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Cheltenham Town: Assistant manager Neil Howarth's weekly column

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 26, 2013

tackle: Accrington Stanley's Peter Murphy makes a challenge on Marlon Pack in the 2-2 draw

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THERE are 12 games to go now starting with another journey up the M6 to Fleetwood Town tonight and things are still very close at the top end of the table.

We got another draw on our travels to Accrington but before the game if we had been offered one point we wouldn't have taken it.

We certainly felt the three points were there for the taking if we had played to our full potential.

However, we didn't play to the standard we would have liked and so had to settle for just a point.

Fleetwood did very well gaining promotion from the Blue Square Bet Premier last season.

They certainly had some financial backing to help them on their way but the Conference is a notoriously difficult league to get out of and having money to spend doesn't always equate to success.

However, they managed to do the business on the pitch as well as off and have continued their success this season in League Two.

We had a very tough match against them earlier in the season when we fought out a 2-2 draw, so we know we are in for another tough match.

The standard of the pitch is normally excellent up there and the stadium, for those of you who haven't been, is equally as impressive.

It's always good to tick off another visit to a football stadium so it would be great for those of you who were thinking of going to support the lads.

On Saturday it was very cold and there was snow in the air and the lads were so appreciative of the effort made by those of you who travelled up to Accrington Stanley.

With the cost of petrol and tickets, and a pie and pint, we all know that two long away games in a week is a very expensive occasion.

Following on the back of two long journeys to Southend and Dagenham recently as well makes it doubly difficult to find the funds to watch the game.

All I can say is that we never take for granted the effort made by you all as you follow us around the country and, despite the fact there can be no guarantees of the result, I hope we can all look back at the end of the season on another successful campaign.

There are certainly highs and lows throughout the season but hopefully the Fleetwood match will bring another high.

I must just offer my congratulations to Bradford City on their unbelievable Capital One Cup experience.

To beat the teams they have beaten on the way to a Wembley final and to take so many supporters down to London for a major final is truly remarkable.

Time will tell how their cup exploits will affect their league program, but although we all have the aim of trying to get promotion out of our division at the start of the campaign, would any of the Bradford supporters really have swapped getting beaten in the first round of the League Cup and gaining promotion for the season they have had already?

I'm sure once they get back into the stride of their league campaign they will be in there with the rest of us come the end of the season, but for a League Two club to get to Wembley on merit in such a prestigious competition is a once in a lifetime experience.

Whatever the future holds over their remaining league campaign, Bradford have carried the flag for League Two football with distinction and should be very proud of their efforts.

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