Robins defeated by rampant ClaretsA 4-0 loss for Cheltenham Town at the hands of Burnley gave Mark Yates plenty to think about a week before the season starts.
A Charlie Austin header gave the visitors a deserved lead in the first half and it was the striker that doubled that lead soon after the break with another header from a set piece. Goals from Mills and Wallace finished the Robins off late on but it was a useful game for Mark Yates' side as they look to prepare fully for a tough 2012-13 campaign.
An eager start from both sides this afternoon saw attacks within the first minute of the game but the first effort of the game came courtesy of Sam Deering from Marlon Pack's corner but his effort was well over the bar and the stand. Burnley weren't short of chances in the first few minutes either and right back Kieran Trippier saw a wild 25 yard strike shoot wide of goal before Ross Wallace forced Brown into a very good save at his near post. The Clarets were eager for a good start and winger Ross Wallace was pulling all the strings on the right hand side. Trippier came close again when a training ground corner found him on the edge of the area but once again his strike was wide of the post.
Cheltenham hadn't settled into this game early on but Russ Penn did come close with a 20 yard strike but it was wide of goal despite the best efforts of Shaun Harrad who was looking for a back heel effort. Burnley were back in amongst the attacks soon after and it was Wallace again with a low drive at the near post which Brown was quick to shield and make the save. Despite Burnley controlling the game, the Robins were asking a few questions of the Clarets defence and Chris Zebroski could have snatched a surprise lead halfway through the half when he took advantage of some hesitations and looped an effort over Grant but unfortunately the attempt at goal was just short.
Burnley's dominance paid dividends after 32 minutes however and it was former Swindon striker Charlie Austin who handed his team a deserved lead. The long cross found the striker at the back post and his header was thumped into the top corner for 1-0. It could have been 2-0 five minutes later when Martin Paterson unleashed a fierce 30 yard effort but Brown produced a very good save to push it onto the frame of the crossbar to deny the striker. Another Scott Brown save late on in the half clipped a Paterson effort onto the post before Billy Jones cleared the ball from danger to deny Burnley a deserved second.
Half Time: Cheltenham 0-1 Burnley
There were three half time substitutions for Burnley including former Cheltenham defender Mike Duff moving into the central defence position. The Robins needed a more confident performance in this second half but it was anything but that with Burnley making a superb start to the half with a goal after 49 minutes. A Ross Wallace corner was delivered beautifully and Charlie Austin's header thundered past Brown for 2-0.
Four changes for Cheltenham Town on 64 minutes helped the Robins grab more of a foothold in this game with Panther winning the ball in midfield several times and, on one occasion, setting Goulding up for an effort which went wide. Burnley were 3-0 up soon after when Brown parried a low strike away from goal after 66 minutes only to see Joe Mills gather possession in his area and firing the ball into the net for Burnley's third. Eddie Howe's side were playing with plenty of swagger with Cheltenham struggling to find any kind of form and it was soon 4-0 when Ross Wallace was handed way too much space in the middle of midfield and the tricky winger unleashed a wonderful strike past Brown and into the bottom corner.
Cheltenham had the odd chance in the latter stages of the game but they were unable to force anything fro mthe Burnley defence and the Championship side finished the game as victors in this fixture.
Full Time: Cheltenham 0-4 Burnley
Cheltenham Town FC (4-3-3): Brown (GK); Jombati, Bennett (C), Elliott, Jones; Zebroski (Hibbert 85), Pack, Deering (Goulding 64), Penn (Panther 64), Mohamed (McGlashan 64); Harrad (Duffy 64)
Subs not used: Roberts (GK), Lowe, Andrew, Hooman, Hanks, Graham,
Burnley FC (4-4-2): Grant (GK); Trippier (Long 87), Shackell (C) (Porter 87), Edgar (Duff 46), Mills (Lafferty 70); Wallace (MacDonald 76), McCann (Hewitt 71), Marney, Stanislas (Mee 46); Austin (O'Neill 87), Paterson (Vokes 46)
Subs not used: Stewart (GK), Ings
Referee: Mr. Simon Hooper
Attendance: 1,082 (285 from Burnley)
Robins Star Man: Sido Jombati - Good performance from the Portuguese right back and several moments of absolute class.