Cheltenham Town video: Penn can call on unique feat: a win at Hereford
RUSS Penn has experienced something no Cheltenham Town player has since 1999: victory at Edgar Street.
The combative midfielder was in the Kidderminster Harriers side – managed by Mark Yates – that defeated Hereford United 1-0 in a Blue Square Bet Premier clash in March 2006.
Cheltenham have visited the home of the Bulls on four occasions since their 2-0 win on their way to the Conference title, losing once and drawing three times.
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Penn is expected to keep his place in the starting line-up for tonight's FA Cup second round replay after a strong showing in Saturday's 3-2 comeback success at Northampton Town, having had to settle for a place on the bench in the original tie against Hereford.
He believes the way Cheltenham hit back from two goals down at Sixfields has put them in the perfect frame of mind for tonight's pressure match, with a televised home clash with Premier League Everton at stake in the third round.
"It was a game of hustle and bustle at Northampton and we started very poorly, but still managed to come out on top," Penn said.
"That sort of performance breeds confidence, going to a very good team and coming back with three points.
"That can only be good for us to push on and get a result tonight.
"I've won at Hereford before, but it's a tough place to go with not the prettiest of grounds and the pitch won't be the best.
"We have to go there and be men and our quality will shine through."
Penn was part of a different midfield shape used by Yates at Northampton, with Keith Lowe sitting in front of the back four to deal with the physical threat of Adebayo Akinfenwa.
Penn, Darren Carter and Reading loan youngster Jake Taylor played further forward, with licence to switch and interchange, feeding front men Shaun Harrad and Chris Zebroski.
"I thought the gaffer's formation worked well after the first 15 minutes and with two up because the ball sticks for longer and we can rely on the front pair to keep it," Penn said.
"That brings midfielders into play and we created a lot of chances so it was good. We'll go to Hereford and try to do the fans and the club proud."
Penn has not thought about the possibility of a penalty shoot-out at Edgar Street and he said there is a determination to finish the job inside the regulation 90 minutes.
"I've not taken a penalty in a shoot-out since I was about ten years old!" he said.
"We don't really want to think about that and hopefully it won't go that far.
"If I am still on the pitch by then and it does happen, you never know, but we definitely want to have it sealed inside 90 minutes."