Cheltenham v Doncaster - Saturday 15:00
Gary Johnson had some choice words for his Cheltenham players after they surrendered a one-goal lead late on at Carlisle in midweek, questioning whether “five or six” of his National Premier title-winning team can handle the pace of League Two. Whether the remarks are risky or not, this is the game where we find out if they worked and the home win is worth a play at 9/5.
The criticism seems a tad excessive considering the Robins have drawn all three matches 1-1 - against tidy opposition too - but Johnson is a seasoned campaigner and he’s been around for long enough to know when buttons can be pushed for the sake of a reaction. Given the bond he has built up with this group, he deserves our trust.
Doncaster bagged their first win of the campaign in midweek, edging out Cambridge with one moment of quality in a performance high on endeavour and aggression. But you sense from Darren Ferguson’s comments afterwards that he doesn’t really know what to expect from one week to the next, so there’s high potential for another dip below those raised expectations next time out.
Donny are predominantly playing 3-5-2 this season, which is a popular system throughout the National Premier and nothing new to Cheltenham. If that doesn’t work, Ferguson favours a diamond. Both systems amount to the same thing - he doesn’t trust his players to control games without numbers in the middle of the park.