Cheltenham Town v Cardiff City. Match preview.

Last updated : 29 July 2003 By Matthew Gabb
City's pre-season preparation continues tonight with a match at second division Cheltenham Town.

The Gloucestershire side are managed by ex-Wales and City manager Bobby Gould, and their lineup could well include ex-Bluebird Paul Brayson, who scored twice for the Robins in their 2-2 draw with Sheffield United last weekend.

City's record in the two league games they've played at Cheltenham is not good. A 1-3 defeat in the promotion season of 2000/1 was followed by an uninspiring 1-1 draw at the start of last term. Kenny Hibbitt also took a City side there in the mid-nineties for a pre-season friendly (lost 0-1) that was memorable only for the referee having to stop play and get the managers on after a few tackles got out of hand.

Lawrence has a number of injury worries. Peter Thorne and Gary Croft are both definite non starters, and I have no news on the fitness or otherwise of John Robinson, but would suggest he won't start the match tonight. Perhaps he will be fit enough for a place on the bench though, we will find out tonight. Up and coming City front man Stuart Fleetwood will be keen to get a game as he is originally from the Forest of Dean.

I would think Lennie will stick to his 4-4-2 formation with little change from the starting line up that drew 0-0 at Cambridge on the weekend.

City (from) Alexander, Margetson, Vidmar, Gabbidon, Weston, Prior, Collins, Barker, Boland, Bonner, Kavanagh, Bowen, Maxwell, Whalley, Robinson, Earnshaw, Gordon, Campbell, Fleetwood.

Kick off is at 7.45pm and a healthy travelling support will be expected for a match just an hour away from Cardiff. News from Whaddon Road is that admission is £7 for adults and £3 concessions for all areas of the ground.

After tonight the first team take onCharlton Athletic at Ninian Park this Friday in Scott Young's well deserved testimonial match, with the final friendly next Tuesday at the Lawn, home of Forest Green Rovers.

There are two more reserve/youth friendlies, firstly at perennial pre-season opponents Merthyr Tydfil (tomorrow night), and Tiverton Town (this Saturday).

First reaction to tonight's match will be on the message board, with report to follow.

Cheltenham's official site preview the match here.