Friday, 13 September 2013

PREVIEW: Cheltenham Away (14/09/13)

Oxford travel to Cheltenham looking to keep up their 100% away record, after some impressive victories on the road at Portsmouth, Torquay and Burton already this season. In contrast, Cheltenham are still yet to win a league game at Whaddon Road so far this season, after draws with Burton and Portsmouth and a defeat to Plymouth.

Injuries have hampered Cheltenham's start to the season after an impressive run to the play-offs last season. Jamie Cureton was a big-name signing during the summer, but he has missed all but the opening 20 minutes of the campaign so far, dislocating his shoulder as he scored his first goal for the Robins in their season opener against Burton. Troy Brown and Craig Braham-Barrett are also absent at the back, which could go some way to explaining Cheltenham's poor defensive record so far. The loan signing of Bristol City's James Wilson yesterday would seem to be an attempt to rectify that particular problem area and he's expected to make his debut this weekend.

Chris Wilder has also dipped into the loan market this week, bringing in Bournemouth goalkeeper Shwan Jalal on a month's loan as cover, after Max Crocombe sustained a shoulder injury. James Constable seems unlikely to start after hobbling off last weekend at Burton, so the returning Deane Smalley could be set to link up again with Dave Kitson up front after a hamstring problem has kept him sidelined for the last couple of weeks.

Last time United made the trip to Whaddon Road they put four past Cheltenham in the JPT, revenge for the miserable 2-1 defeat they inflicted on us less than a month before. That was actually the first time we had been beaten in the league at Cheltenham in a decade when Ian Atkins oversaw a 2-0 defeat in April 2002. That said, until that JPT win (backed up by victory at the Kassam later in the season) Oxford hadn't beaten Cheltenham in any competition since 2005 – a run of eight matches. But with the last two matches going our way, let's hope we can make it a hat-trick of victories this weekend!

From the Vaults

Cheltenham Town v Oxford United, 9th October 2012

Oxford made their second trip of the season to Cheltenham, having been beaten 2-1 in the league less than a month before. This time the result was rather different, Oxford twice falling behind but goals from Tom Craddock, Harry Worley, James Constable and Peter Leven secured passage into the next round.

You can find this and many other old OUFC matches in our NEW & IMPROVED VIDEO VAULT!

Also This Weekend

The youth team look to recover from recent defeats to Plymouth and Hereford in their first home match of the season, as Newport County come to town for a Youth Alliance fixture. Newport picked up their first point since returning to the Youth Alliance, holding champions Bristol Rovers to a 1-1 draw in their last match.

Don't forget you can find full fixture lists for women's, development and youth teams on our Fixtures page!

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