Reuben Reid scored the only goal as Cheltenham Town prevailed 1-0 against Mansfield Town at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Saturday.
Cheltenham last registered five successive home wins in League Two in 2013. They finished that season in 5th place under Mark Yates, which is the last time they finished in the top half of the fourth-tier.
The Robins moved to within six points of the automatic promotion places and also boast a game in hand on the four clubs directly above them.
This week could prove decisive in their challenge for promotion, as they prepare to face Northampton Town (H) and Colchester United (A) respectively.
It’s a prime opportunity for Cheltenham to extend their lead over the trailing pack and also to tighten the gap in the race for automatic promotion.
Reid thinks Cheltenham have put themselves in a “good position to make [promotion] become a reality” but also conceded that “there’s still so many points to for and so many games” to play.
They boast the strongest defensive record in the division – conceding just 26 goals in 33 games so far this season. Their robust defence has been crucial in helping them secure narrow wins against Carlisle United, Leyton Orient and Mansfield respectively.
Owen Evans, who is currently on-loan from Championship club Wigan Athletic, has also bolstered their defence. The Welshman produced a string of outstanding saves on Saturday, including most notably his one-on-one saves to thwart Nicky Maynard and Will Tomlinson respectively.
Goals have been at a premium at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium this campaign – with Cheltenham (48) scoring fewer goals than any other club in the automatic promotion and play-off places.
Fortunately, the return of Reid from injury has provided them with another attacking option and he underlined his credentials once again by scoring his 3rd goal in as many matches against Mansfield.
Things are coming together nicely at the business end of the season and Michael Duff has the task of keeping his players composed during the run-in.
Duff gave a rallying cry to his players on Saturday, declaring, “We’re in a position we haven’t been in for a long, long time, so let’s go for it.”
Their automatic promotion hopes could hinge on the matches against Northampton and Colchester this week. Successive defeats may jeopardize their chances of promotion, whereas consecutive wins could put them in a strong position to leapfrog Plymouth and Exeter.