Competition: Vanarama National League North
Location: LCI Rail Stadium, Cheltenham
Admission: Adults £13, Concessions (65+, NUS) and 12 and under free
The Tigers will be looking to respond to our first defeat in six when we host 14th placed F.C. United of Manchester on Saturday, writes Joshua Slack.
Following five games unbeaten, the Tigers were finally undone as Brackley won 3-1 at Whaddon Road on Tuesday night – their first victory since they incidentally defeated the Tigers 3-0 on Boxing Day in the league. Previous to that City had shown grit to gain a valuable point away at Gainsborough Trinity, before that the Tigers had won four in a row – defeating Salford City, AFC Telford, Tamworth, & Worcester City in the Severn Derby respectively. But City were dealt a blow by losing at home to Brackley on Tuesday night, and we remain eight points off the play-off places.
F.C. United of Manchester travel to Whaddon Road in a poor vein of form having not won in any of their previous seven Vanarama National League North fixtures. During that time Karl Marginson’s side have drawn four, and lost three. Their last win came at Altrincham in a 3-0 away win at Moss Lane.
Since his move from Derby on loan, Luke Thomas has been excellent. For a player so young he already looks so mature, and loves to drive at teams, which he has shown countless times already whilst on loan at the Tigers. He was gently blended in by manager Tim Harris, and it’s easy to see why Derby County signed him at such a young age from our rivals Cheltenham Town. What makes the 18 year-old such an exciting talent is the fact that whenever he gets the ball you feel he can make something happen, and he’s definitely one of those players that can have you jumping out of your seat. He’s created multiple chances for the Tigers this season, and is one of the reasons why Tim Harris’ men went five games unbeaten.
24 year-old George Thomson has come into his own for F.C. United this season – the midfielder has nine goals in the 27 appearances made for the fan -run FC United so far this season, and will be looking to add to his tally when visiting Whaddon Road on Saturday. After impressing on loan for The Reds, manager Karl Marginson saw enough talent to sign him up on a permanent basis, and it is so far looking like a quality piece of business with his goal-scoring attributes from midfield.
Head To Head
There has only ever been three previous meeting between these two sides – The Tigers coming out on top in all three. During the first game in the early stages of last season Tim Harris’ men availed – winning 1-0, thanks to a goal from Obi Anoruo, which turned out to be the difference between the two sides. The Tigers completed the double after defeating F.C. United 2-1 at Broadhurst Park, courtesy of goals from Joe Parker, and Harry Williams. Going onto this season, and the Tigers maintained our 100% record over The Reds in a thrilling affair at Broadhurst Park – winning 4-2. Goals from Joe Parker, Newport County loanee Tom Owen-Evans, and a brace from star-man Zack Kotwica was enough to give us all three points.
Check back for team news later on today.