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Match preview Vs Cheltenham Town


Date: 16-02-16gif Venue: The World Of Smiles Stadiumgif Kick off: 19:45hrs

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We're off to Cheltenham on the crest of a wave this evening to see if we can continue our run of undefeated games.  Three wins in a row last week has seen us climb a place in the table and gone from being sixteen points adrift to within seven points of safety.  The three wins - two of which were against sides hoping to compete in the play-offs - have given the Harriers fans a new optimism that we can actually 'do a Leicester part one' and escape the once inevitable relegation.

Ousmane Fané There's just one big problem though and I mean big.  Very big.  Cheltenham haven't lost in nineteen league games and scored forty two goals in that same period with former Harrier Danny Wright getting ten of those goals to make him their leading scorer with twenty goals.

The reason for Danny achieving that is because the Cheltenham manager, Gary Johnson, actually realised that he was a centre forward of the old fashioned type rather than the fleet footed winger that Gary Whild assumed him to be.  We had quite a few of those played in the wrong position under him hence our fall from the great heights of the play-offs under Steve Burr.  Now we have Colin Gordon in temporary charge and he appears, after a shaky start first time round, to know what he's doing.

Sadly we'll be without Elton N'Gwatala this evening and for at least the next six weeks after he damaged his cartilage against Eastleigh a week ago.  The Harriers Online sponsored player is now facing an operation later this week to rebuild his knee.  Adam Dawson could also be undergoing the knife again after his last operation didn't clear the problem of his groin injury.

We do have some good news to report though.  Ben Whitfield is now a Harrier until the end of the season after Bournemouth agreed to another loan extension while two of our French players, Ousmane Fané (right) and the aforementioned Elton N'Gwatala, have signed contracts that will keep them at Aggborough until the end of the 2016-17 season although it's not known if there are any clauses that will allow them to leave if we get relegated or if another club comes in for them at a price above a set value.  Fané is already attracting the attention of football league clubs with Derby, Walsall and Birmingham City all showing interest.

Even though it's good news about those three we still need to get a few more players sorted out.  Harry White is only here from Barnsley for a month and that needs extending while we also need to tie up the likes of Arthur Gnahoua and Omari Patrick on longer contracts.

Tonight Cheltenham will have a few injuries to contend with.  They have three long term ones with Amari Morgan-Smith and Rob Dickie both out with ankle injuries while Aaron Downes will miss the remainder of the season with a Cruciate Ligament injury.  Against Welling on Saturday they lost the services of Harry Pell with an ankle injury and he could be out for quite a long time too.

This is going to be a very tough ask if we want to continue our run and escape the threat of relegation but if this game had been played at the beginning of January as planned then we would almost certainly have been looking at a thrashing.  Now I don't think we will be and, roared on by a large Harriers contingent, I believe that we could give the league leaders a run for the money.

Let's just hope that we don't slip back into our old ways and come home well beaten.

Photo © KHFC


Harriers from:
Snedker, Brown, Hodgkiss, Lowe, Langmead, Williams, Fané, Francis-Angol, Gnahoua, Tunnicliffe, Jones, Whitfield, McQuilkin, Maxwell, Sweeney, White, Singh, Taylor, Patrick, Garnett.

Cheltenham Town from:
Phillips, Kitscha, Lovett, McLennan, Storer, Barthram, Parslow, Waters, Wright, Munns, Hall, Burgess, J Rowe, Wynter, Sterling-James, Dale, Cranston, Thomas, Dayton, Dinsmore, N Rowe, Holman.

gif Talk about the game here

gif Links to Cheltenham Town websites here
gif Find Pubs around Kidderminster here
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Previous games against Cheltenham Town
Harriers score first
2015 - 16
1 - 2
2004 - 05
1 - 0
0 - 2
2003 - 04
0 - 0
1 - 2
2001 - 02
0 - 0
1 - 2
2000 - 01
1 - 1
3 - 1

For earlier results against Cheltenham Town look here on Statto's Harriers site   

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