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Match preview: Cheltenham Town

Friday 13 April 2018
FGR Media

Osbourne in action against Cheltenham

It’s a short trip to Cheltenham Town tomorrow for Mark Cooper and his side as they look to get an important three points.

It was a 1-1 in the reverse fixture at The New Lawn as Christian Doidge put Forest Green in front early on, only for Mo Eisa to level before the break.

We have everything you need to know to get you ready for tomorrow’s game here:

What we said:

“We’re just looking at it as a local derby. We’re not getting wrapped up or embroiled in anything else, it’s a local derby and one that we’re going to try and give everything we can to win,” said Mark Cooper.

"It should be a good atmosphere and hopefully we can respond to that. It guarantees you hopefully that your players will be at it and they feel the atmosphere and thrive on it.

"We're trying to prepare the players the best we can and we're asking them to play on the front foot and go and get after teams.

"It's more about finding the players who have got the character not to wilt or get too emotional under the pressure as well. We've got to keep calm heads in a pressure cooker atmosphere.”

What they said:

“The derby is perfect for us and we are looking forward to it,” said Gary Johnson.

“I never like to just see a season out, with nothing to play for and we have a couple of really good home games to come, with Forest Green being a local 'cup final'.

“I am always pleased there are things to play for come the end of the season and none are more important than your local cup final.

“From our point of view, it's three points, but from their point of view it's a massive game as well because they are pretty close to the relegation teams, certainly in that little bunch and they will want to get out of it.

“I am sure it'll be a keenly contested game and we want to win it, there is no doubt about that. You can say it's not a cup final, but it is for the area.”

Injury news:

Forest Green Rovers

There are no fresh injury concerns for Mark Cooper’s side ahead of tomorrow’s game.

Cheltenham Town

Cheltenham Town manager Gary Johnson will be leaving it to the last possible moment before making a decision on the injuries of Kevin Dawson and Carl Winchester.

Winchester missed the Morecambe victory with a hamstring injury, while Jordon Forster is close to returning from an Achilles problem.

About: Cheltenham

It was a poor start to the 2017/18 campaign for Cheltenham Town as they won just one of their opening 10 games in all competitions.

Since then however, they have steadily ticked over through the season recording a couple of big wins along the way including a 5-1 win over Port Vale and a 5-3 success recently over Crawley.

That consistency has come both home and away, with them sitting 12th and 14th in the home and away league form table respectively.

In Mo Eisa they have a constant threat with the 23-year-old being nominated for the League Two player of the season with 22 goals to his name this term.

In Gary Johnson the visitors have a manager with plenty of Football League experience. Arguably his biggest success came whilst in charge of Bristol City as he missed out on back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League with a play-off final loss to Hull City in 2008.

He’s been in charge of the Robins since March 2015 and oversaw the club’s promotion back to the EFL at the first time of asking following relegation in his first season in the hot seat before securing the club’s league status last season.

Key player: Mo Eisa

Mo Eisa has made the step up from non-league football to the Football League look easy as he is the club’s top scorer with 22 goals in all competitions.

In his first season in League football, Eisa has caught the eye with his goals and has been nominated for the League Two player of the season award.

At Greenwich he scored 57 goals in 100 appearances in all competitions before leaving to join Cheltenham last summer.

Eisa scored four goals in five games in March for the Robins, in away games with Swindon Town and Crawley Town, to be named League Two player of the month.

Last time we met:

Christian Doidge's eighth minute strike was cancelled out by a Mohamed Eisa goal in a heated clash at The New Lawn. 

The opening minutes were cagey, neither side wanting to make a mistake, but it only took eight minutes for exactly that to happen. The Cheltenham back-line misjudged Brad Collins’ long kick and Doidge made no mistake, the in-form striker racing through and slotting home past Scott Flinders.

With just six minutes of the first half to play, Eisa grabbed an equaliser for the visitors, striking low across Collins and into the bottom right-hand corner.

Doidge was called upon in FGR’s goal with five minutes to play, hooking a header off the line to keep the scores level.

With the game’s last kick, the hosts almost snatched the winner. Lee Collins latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the area and fired inches wide.


This will be the seventh meeting between the two clubs, with the honours even in the stats.

Both sides have one win to their name, Cheltenham winning away from home back in August 1998 in the Conference with goals from Jason Eaton and Dave Norton.

FGR’s win came in the Checkatrade Trophy this season when Reece Brown and Jordan Stevens scored to bring them back from a goal deficit.

The remaining four games have all ended in draws.


Full commentary of the match will be available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire as well as through the club’s digital audio offering– Green Devils Live.

Stay up to date on Twitter by following @FGRFC_Official, which will have all of the team news before kick-off and updates throughout the game.

There will also be key updates and team news on Facebook. Round-up the clash by checking out the club website where there will be a full report looking back on the encounter.


Next Match
Last Match
League Table

v Luton (A)

Luton Town

28/04/2018 3:00 pm

League Two

v Yeovil (A)


24/04/2018 7:45 pm

League Two

Match Report
Pos Club P GD PT
18 Port Vale 44 -12 47
19 Yeovil 44 -15 47
20 Forest Green 44 -18 47
21 Morecambe 44 -14 45
22 Grimsby 44 -28 45
Last updated: Tue 24 Apr 2018 21:48 pm