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27 February 2021 Venue Sands Venue Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Preview: Cheltenham Town (H)

26 February 2021

The Iron enter Saturday's home Sky Bet League Two game against Cheltenham Town looking to register four home wins in a row for the first time since April 2017.

Club News

Get your Iron v Cheltenham Town pass for Saturday

27 February 2021


United come into it on the back of Tuesday's 2-0 away loss at Bolton Wanderers, in which a controversial penalty decision went against Neil Cox's team. Prior to then, the side had won their last four matches in the league.

The result leaves us 16th in the division but a victory on Saturday could take the Iron up a place or two, and would back up recent home successes over Grimsby Town (3-0), Port Vale (2-0) and Harrogate Town (3-1).


Harrison McGahey played the second 45 minutes at Bolton Wanderers, returning from a hamstring injury which, with the exception of the first half at Barrow in January, had kept him out for two-and-a-half months.

Emmanuel Onariase will be assessed ahead of the game, after he missed the midweek match with a groin problem.

Striker Aaron Jarvis (hamstring) continues to be missing for around a month, while fellow forward Olufela Olomola is back training following a knee injury sustained after coming off the bench against Bolton Wanderers in November, but Cox says he needs to Under-23s game time to get match fitness up first. He played in a behind-closed-doors game against Doncaster on Wednesday.

Midfielder George Hornshaw, who has played at right-back this season, faces a 'few months out' following an ankle operation, while goalkeeper Adam Kelsey will be out for a while too - also after an operation on his ankle.


Cheltenham Town find themselves in the automatic promotion places, sitting third in the division, and arrive full of confidence after a 1-0 victory away at league leaders Cambridge United on Tuesday night. It was a perfect response to a 2-0 home loss against Bradford City in their previous outing. Before then, they had been eight matches unbeaten.

Top scorer for the Robins is Alfie May with nine strikes to his name, and he also leads their assists table having set up six goals.

Midfielder Ben Tozer tops the appearance table with 29 league starts to his name, and is closely followed by goalkeeper Joshua Griffiths and defender Charlie Raglan on 28 apiece.


United were defeated 1-0 at Cheltenham Town back in October, with Reuben Reid scoring a fifth-minute penalty.

John McAtee was on target last February when the two sides last met at the Sands Venue Stadium. He netted the only goal of the game in the 17th minute.

2020-21 - Tue Oct 20 LG 2 Cheltenham 1-0 Iron  
2019-20 - Sat Feb 8 LG 2 Iron 1-0 Cheltenham McAtee
2019-20 - Sat Aug 10 LG 2 Cheltenham 4-1 Iron Novak
2013-14 - Tue Mar 25 LG 2 Cheltenham 0-2 Iron Winnall 2
2013-14 - Sat Oct 5 LG 2 Iron 2-0 Cheltenham Esajas, Winnall
2008-09 - Tue Apr 28 LG 1 Iron 3-0 Cheltenham Hayes, Byrne, Lansbury
2008-09 - Sat Oct 18 LG 1 Cheltenham 1-2 Iron Hooper, Sparrow
2006-07 - Tue Jan 16 LG 1 Cheltenham 1-1 Iron Sharp
2006-07 - Tue Nov 21 FAC R1 R Iron 2-0 Cheltenham Baraclough, Sharp
2006-07 - Fri Nov 10 FAC R1 Cheltenham 0-0 Iron  
2006-07 - Sat Sep 16 LG 1 Iron 1-0 Cheltenham Keogh
2004-05 - Sat Mar 12 LG 2 Iron 4-1 Cheltenham Sparrow 2, Kell, Byrne
2004-05 - Tue Aug 10 LG 2 Cheltenham 0-2 Iron Kell, Keogh
2003-04 - Mon Apr 12 DIV 3 Cheltenham 2-1 Iron Groves
2003-04 - Tue Sep 30 DIV 3 Iron 5-2 Cheltenham MacLean 3, Beagrie, Torpey
2001-02 - Sat Mar 30 DIV 3 Iron 1-2 Cheltenham Garcia
2001-02 - Sat Oct 27 DIV 3 Cheltenham 3-3 Iron Carruthers, Beagrie, Quailey
2000-01 - Tue Feb 27 DIV 3 Cheltenham 1-0 Iron  
2000-01 - Sat Dec 23 DIV 3 Iron 1-1 Cheltenham Torpey
LEAGUE 9 3 5
FA CUP 1 1 0
TOTAL 10 4 5


Crawley Town v Exeter City (1pm)
Bolton Wanderers v Barrow (3pm)
Carlisle United v Oldham Athletic (3pm)
Harrogate Town v Grimsby Town (3pm)
Leyton Orient v Tranmere Rovers (3pm)
Mansfield Town v Morecambe (3pm)
Newport County v Stevenage (3pm)
Port Vale v Cambridge United (3pm)
Southend United v Salford City (3pm)
Walsall v Bradford City (3pm)
Forest Green Rovers v Colchester United (5.30pm)

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Match Reports

Report: Iron 0-2 Cheltenham Town

27 February 2021

United were beaten 2-0 at home by Cheltenham Town at the Sands Venue Stadium on Saturday.

The Iron entered the match making five changes from the team that started at Bolton Wanderers in midweek, as Jordan Clarke, Harrison McGahey, Kevin van Veen, Lewis Spence and Mason O'Malley replaced Jai Rowe, Jacob Bedeau, Abo Eisa, Alfie Beestin and Junior Brown in the starting line-up.

With a minute gone, Alex Gilliead made an early run forward down the right, squeezing his way through three players before teeing up Clarke to cross.

Just minutes later though there was an early setback as George Taft stayed down following an aerial challenge as he went forward for a free-kick to the Iron. He received treatment on the pitch before Emmanuel Onariase had to come on for the ex-Bolton man.

With 10 minutes gone, the Iron forced play back to the Cheltenham ‘keeper, with van Veen closing that gap, as Joshua Griffiths was forced to check inside before firing out of play for a Scunthorpe throw.

At the other end, just two minutes later, Clarke came across to take possession as the ball was played square to Sam Smith who was about to pull the trigger. The Iron cleared for a throw on the far side though.

With 17 minutes gone, Smith saw his effort on the right side of the area parried by Mark Howard before Clarke was in the way to stop the rebound from Callum Wright.

Just two minutes later, after an O'Malley corner was cleared, the ball came back to the left-back on the right flank. He swung in a cross which Onariase beat the offside trap to head just wide.

With 25 minutes gone, the Robins went ahead as Smith volleyed home at the back post after Alfie May's right-wing cross was cleared into his path. There were appeals for offside as the ball was played through on the right channel, but the flag stayed down.

Three minutes later, van Veen latched onto a throughball down the left from O'Malley and tried to prod the ball past the goalkeeper, but he blocked away the effort and the visitors got the ball clear.

There were then a couple of sustained spells of possession for the Iron as they probed to find an opening, but the Robins remained resolute and well-organised.

With 41 minutes gone, the visitors doubled their advantage as Chris Hussey's speculative ball into the box was deflected into the path of Wright, who slotted beyond Howard.

They then very nearly made it three straight after as Sean Long's low left wing cross was latched onto by Finn Azaz's whose near post shot hit the side-netting.

They continued to attack and May ran onto a throughball with a couple of minutes of the half left but snatched his effort over the crossbar. The same player also volleyed over the crossbar during first half stoppage time, as he got on the end of a cross from the right.

Just before that, there was a superb save from Griffiths as Devarn Green seized on a loose ball to race through. His shot was pushed away for a corner.

There was a Scunthorpe change at the interval as Loft was replaced by Eisa.

With 52 minutes gone, Green beat his man on the left and floated a cross in just above the bar. Clarke sent the ball back into the box but the visitors hooked clear.

With just over an hour played, Beestin came on for Karacan, and soon after play was spread left to Eisa, who was edged off the ball just inside the box. The Cheltenham defender puts his hands up, Eisa tried to stay on his feet and the ball was cleared for an Iron throw.

On 66 minutes, Eisa was fouled as he turned his man. He was quickly on his feet to try and play advantage, but the referee had already blown. KVV took the resulting free-kick, curling over the wall towards Griffiths’ top right corner, but he got across to palm away for a corner.

In the 71st minute, Green turned his man on the right side before bursting forward and crossing, with the defence turning the ball behind for a corner. From it, O’Malley’s deep set-piece was met by Onariase with the header, but the ball came back into play off the post.

Soon after, Beestin stole in on a loose ball on the edge of the area, chesting down before firing over the bar.

With 77 minutes gone, Jordan Hallam came on to replace van Veen for the final Scunthorpe change of the afternoon.

Soon after, there was a corner to the Iron on the far side as Gilliead did well. O’Malley’s cross was cleared before Griffiths pounced on the loose ball soon after.

United kept plugging away and a free-kick from deep dropped for McGahey, who controlled and fired goalwards, with his low effort blocked by the defence.

With four minutes left, Gilliead weaved his way into the area and saw a shot blocked. The ball came out to Beestin on the edge of the box, but his effort bobbled wide.

Then, a minute later, Clarke and Gilliead exchanged a one-two before the latter squeezed in a cross from the right, which Griffiths gathered.

There were three minute of stoppage time, and no further chances, and the Robins saw out the victory.

Scunthorpe are next in action on Tuesday night when they visit Cambridge United (7pm kick-off).

IRON: Howard, Clarke, Taft (Onariase, 6), McGahey, Gilliead, Loft (Eisa, 45), van Veen (Hallam, 77), Green, Spence, Karacan (Beestin, 61), O'Malley.

IRON SUBS NOT USED: Watson, Brown, Rowe.

CHELTENHAM: Griffiths, Raglan, Tozer, Long, Blair, Hussey, Thomas, Wright (Vassilev, 65), Azaz, Smith (Williams, 79), May (Lloyd, 65).

CHELTENHAM SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Horton, Freestone, Chamberlain.

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