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Cheltenham Town 365

Cheltenham Town 365

by Jon Palmer

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This comprehensive book will evoke memories of all the landmark matches, pivotal departures and arrivals, and significant events since the Robins first took to the field in the late nineteenth century. Compiled by the Gloucestershire Echo's soccer writer and lifelong Robins fanatic Jon Palmer, all the key moments are accounted for, along with cult heroes,


This comprehensive book will evoke memories of all the landmark matches, pivotal departures and arrivals, and significant events since the Robins first took to the field in the late nineteenth century. Compiled by the Gloucestershire Echo's soccer writer and lifelong Robins fanatic Jon Palmer, all the key moments are accounted for, along with cult heroes, loyal servants, classic cup ties, promotions, and relegations. A must-read for fans of Cheltenham Town, this book will educate even the most dedicated soccer "statto," and will teach you everything you need to know about a club which has progressed so far in recent years, chronicling the events that led to their remarkable rise to the Football League.

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The History Press
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Cheltenham Town 365

By Jon Palmer

The History Press

Copyright © 2013 Jon Palmer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7524-8249-1



1 January 1994

Cheltenham Town beat arch rivals Gloucester City 3–1 at Meadow Park with 2 goals from Jimmy Smith and one from Simon Cooper. The win put them top of a table for the first time in more than eight years. Tony Cook replied for the Tigers and 1,239 patrons were there to watch it. Cheltenham were in the frame for the title for most of the season, but lost out to Farnborough Town, finishing as runners-up for the second year in succession after their relegation from the Conference.

1 January 1998

A club Conference record 17-match unbeaten streak ended at Yeovil Town, where Cheltenham Town were beaten 3–1. Their previous best undefeated streak at that level was 8. The match at Huish Park is best remembered for the strong wind which caused a goal kick from Steve Book to blow back off the pitch for a corner. Cheltenham had beaten Yeovil 2–0 at home five days earlier, thanks to Clive Walker's brace.

2 January 1937

Cheltenham crashed to a 10–2 defeat at the hands of Stourbridge in the Worcestershire Senior Cup. Parry and Willmore found the net for the Robins, who went on to finish 11th in the Southern League that season.

3 January 1976

One of the smallest crowds ever to see a Cheltenham Town first team game were present as they won 2–1 at Bedworth United in the Southern League Division One North. Only eighty-four paying customers watched Dave Lewis and Keiron Hehir score the goals to earn Cheltenham a win over the Greenbacks.

3 January 1983

Cheltenham registered their 11th successive win (8th in the league), seeing off Southern League Midland Division newcomers Dudley Town 3–0 on their way to the title. They did however lose their next match 4–0 to Merthyr Tydfil.

3 January 2000

The Robins' first match of the new millennium ended in disappointment as Lincoln City overcame a squad weakened by illness 2–0 at Whaddon Road. The Imps' goals came from Paul Miller in the 31st minute and John Finnigan in the 73rd. Finnigan went on to captain Cheltenham after making the switch from Sincil Bank to Whaddon Road in March 2002.

3 January 2001

Fulham brought a reserve team including six full internationals to Cheltenham and won 5–0, with Karl-Heinz Riedle, Kit Symons, Marcus Hahnemann and Terry Phelan among the star-studded line-up. Shane Duff was among the young Robins' second string to benefit from such an experience.

4 January 1992

Paul Evans, a Welsh striker who only played 3 games for Cheltenham after joining from Barry Town, scored his only goal for the club in a 1–1 draw with Yeovil Town. Cheltenham: Livingstone, Masefield, Willetts, N. Smith, Vircavs, Howells, Brooks, Bloomfield, Evans, Casey, Purdie.

4 January 2003

Graham Allner took charge of his 32nd and last game as Cheltenham Town manager, a 4–0 FA Cup third-round hammering at Sheffield United. On target for the Blades were Shaun Murphy, Jon-Paul McGovern and Steve Kabba (2).

4 January 2004

Cheltenham took an early lead against Fulham through Grant McCann's stunning 5th-minute strike at Loftus Road. But the Premier League club hit back with a brace from Louis Saha to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup. His winner arrived in the final minute, breaking Cheltenham hearts. Left-back Jamie Victory did a sterling job of containing Fulham's in-form winger Steed Malbranque, while Damian Spencer gave a tireless performance up front on his own, never giving the Cottagers' back four a moment's peace.

5 January 1980

Dave Lewis was on target, but it was not enough to stop Cheltenham slipping to a 2–1 defeat at Bridgend Town in the Southern League Midland Division in front of 150 fans.

5 January 1985

Mark Boyland fired a hat-trick in a 6–0 home drubbing of AP Leamington in front of 479 spectators. Brian Hughes, Ray Baverstock and Andy Lightstone were also on the scoresheet.

6 January 1996

Second-half goals from Darren Wright and Jason Eaton earned Cheltenham a 2–1 Dr Marten's League Premier Division win over Chelmsford City at Whaddon Road. Cheltenham: Davis, Bloomer, Benton, Banks, Dunphy, Wright, Wring, Cooper, Eaton, Smith, Howell.

6 January 2002

Two goals from the mercurial Tony Naylor earned Cheltenham a shock 2–1 FA Cup third-round victory over Oldham Athletic at Whaddon Road. It took them into the fourth round for the first time in the club's history. Steve Cotterill's side went into the match undefeated in 6 matches and beaten only three times in 23 games in all competitions. Naylor opened the scoring in the 25th minute, having passed a fitness test on the morning of the game. His strike partner-in-crime, Julian Alsop, flicked on a goal kick from Steve Book and Naylor rounded defender Scott McNiven before slotting the ball in at the near post from 15 yards. Oldham equalised two minutes before half-time through David Eyres, but Cheltenham were the better side and they were rewarded for almost constant pressure when Naylor hit the winner after an hour. He was at the far post when a curling cross from Lee Williams floated over and his header went inside the post off the body of central defender Stuart Balmer. Cheltenham: Book, Griffin, M. Duff, Banks, Victory, Williams, Yates, Howells, Milton, Naylor (Grayson), Alsop. Subs not used: Brough, Higgs, Devaney, Howarth.

7 January 1984

Two second-half goals in the space of three minutes earned Cheltenham a 2–1 win over Dorchester Town in the Southern League Premier Division. Ray Baverstock scored from the spot and the second was added by Nick Gazzard, a player signed from what was then St Paul's College of Higher Education.

7 January 1995

Christer Warren's fine solo effort helped Lindsay Parsons' Cheltenham earn a 2–0 home success against Gravesend & Northfleet. Martin Boyle netted the other goal in front of a crowd of 827.

7 January 2006

Goalkeeper Scott Brown made his first appearance for Cheltenham Town in a 2–2 FA Cup third-round tie against Chester City, replacing the injured Shane Higgs. J.J. Melligan and John Finnigan were Cheltenham's scorers – both from the penalty spot.

7 January 2013

Cheltenham welcomed Premier League Everton to the Abbey Business Stadium for a televised FA Cup third-round tie. A sell-out crowd of 6,891, including 1,101 visitors, saw David Moyes' team prevail 5–1, providing the Robins with a lesson in clinical finishing. They opened up a two-goal lead in the first half through Nikica Jelavic's poacher's finish and Leighton Baines' penalty after Alan Bennett was adjudged to have fouled Marouane Fellaini. Leon Osman made it 3–0 before Russ Penn pulled one back for Cheltenham, but strikes from Seamus Coleman and Fellaini completed the comprehensive win. It was skipper Bennett's final appearance for Cheltenham before leaving the club by mutual consent on the final day of the January transfer window.

8 January 1977

Dave Lewis, Keiron Hehir and Terry Paterson scored in a 3–0 home win over Stourbridge in the Southern League Division One. The result helped the Robins towards promotion to the Premier Division that season as runners-up to Worcester City. Cheltenham: Miles, Murphy, Dangerfield, Foster, Dean, Gardner, Paterson, Lewis, Hehir, Davies, Thomas.

8 January 1986

Cheltenham signed John Powell from Kidderminster Harriers for £3,000.

8 January 1994

Neil Smith made his 100th appearance for Cheltenham Town in a 1–1 draw against Hastings. He had joined the Robins from Lincoln City in 1991.

8 January 2000

Steve Book made his 150th appearance for the club in a 2–1 victory at Macclesfield Town.

9 January 1995

Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Wring and Chris Banks all scored in a 3–3 Dr Marten's Cup third-round draw with Gresley Rovers. Cheltenham drew the second leg 2–2, bowing out on away goals, despite the tie originally being only one leg!

9 January 1997

Chris Robinson swooped to sign striker John Symonds from Bedworth.

9 January 1999

Cheltenham's run of 7 Conference games without conceding was ended at Doncaster Rovers' Belle Vue ground, where John Brough was sent off in a 2–2 draw. Dale Watkins scored both of the Robins' goals.

10 January 1999

Cheltenham's squad flew to Marbella for a mid-season break in the sun, aiding their ultimately successful Conference title push under boss Steve Cotterill.

10 January 2008

A £150,000 move to Crewe Alexandra for Damian Spencer fell through after the forward failed a medical with the Railwaymen.

11 January 1974

Dave Lewis helped himself to a hat-trick in a 7–1 FA Trophy first-round win over Bromsgrove Rovers. He was on target in the next round too, but Cheltenham went down 4–1 to Romford. Further goals came from Ken Skeen, Dave Dangerfield, Joe McDonnell and Pat Casey in front of a crowd of 1,143.

11 January 1997

Former Bedworth striker John Symonds found the net on his debut in a 3–2 home win over Baldock Town. Mark Freeman was also on target, along with a Colin Omogbehin own goal. Cheltenham: Gannaway, Wotton, Wring, Banks, Freeman, Victory, Chenoweth, Wright, Boyle, Symonds, Bloomer.

11 January 2008

Alex Russell and Steve Brooker both joined Cheltenham on loan from Bristol City and the pair played a key role in helping the club avoid relegation from League One for a second successive season.

12 January 2008

David Bird's dramatic late winner sank relegation rivals Bournemouth and earned Cheltenham 3 precious points in their battle against the drop.

13 January 1934

The largest crowd ever to watch Cheltenham for a home fixture gathered for the visit of Blackpool in the FA Cup third round. Blackpool had been relegated from the top flight the previous season, and the unprecedented interest in the match meant it was switched to the Cheltenham Athletic Ground. No sporting event in Cheltenham's history had so captured the imagination of the public as the FA Cup run of that season. Special road and rail facilities were provided to cope with the influx of football enthusiasts from far and wide. More than 10,000 fans descended on Cheltenham's temporary home to witness history in the making. Cheltenham put up a great fight, but Blackpool ran out 3–1 winners. Payne's goal gave the home side the lead within five minutes of kick-off, raising hopes of an upset. However, the superior class of the Seasiders was clearly evident in the second half and goals from Bussey, Watson and Doherty took them through to the fourth round. The crowd was 10,389. Cheltenham: Davis, Jones, Williams, Long, Blackburn, Goodger, Payne, Knight, Yarwood, Evans, Hill.

13 January 1974

Dave Lewis scored 5 goals in an 8–1 win over Wellingborough Town in front of 888 fans, who turned out for a Sunday fixture. The other goals came from Pat Casey, Billy Bailey and an own goal.

13 January 1990

On-loan winger Steve Mardenborough scored twice and Andy Gray once as Gravesend & Northfleet were beaten 5–1 at home in the FA Trophy first round. Mark Buckland and an own goal accounted for the rest of the scoreline as Conference side Cheltenham disposed of the Southern Leaguers en route to a third-round defeat against Kingstonian.

13 January 1998

A gate of exactly 6,000 turned out at Whaddon Road, the highest since 1957, to see Steve Cotterill's team hold Reading to a 1–1 draw in the FA Cup third round. Dale Watkins' penalty put Cheltenham in front before Trevor Morley took the tie to a replay, which the Royals won 2–1. Cheltenham: Book, Duff, Victory, Banks, Freeman, Knight, Howells, Walker (Eaton), Smith (Benton), Watkins, Bloomer. Subs not used: Crisp, Wright, Milton.

14 January 1967

Cheltenham lost 5–1 to Nuneaton Borough, their heaviest home defeat since April 1954.

14 January 1981

Charlie Green scored twice and Malcolm Kavanagh netted the other as Cheltenham beat Enderby Town 3–2 at Whaddon Road in the Southern League Midland Division. Green was popular during his brief spell at Cheltenham and is now chief executive at Rangers. Cheltenham: Latchford, Buckland, Dyer, Ollis, Hams, Kavanagh, MacKenzie, Tester, Green, Pemberton, Hardcastle.

14 January 1989

Peter Shearer's goal earned Cheltenham a 1–0 win at Fisher Athletic's Surrey Docks Stadium in the first round of the FA Trophy. Cheltenham: Mogg, Willetts, Burns, Craig, Vircavs, Whelan, Crowley, Eves, Walsh, Buckland, Jordan.

15 January 1947

Peter Goring's brace helped Cheltenham see off Millwall 7–3 at home, with further goals from Parris (2), Crisp, Roberts and Crowe.

15 January 1983

Dave Lewis made his 500th Robins appearance against Pwllheli and District, scoring twice in a 6–0 win. It took his record haul to 284. He ended the season with a remarkable record of 290 goals from 518 appearances. Paul Tester was top scorer in Lewis' final season, with 25.

16 January 1988

Brett Angell scored his final goals for Cheltenham Town, notching up two in a 5–3 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers. Steve Brooks scored the other.

16 January 1999

An injury-time goal from big defender Mark Freeman knocked Canvey Island out of the FA Trophy and took holders Cheltenham into the fourth round.

17 January 1948

Peter Goring made his final appearance for Cheltenham and scored in a 1–1 draw at Chelmsford before leaving to join Arsenal.

17 January 2006

Kayode Odejayi was the hero as Cheltenham won 1–0 at Chester City to secure themselves a plum FA Cup fourth-roundhome tie with Newcastle United.

17 January 2007

Match-winner in the 2006 play-off final triumph Steve Guinan was placed on the transfer list and joined Hereford United on loan a week later.

18 January 1936

Cheltenham took part in a 5–5 Southern League Cup draw with Yeovil & Petters United. R. Edwards scored four, with Black also on target.

18 January 1994

Jimmy Smith, signed from Salisbury City for £4,000, netted his 50th goal for Cheltenham in a 3–1 home win over Halesowen Town. The Scotsman went on to become the second-highest scorer in the club's history behind Dave Lewis.

18 January 1997

Chris Robinson oversaw his final match as manager, a 2–1 defeat by Dulwich Hamlet in the FA Trophy first round at Whaddon Road.

18 January 2003

Chris Banks, Mark Yates and Bob Bloomer took caretaker charge for a League One match against Cardiff City following the departure of Graham Allner. Peter Thorne gave the Bluebirds the lead after eight minutes, but John Finnigan levelled for Cheltenham in the 19th minute. Robert Earnshaw won it for the home side with a 36th minute strike at Ninian Park.

18 January 2013

Cheltenham travelled north in atrocious conditions to take on Morecambe in a Friday night fixture, battling against snow and ice. The match at the Globe Arena finished goalless.

19 January 2002

Goals from Jamie Victory and Julian Alsop earned Cheltenham a 2–0 win at Leyton Orient on their way to promotion from League Two via the play-offs for the first time.

20 January 1998

More than 2,000 travelling fans witnessed a heroic performance by the Robins, which unfortunately ended in a 2–1 FA Cup third-roundreplay defeat at Reading. With a fourth-roundtrip to Cardiff City at stake, Cheltenham gave a tremendous effort against a side three levels above them in the pyramid. Trevor Morley put Reading ahead in the 38th minute, but cup veteran Clive Walker scored an equaliser six minutes after half-time as Cheltenham dared to dream of a major upset. Walker darted in at the far post after Jason Eaton had headed back Dale Watkins' cross from the left. Martyn Booty broke Cheltenham hearts in the 72nd minute with a long-range winner. Seven minutes from the end, Jamie Victory's shot was going wide, but it hit Watkins and was diverted at speed against the inside of the near post as Cheltenham went within a whisker of taking the tie to extra-time. Almost 10,000 people stood and saluted Cotterill's braves, with the home fans applauding the non-leaguers, even chanting Chelt-en-ham in the way they had heard it from the proud travelling masses. Cotterill told his devastated players to hold their heads high after the game and assured them that they would be going to Wembley in the FA Trophy in May, which of course they did.

21 January 1978

A goal from Dave Dangerfield after sixty-one minutes was not enough to prevent Cheltenham Town falling to their 8th defeat of the season against Grantham. Cheltenham: Evans, Murphy, Edwards, Foster, Dean, Collicutt, Rice, Dangerfield, Lewis, Bryant, Hall.

21 January 1982

Reserve team boss Roger Thorndale, holder of Cheltenham's record for the most appearances, took temporary charge for a fixture against Epsom and Ewell following the sacking of Alan Grundy. Cheltenham fell 2–0 down before strikes from Normal Pemberton and Kevin Garthwaite, only for Tommy Tuite to net an injury-time winner for Epsom. Cheltenham: N. Berry, Boxall, Dyer, Castleton, Tucker, Garthwaite, MacKenzie, Pemberton, Reed, Buckland, Tester.


Excerpted from Cheltenham Town 365 by Jon Palmer. Copyright © 2013 Jon Palmer. Excerpted by permission of The History Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Jon Palmer is a soccer writer for the Echo, covering all Cheltenham Town’s matches, home and away.

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