Carlisle host their second home game in the space of just four days on Tuesday night as Cheltenham Town head north.
And the Blues woke up on Monday morning knowing that it had been a close call through the night as rising river waters tested the flood defences to the maximum when the full effects of Storm Ciara struck the county.
The training pitch and car parks took the main pressure, but the pitch came out of it relatively unscathed, if a little soggy, with the usual standing water at the Waterworks End to contend with.
On to the game and the Robins have had a solid first half to the season, and their victory over Morecambe 10 days ago saw them step up into the play-off places.
They were away at Scunthorpe on Saturday and a battling display from the home side under their new manager [Russ Wilcox] saw the Iron pick up a 1-0 victory.
Cheltenham remained in the top seven despite the defeat, and still have games in hand over those around them.
With a push to make sure they are involved come May, they captured the loan signing of striker Tom Nicholls from Bristol Rovers as the transfer window drew to a close, and he'll be expected to bolster what are already confident attacking options.
January confirmed their credentials as top seven contenders with just one defeat from their five league games (two draws and a two wins make up the other four fixtures).
The spread of goals has been impressive with Ryan Broom (7), Alex Addai (6), Conor Thomas (6), Luke Varney (4), Alfie May (4) and Gavin Reilly (4) all having weighed in at some point or other.
It'll be another good game between two sides who like to play football.
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From the head coach ...
Speaking ahead of the game, Chris Beech said: "We’ll go into Tuesday’s game in a positive frame of mind. We’ll need the fans to be behind us again because it will be another tough game.
"They play three at the back, they use the full width and depth of the pitch, very similar to Plymouth. We’ll take nothing for granted, we'll prepare fully, because we know this is a good team that we're coming up against.
"They’ve got a good experienced operator up front with some good young energy around him, so we’ve got to make sure we get it right tactically, match them then surpass them and get the three points."
|Carlisle wins||Draws||Cheltenham wins|
Highlights from previous meetings
Cheltenham broke the Carlisle hoodoo when we went to Whaddon Road earlier this season as they registered a 2-0 victory, with the Blues having won all four of the previous meetings between the sides. Gavin Reilly and Luke Varney scored first half goals and United failed to recover, with the home side seeing out a comfortable win.
Carlisle United 2 - 0 Cheltenham Town, Saturday 19 January 2019
Cheltenham Town 0 - 1 Carlisle United, Saturday 18 August 2018
Our referee for this game is Mr Andy Haines. Andy has taken charge of 29 games so far this season showing 77 yellow cards and eight reds.
He was last at Brunton Park for our 1-0 home victory over FA Cup replay with Forest Green in December 2019. Aaron Hayden scored his first goal for the club - the only goal of the game - and Ryan Loft went in the book on the night.
He was also here for the 2-1 home win over Macclesfield in November 2019. Harry McKirdy and Ryan Loft scored the Carlisle goals and Mike Jones and Canice Carroll had their names taken on the day.
Prior to that he was here in March 2019 for our 2-2 draw with Cambridge. The U's went ahead with just three minutes on the clock, but goals from Jamie Devitt and Nathan Thomas gave the Blues the lead before the break. Former-United favourite Jabo Ibehre bagged midway through the second period to make it a share of the spoils on the day. Danny Grainger and Mike Jones received bookings during the game.
He was also with us just three months earlier for our Boxing Day meeting with Oldham. United ran riot with goals from Hope, Yates , Nadesan, Grainger and Liddle securing a thumping 6-0 victory. Kelvin Etuhu was the only Carlisle name taken on the night.
Earlier in the 2018/19 season he was up here for our Checkatrade Trophy group fixture against Morecambe. A tight game saw the Shrimps twice take the lead through goals from Oliver and Piggott. Glendon and Gillesphey pegged them back for the Blues, and that set it up for Jerry Yates to grab a late winner. There were no United names taken on the night.
We saw Mr Haines twice in season 2017/18, both at Brunton Park, starting with our opening day fixture against Swindon Town. Luke Joyce scored our only goal in a 2-1 defeat, and Mike Jones was the only Carlisle name to be written down.
Our second meeting had a much more pleasant outcome as we beat Oldham Athletic 3-2 in the FA Cup. Richie Bennett (2) and Hallam Hope gave us a three goal cushion but there was still time to bite the fingernails as Peter Clarke and Aaron Holloway bit back to make it a nervy ending to the game. There were no Carlisle bookings that afternoon.
Referee - Andy Haines
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Newhouse
Assistant Referee 2 - Conor Brown
Fourth Official - Edward Duckworth
Is that a fact?
Until very recently it was thought that Cheltenham Town Football Club was founded in 1892. However, recent evidence points to the origins being five years earlier when Mr Albert Close White returned to his native Cheltenham from college in London to take up a teaching post.
While away on his studies Mr White discovered the game of association football and he is now credited with being the first person to introduce the sport to the town of Cheltenham. Trials were held at the East Glos Cricket Ground in 1887 and the club was born.
Taken from the Cheltenham Town official website.
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