56th minute. During the current campaign he's issued 5 red and 51 yellow cards in 20 games.


Prediction

Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 1




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The Journalist

Writer: Dale Jenkins & Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 17 2014

Time: 11:04AM

 

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