Can Cheltenham Town Defy the Odds and Survive Relegation From League One? - The Evesham Observer

Can Cheltenham Town Defy the Odds and Survive Relegation From League One?

Evesham Editorial 7th Dec, 2023   0

Things were looking bleak for Cheltenham Town in early October. A 2-0 defeat at home to Fleetwood Town left them cut adrift at the bottom of the League One table, without a win all season and with just a point to their name. However, just a handful of days later, Darrell Clarke’s side proved that they could hang with the third tier’s big boys when they held Paul Warne’s Derby County to a 1-1 draw at Whaddon Road. And since then, business has certainly picked up.

Autumn Renaissance Lifts Hope of a Miraculous Survival

While Town would lose to Newport County in the EFL Trophy three days on from that point against the Rams, the result proved to be the perfect catalyst to reignite their hopes. They picked up their first victory of the season on October 21st when they defeated Cambridge United by a solitary Liam Sercombe goal to nil. They put in a spirited display in a 3-2 loss on the road at high-flying Blackpool, before picking up their first away victory of the campaign with a 2-1 win against Port Vale at Vale Park. Further impressive results have followed, prompting football betting odds providers to rethink their odds on the Robins facing the axe this term. Don’t get us wrong, they’re still odds-on to be plying their trade in League Two next year, but they aren’t the surefire candidates they were back in October. Another point at home to Wigan Athletic, a team who were in the Championship last term, has seen Cheltenham climb their way up to nine points, which is still a paltry total, but much more impressive than where they previously were.

Eight Points Adrift of Safety

Town remain deep in trouble, and with four teams relegated from League One, climbing their way out of the drop zone still represents a sizable task. That all-important 20th position currently belongs to Exeter City, who are enduring a torrid run of form. Compare that to Cheltenham though, who have taken some positive results since that Fleetwood game, the gap to safety could narrow throughout the festive period.

The Whaddon Road outfit has some difficult tests on the horizon, but they have already proved that they can compete against the division’s heavyweights and they will have to do the same if they are to continue narrowing the gap in the coming weeks.

Fellow Relegation Candidates

Somehow, despite their shocking start to the season, the Robins are among a host of teams struggling for survival in League One. Recently-relegated Reading, whose three-point deduction has seen this plummet down the table, are experiencing a far worse season than they could’ve imagined. They are two points adrift of Cheltenham and back-to-back relegations at the Select Car Leasing Stadium – formerly known as the Madejski – look like a distinct possibility.

Looking up the table, there is an almighty scrap forming. Carlisle United, Fleetwood Town, Exeter City, Northampton Town, Wigan Athletic, and Port Vale all look too close to the drop

zone for comfort, and with so much to play for, any of those teams could get dragged into trouble throughout the second half of the season

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