Meet Town's opponents, Cheltenham: 'We’ll get a few ‘doings'' - Robins boss

Puddles outside the Jonny-Rocks Stadium before the Sky Bet League Two match at the Jonny-Rocks Stadi

Town fans head to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium tonight. - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town head to Cheltenham this evening looking for those first three League points of the season. The two teams have never met in a competitive fixture. MIKE BACON takes at look at the men from Gloucestershire.

Cheltenham Town players celebrate becoming League Two champions, after the Sky Bet League Two match

Cheltenham Town players celebrate becoming League Two champions last season. - Credit: PA


While Cheltenham is more famed for horse-racing than football, The Robins, of Whaddon Road, are starting to make their mark in the town.

Situated at the same ground since 1932, Cheltenham Town FC are back in League One after winning the League Two title last season. 

The club were founded as long back as 1887 but have spent the majority of their years in non-league. It was Steve Cotterill, now boss of Shrewsbury, who secured The Robins promotion to the Football League for the first time back in 1999.

The last 20 years have been a rollercoaster ride for Robins' fans, with the club getting promoted to League One in 2002, before crashing out of the Football League altogether in 2015. However, Cheltenham bounced straight back, the first club in 26 years to secure an immediate return to the Football League.

Last season saw them win that League Two title - their first-ever Football League gong.

Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff before the Sky Bet League Two match at Rodney Parade, Newport.

Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff. - Credit: PA

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Michael Duff enjoyed a long career as a professional footballer.

He played more than 650 League games, as well as more than 30 for Burnley in the Premier League, in a career spanning more than 20 years.

The centre-back also won 24 caps for Northern Ireland and is said to be one of just a handful of players who have played in each of the top eight tiers of English football in ascending order!

Cheltenham Town's Andy Williams (left)celebrates with his team mates after he scores his sides first

Cheltenham Town's Andy Williams (left) celebrates with his team mates after he scores his side's first goal of the game during a pre-season friendly at Jonny-Rocks Stadium. Williams also netted at Crewe on opening day. - Credit: PA


Cheltenham have started in the same fashion as Ipswich Town, having drawn one and lost one of their opening two League One fixtures.

However, they did beat Bristol Rovers in the EFL Cup, first round.

After an opening day draw at Crewe, Andy Williams grabbing Michael Duff's side a point, they lost on Saturday to Wycombe Wanderers, newly-relegated from the Championship.

"I am frustrated with the performance because I think we have more to offer than that," Duff said after the Wycombe loss.

"We could have hurt them better and the moment of play when we were more positive, we ended up scoring a goal off the back of it. 

"You’d rather go down all guns blazing, than go out with ‘they are expecting to beat us anyway’. We’ll get a few ‘doings’ this year, make no mistake."

Birmingham City's manager Steve Cotterill during the Sky Bet Championship match St Andrew's, Birming

Steve Cotterill, was very successful as Cheltenham boss. - Credit: PA


In 1998, Cheltenham won the FA Trophy, beating Southport 1-0 at Wembley Stadium. The Trophy is a non-league competition for clubs at Step 1-4 in the non-league pyramid (5-8 in the Football League pyramid).

Steve Cotterill was the architect of that win and he continued to enjoy huge success at Whaddon Road, getting the side into the Football League one season after the Trophy win, before guiding The Robins to the fifth round of the FA Cup three seasons later, where they lost to West Brom 0-1, in front of more than 27,000 fans.


Town are favourites tonight with the bookies - Credit: PA


As you would expect, Town are favourites for the victory tonight. And it looks like the bookies think there will be a winner. The draw is least favourite.

Ipswich win: 7/5, Cheltenham win: 19/10, The draw: 21/10

File photo dated 13-03-2020 of the general view of the Cheltenham Racecourse. Issue date: Monday Jun

The Cheltenham Festival, brings in a great deal of revenue into the town. - Credit: PA


The Cheltenham Festival originated in 1860 when the National Hunt Chase was first held at Market Harborough. The Festival is highly lucrative for the county of Gloucestershire, which makes £100m each year from the event.

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