Welcome everyone to a brand new feature on the SevernSport website! Every week from now on, we’ll have an in-depth preview for matches featuring Gloucester City, Forest Green Rovers and Cheltenham Town. We shall also have previews for all the other local football going on, including Cinderford and Cirencester Town. The players are out on the pitch, the fans have got their pies ready, let’s kick things off!
First up is our live commentary game this weekend, as Gloucester City take on Harrogate Town on Rememberance Sunday at 3pm. The Tigers have not had the best of times so far this season in the Vanarama North and they currently languish in 20th place. However, things are beginning to look a lot more positive for City. A rallying performance against Forest Green in the FA Cup followed by a credible 1-1 home draw and a 3-0 away win against Solihull Moors and Lowestoft Town respectively, all mean that the City team is beginning to play with a lot more confidence. The Tigers will also be boosted by the all-clear that was given to club captain and 2013/14 fans player of the season Jack Harris, who looks set to return to the squad after missing the whole of the season thus far.
Harrogate Town meanwhile have disappointed many this season, with them being widely tipped for the play-offs in pre-season. However, recently their form has improved dramatically and Town make the trip to Whaddon Road off the back of 3 straight wins. Former Altrincham man James Walshaw will be the man for Harris, Williams et al to watch out for, with the Town hitman notching 4 goals in his last 2 games (8 in total). Harrogate will also be desperate to avenge the defeat they suffered last season to the Tigers, losing 5-2 at Whaddon Road. Joe Parker, who will likely miss out on Sunday with a wrist injury, ran the Town defence ragged that day as the on loan Newport striker bagged a second hat-trick of the season for City. Only a handful of City players remain from that match, including top scorer this season Charlie Griffin.
Moving away from league competition, Cheltenham Town are in action this Saturday against Swindon Town in the FA Cup, at Whaddon Road in the battle of the Robins. It was not too long ago that this would have been a league fixture, but thanks to Paolo Di Canio Swindon are now in League 1. Di Canio has since departed the County Ground and been replaced by Kevin MacDonald and the current gaffer Mark Cooper, but Swindon find themselves flying high in League 1 in 3rd place, whereas their opponents Cheltenham Town have had a mixed start to the season.
Cheltenham started the season well with wins against Bury, Accrington Stanley (who are they?) and Tranmere Rovers. However, recent losses to Shrewsbury, Plymouth Argyle and, last Saturday, York City, have seen the Robins slip down to 13th in the League 2 standings. Cheltenham were dealt a bitter blow this week when on loan Wolves striker Eusebio Bansecci was recalled by his parent club – you may have seen the tweet from @CTFCofficial, which went viral after he was pictured signing his loan contract: a blank piece of paper! There is some good news for Cheltenham though, as on-loan Milwall striker John Marquis has been given permission to play this weekend by his club.
Forest Green Rovers are also in FA Cup action this weekend, as they host League 1 stragglers Scunthorpe United at The New Lawn on Sunday. Forest Green beat local rivals Gloucester City away from home 4-1 in the 4th Qualifying Round, a result that greatly flattered the Nailsworth side, to get to the 1st Round Proper. Goals from Luke Rodgers, John Parkin and James Norwood sealed the deal that day. Rovers go into the game against Scunthorpe off the back of a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Lincoln City last weekend, our man Neil Martin was there and you can read his match report on our website.
Scunthorpe United will go into the tie as firm favourites but knowing that they mustn’t be complacent against a very well financially backed Forest Green team. Scunthorpe’s most recent result was a scrappy 2-1 win against stuttering Peterborough to haul themselves off the bottom of the League One table. Forest Green boss Ady Pennock meanwhile has been full of praise for United boss Mark Robins, stating “I think the team ethic has changed since Mark has come in. They’re playing better.” Both managers know that it will be a tough game, perhaps made more difficult for United with Rovers’ on an excellent run of form, losing just once in 11 games.
In other Gloucestershire football, Cinderford Town entertain Swindon Supermarine at The Causeway, Cirencester Town travel to Dunstable Town and finally, Shortwood United and Bishop’s Cleeve face off against each other at Cleeve’s Kayte Lane.
So that’s it for SevernSport’s preview of the weekend’s Gloucestershire football, you can listen to LIVE and full match commentary of Gloucester City vs Harrogate Town on Sunday 9th November with Kelsey and Henry from 2:45pm. You can listen online, on the TuneIN app or on your SmartTV, simply download the app and search for SevernSport! Until next time…
Kelsey De Maria