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Tisdale's side well placed to end losing record at Yates' Cheltenham outfit

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 27, 2012

Exeter City

Exeter City

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If past history is anything to go by, then Exeter City may as well not bother turning up for today's trip to Cheltenham Town.

In six previous League encounters with the Robins, the Grecians have a 100% record... of losing to their Westcountry neighbours.

Of course, clashes between the two sides are very much a thing of now. Cheltenham were not a League club until they won promotion from the Conference under the management of Steve Cotterill in 1999, which was the first year that they and the Grecians commenced battle.

That Boxing Day encounter resulted in a comfortable 3-1 win for the Robins. Jon Gittens netted Exeter's consolation after a dismal first-half showing which saw them trail 3-0 at the break. Later that season, Cheltenham enjoyed a 2-1 win at St James' Park, Gary Alexander again netting a consolation for the Grecians.

Peter Fox was in charge of the Grecians back then, but what I always find interesting when looking back at past encounters are the names on the City team sheet. Jukka Vanninen came on as a substitute in that Boxing Day encounter, remember him? The Finn only played six games for the Grecians before disappearing off the face of the earth. And whatever happened to Kofi Nyamah, who appeared as a substitute in both encounters? Gone and well and truly forgotten.

One player that was a constant in the opposition's team back then though and who will be involved again today is Mark Yates. He was a regular in the Robins side that enjoyed such success at the turn of the century and he is trying to emulate those achievements once again, only as manager of the Robins.

Last season, they came so close to promotion, of course, losing out to Crewe Alexandra in the League Two play-off final. That was after they had beaten Torquay United both home and away in the semi-finals and they have started this season well and currently lie in fourth.

Exeter have not been on the best of runs of late and Cheltenham will be a tough nut to crack. But one thing the Grecians have managed to do on many occasions under Tisdale in the past is to overcome this type of hoodoo.

One such example is earlier this season when Exeter travelled to Aldershot. They had not won at the Recreation Ground in eight previous visits, but a Jamie Cureton brace ended that run back in August as Exeter emerged with a 2-1 victory.

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