Merry Christmas local football fans! Here at Severn Sport we are all suitably stuffed full of turkey, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and all the trimmings. We’ve had a post-dinner nap and we’re feeling refreshed ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures tomorrow afternoon.
Cheltenham Town have had a miserable time of it as of late in Sky Bet League Two but they will be buoyed with three points over Morecambe last time out when they welcome Barnet to the LCI Rail Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Gary Johnson’s men have only picked up three points in their last five league games, but will hope that they have turned the corner with an impressive comeback win against Morecambe last weekend – granted the Shrimps were down to nine men but you can only beat what’s in front of you and that’s exactly what Johnson’s men did.
Barnet, meanwhile, are a side in transition after former Robins boss Martin Allen left the Bees to take over National League side Eastleigh fairly recently. However Ross Eames’ men currently sit 10th in the League Two standings having returned an impressive 10 points from their last available 15.
Despite losing four players along with Allen, key faces remain at the Hive such as league top goalscorer John Akinde, who will look to add to his tally of 16 goals in League Two this season. He will prove tough to stop and it remains to be seen whether or not the Robins back line can keep Akinde at bay.
In the National League, Forest Green seem to be doing their standard disappearing act as they continue to trail off from their scintillating start to the 2016/17 season, winning just once in their last five league outings.
Mark Cooper’s side will hope that the vegan lifestyle of no turkey (or anything remotely tasty for that matter) at Christmas will be of their benefit when they make the trip down to Torquay United for their festive fixture.
Torquay haven’t necessarily been doing the best this season and their league position of 17th might have been slightly worse but for eight points in their last five games that has propelled them away from the relegation spots.
It’s difficult to pinpoint one major problem for them this year but it seems to boil down to their lack of firepower up front, and in 24 games they’ve found the net just 21 times. Something has to change this weekend for them to stand a chance of a result against Forest Green and we just can’t see it happening.
Speaking of goals, there were six on show at Whaddon Road last weekend as Gloucester City welcomed AFC Fylde in the National League North. Unfortunately for Tim Harris’ men, five of them went against the Tigers as they went down 5-1.
Harris will be looking for his side to really kick into gear and show some more drive as he takes his team close to the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team factory in Northamptonshire, as City travel to Brackley Town.
The Tigers have lost their last five games in the National League North and Harris will be looking for his side to bounce back on Boxing Day as they bid to add to their 30 points from the first 21 games.
With half of the season now in the books, things don’t look too bad for the Tigers and they are well on their way to achieving their primary goal of surviving relegation for another season in the National League North.
Dropping down into the Evo Stick Southern League Premier division, Cirencester Town are also looking to plug up a bad run of form at the Corinium Stadium when they welcome Chippenham Town.
Charlie Griffin’s side have lost four of their last five games including a 6-1 mauling against Kettering Town and a 4-1 drubbing at Redditch United. Chippenham have fared slightly better on the other hand, as they are undefeated in their last five outings including an impressive 1-0 win against play-off rivals Hitchin Town last time out.
Cinderford Town will travel over the Severn Bridge and into the land of King Arthur, stupidly long words and sheep, as they face a very difficult test in Merthyr Town, as they attempt to get back to winning ways against play-off hopefuls.
Merthyr have an impressive home record and are unbeaten in their last three on their own turf, including 3-0 and 5-0 wins over St Neots Town and Kings Langley respectively.
The Foresters, on the other hand, have struggled enormously on the road this season and of the 13 times they’ve been on their travels, they’ve picked up just one point, losing the other 12.
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