How are they doing?

This is the first ‘El Glosico’ for almost 2 years.  Cheltenham are 8 points ahead of Rovers in 16th place in the league (having played a game fewer).

With 8 losses, 7 wins & 4 draws, the Robins are doing well digging out points to keep themselves clear of the relegation places.  The 2 big concerns for Cheltenham fans will be their away form (just 9 points from 9 away games) and their lack of goals.  With just 16 goals scored so far, Cheltenham (tied with Morecambe) have the worst offensive record in the league.  That said, FGR, with 18 goals scored, aren’t that much better!

Defensively, Cheltenham have been tough to break down, conceding just 21 goals in 19 games.  A 1-1 away draw at Ipswich, a 1-0 home win against Wycombe, and a 1-0 away win at Charlton in their last 3 outings demonstrates their resilience at the back.  The Robins are also on something of a run of form – unbeaten in their last 5 games.

Rovers concern will continue to be their defence.  Only Burton Albion have conceded more than the 39 goals that Rovers have shipped (an average of almost 2 goals a game).

Who to watch for?

Striker Alfie May is Cheltenham’s talisman.  He wears number 10 and is their leading scorer this season with 5 league goals.  Last season he scored 23 goals in 46 appearances.  This scoring streak was his best in the league and prompted interest from other clubs (interest which didn’t lead to anything in the end).

May’s strike partner Dan N’lundulu (number 9) is 2nd top scorer with 3 goals so far.  N’lundulu is on loan from Southampton and is in his second season with the Robins.

Luke Southwood breaks his silence after leaving Reading FC for Cheltenham Town loan move - Berkshire Live

Perhaps Cheltenham’s best performer this season is their keeper, Luke Southwood.  Southwood is on loan from Reading, a club he has been at since he was a kid.

Motherwell join Championship and League One clubs in considering summer swoop for Cheltenham Town star Alfie May - Gloucestershire Live

Striker Alfie May was Cheltenham’s player of the season last year.

Vote for your January Autovillage Player of the Month - News - Cheltenham Town FC

Southampton loanee Dan N’lundulu is in his 2nd season at Cheltenham.

The Manager (and a Rovers connection)!

New chapter: Wade Elliott named new head coach - News - Cheltenham Town FC

Wade Elliot is Cheltenham’s head coach – his first managerial role.

Wade Elliott was appointed assistant manager of the FGR Academy team under Scott Bartlett in 2016.  He moved to Stoke City to eventually take charge of their u-23’s before joining Cheltenham as a coach in 2020.  He was appointed head coach in the summer of 2022 after the departure of Michael Duff to Barnsley.

Elliott’s footballing career was mainly at Championship level with Burnley and Birmingham City, but he enjoyed one season with Burnley in the Premier League in 2008/09.

The Club

The Robins made their first appearance in the EFL in 1999, managed by Steve Cotterill.  After a couple of seasons in League 2 they won another promotion through the play-offs to League 1.  They only lasted one season in League 1 before being relegated.  The club won another promotion to League 1, again via the play-offs, in 2006.  This time they stayed in League 1 for 3 seasons, but they always struggled and, by 2015, they had been relegated twice and were back in the National League.  It was a short stay – they won the National League in their first season back, finishing 12 points clear of FGR in second place.

The first few seasons back in League 2 saw Cheltenham finishing in the lower reaches of the division.  Michael Duff was appointed manager in September 2018 and their fortunes started to improve.  By 2019/20 they were in 4th place when the season was abandoned but, having qualified for the play-offs, they lost to Northampton Town in a memorable two-legged play-off semi-final – it finished 3-2 on aggregate (after winning the away leg 2-0, Cheltenham managed to lose the home leg 3-0).  However, in 2021 they were promoted from League 2 as Champions.  Last season they finished in a fairly comfortable 15th place but lost their manager Michael Duff to Barnsley in the summer.

Cheltenham have been known as The Robins since they adopted their red and white kit about 90 years ago.  They used to number Gloucester City and Hereford Utd among their main rivalries.  Nowadays, FGR is their main local rival.  Cheltenham’s average gate this season is just over 3,000 – the gap in attendances between Rovers & Cheltenham continues to narrow!

It’s fair to say that the town of Cheltenham (regarded by some these days as an outpost of Nailsworth) is probably better known for its spies and its racehorses than it is for its football team.

The new name for Cheltenham Town's Whaddon Road ground - Gloucestershire Live

Cheltenham’s Whaddon Road ground has been their home for 90 years.  Known these days as the Jonny Rocks stadium.

Pin by Jean-Luc Anglade on Les mascottes | Mascot, Winter olympics, Cheltenham town

Whaddney the Robin is Cheltenham’s mascot.