OUR Non-League man Callum Jones (@Goaldust) was desperate to share a fancy from Wednesday night’s FA Trophy action. So here it is…
Cheltenham v Oxford City | Wednesday 19:45
The scenario surrounding this FA Trophy replay must go down as one of the strangest of the campaign.
Initially, Cheltenham made all of the required agreements with the National League authorities to play their second round replay with Oxford City on Wednesday evening, as well as taking on Kidderminster at home in the league on Tuesday night.
Manager Gary Johnson had committed to fielding a young team in the cup, ensuring the fitness of his players would not be an issue.
However, the League took a U-turn on Monday, postponing the fixture between Cheltenham and Kidderminster, citing ‘devaluation of the FA Trophy’ as the reason.
Robins chairman Paul Baker responded in a calm and collected manor, branding the decision ‘baffling’, before adding: “I am very angry and I feel a bit like Jose Mourinho probably does when he is asked about a refereeing decision and has to be very careful what he says.”
So, regardless of the politics, tonight’s game is set to go ahead, with the pitch at Whaddon Road having been subject to frost covers to insure its integrity ahead of the midweek tie.
Cheltenham needed a 90th minute equaliser on Saturday to secure a replay, having been behind twice to the National League South side.
Oxford are having a very decent season and sit a mere two points off the play-offs in the Southern League. They’ve lost only twice on the road in their last 14 fixtures and are unbeaten in their last four on their travels.
Wednesday’s visitors are without a fixture this coming weekend and therefore, have no reason for boss Justin Merritt to rest any of his first teamers.
City actually opened at a huge price of 7/1 and have been gradually backed in to their current price of 9/5 (Bwin). Even with that in mind, against a young and inexperienced Cheltenham side, you have to fancy the visitors to go one better than they managed on Saturday.
Cheltenham v Oxford City – Oxford City to win (9/5 Bwin)
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