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Archived News from February 2004

23rd February 2004 23:55

Cheltenham is a team that has played against the Stags in all of their league seasons to date and in fact registered their first-ever league win by scoring the only goal of the game at Field Mill on August 14, 1999 when the Stags made a very poor start of a topsy-turvy 1999-2000 season. And in the following campaign, the teams faced each other at Cheltenham on the opening day when the teams drew 2-2, Chris Greenacre scoring a wonder goal and Mark Blake scoring for the Stags as well as putting through an own goal. On February 13, 2001, the Stags registered their first league win over the Robins 2-1, goals Blake and a Book og in front of only 1940, a crowd more than four times less the one when the teams met in a crucial promotion encounter on April 9, 2002, when the Stags won 2-1 thanks to an Andy White strike in the 78th minute, Chris Greenacre opening the account after just two minutes and Yates equalizing midway through the first half. At Cheltenham, Stags went 2-0 up thanks to two Disley strikes, Alsop equalizing after coming on as sub before Corden hit the winner in the 90th minute, in the end proving very as crucial as well as White's winner at the Mill. Eventually the teams were promoted together after fighting it out up to the final day – Stags directly and eventually Cheltenham after winning the play-off finals against Rushden & Diamonds. And the teams were also relegated together last term – as the Stags lost both games against the Robins after poor displays – and Cheltenham drawing no fewer than 18 times. The Stags had needed the six points against Cheltenham to stay up last season – and Cheltenham had needed just ONE win of the 18 drawn games to secure their stay in the 2nd division instead of Chesterfield. Had the two-points ruling applied for a win, Cheltenham had stayed up two points clear of the Spireites instead of the reverse under the three-points-system.

The results this season suggest that Cheltenham will finish somewhere around mid-table – the reason being the number of goals conceded early on. Scoring had at the same time been no problem despite the departure of their King of Headers, Julian Alsop, for Oxford. While the Stags still are figuring in the auto promotion race despite a poor home display against fellow contenders Doncaster, Cheltenham seem to have sorted out the defensive problems they had earlier on – proof of that is the number of goal-less draws after the turn of the year, but the Robins' scoring rate has suffered as well. Earlier this season – when I did the Stagsnet match report – the Stags stuffed Cheltenham 4-0 thanks to a brace of Liam Lawrence penalties and two goals from Colin Larkin, the first being a psychological heavy one to net just on the stroke of half-time. A fortnight before that game, much-travelled – as a striker as well as a hot-seat man – Bobby Gould resigned from his post as Cheltenham manager immediately after the 0-2 home defeat against Rochdale. Bob Bloomer was caretaker manager at the time of my Stagsnet report in October, now assistant. John Ward, who earlier had managed York and both Bristol clubs, was handed the Cheltenham managerial post on a permament basis on November 6, 2003.

Played for both sides (since Cheltenham were promoted to the Nationwide FL): Jason White (forward!), Lee Williams, Richard Walker, Carl Muggleton.

Prior to Cheltenham being promoted to the League in 1999, the following players have been traced, courtesy of the centenary book: George Blackburn, Glyn Jones, Roger McDonald, George Simpson. In all cases, Cheltenham being the next club after leaving the Stags.

Results file:

Home: P 5, W 3, D 0, L 2, GF 8, GA 5
Away: P 4, W 1, D 1, L 2, GF 6, GA 8

Season Home Date Away Date

1999-2000 0-1 1999-08-14 0-1 2000-01-15 Div 3
2000-01 2-1 2001-02-13 2-2 2000-08-12 Div 3
2001-02 2-1 2002-04-09 3-2 2001-08-25 Div 3
2002-03 0-2 2002-09-21 1-3 2003-03-08 Div 2
2003-04 4-0 2003-10-25 (at Field Mill) Div 3

Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)


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