New signing Matt Thornhill is set to make his Cheltenham bow against league leaders Rochdale.

The Nottingham Forest midfielder signed a loan deal with the Robins on Thursday and is likely to go straight into Mark Yates' starting XI.

Elvis Hammond is also competing for a place in Yates' line-up having signalled his return from an ankle injury by smashing four goals for the reserves in midweek.

But it is not all good news for the Robins boss as Lee Ridley has seen his rehabilitation from a calf injury take a slight setback after he was involved in a car accident.

The left-back suffered minor injuries after his vehicle skid and left the motorway and is unable to do any work at the training ground for a couple of days, meaning he remains around two weeks away from a return to training. January signing Danny Andrew will continue in his place.

Fellow defender Ashley Eastham saw red in last weekend's goalless draw at Grimsby and will now serve a one-match ban, while winger Marley Watkins (ankle) faces around 10 days out. Captain Shane Duff (Achilles) has started running again as he targets a March return.

Rochdale have signed Blackburn rookie Andrew Haworth on loan ahead of the trip.

The 21-year-old wide player has joined the League Two leaders until the end of the season to give Keith Hill further options in attack.

He has made two appearances for Rovers and recently signed a new deal which keeps him at Ewood Park until 2011.

Highly-rated winger Will Buckley is making steady progress from a foot complaint but has not featured since November.

Hill has no other major concerns as his side seek to move a step closer to their first promotion since 1969.

However, Hull winger Will Atkinson returned to the KC Stadium after his loan spell, which saw him play eight games and score three goals, expired.

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Topics:
#Andrew Haworth
#Bristol City
#Blackburn Rovers
#Ashley Eastham
#Marley Watkins
#Shane Duff
#Danny Andrew
#Lee Ridley
#Cheltenham Town
#Nottingham Forest
#Will Atkinson
#League Two
#Rochdale
#Hull City
#Matt Thornhill
#Elvis Hammond
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