All Square At The Spiers & Hartwell Jubilee Stadium
Cheltenham Town kick off the 2012-13 pre-season off with a 1-1 draw against Evesham United this afternoon.
A goaless first half saw Cheltenham as the dominant side but a second half own goal from trialist Colin Hamilton handed Evesham the lead. Cheltenham piled forward and got an equaliser through Tristan Plummer but the game ended as a draw and a good workout for Mark Yates' Robins.
Bright sunshine and a hunger for football brought two sets of Robins fans to the Spiers & Hartwell Jubilee Stadium this afternoon with Evesham hosting Cheltenham Town.
Mark Yates was set to play two different sides in both halves this afternoon aiming for a solid 45 minutes for the majority of his players. It would be the first time Billy Jones and Sam Deering had competed in a Cheltenham shirt and it was also a big day for a number of trialists looking to impress the Robins boss.
Evesham had a few rcognisable faces including Luke Corbett and Marcus Palmer who would take on their former club Cheltenham this afternoon.
Cheltenham Town First Half XI (4-3-3): Brown (GK); Jombati, Farkins, Elliott, Jones; Pack, Deering, Andrew; McGlashan, Goulding, Graham
Evesham United kicked their game off well and forced Billy Jones into a decent interception early on when they forced an attack down the wing but Cheltenham soon settled and saw a speculative Andrew strike fly high over Evesham's goal. Danny Andrew was involved once again when he whipped in a superb cross only for McGlashan to head just over the bar on 11 minutes.
Cheltenham were settling into the game and fast with McGlashan pulling plenty of strings on the right wing with his pace. The winger created another good opportunity but Goulding's header was comfortably saved by Coleman. Jermaine was involved once again moments later when Billy Jones delivered a superb ball to his feet and through on goal but his effort was a poor one and was struck over the bar.
New signing Sam Deering was getting fully involved in his first match as a Cheltenham player and the dogged midfielder almost grabbed the opener with a 20 yard effort which was only just kept out by Coleman. Bagasan Graham was next up with a decent strike following a burst of pace past Henry Eze. The strike was wide but it was decent iniative from the young player.
Evesham had a good opportunity on 39 minutes when Farkin blatantly pulled Gierdl back just out side the area but former Robins youth player Luke Corbett rather sloppily dispatched his freekick into the wall and Scott Brown remained untested. Corbett was given another opportunity again five minutes from time but he dragged a shot wide of goal from 20 yards out. The half ended with a stalemate and Cheltenham prepared to make a full team switch at the break.
Half Time: Evesham 0-0 Cheltenham
Cheltenham Town Second Half XI: Smith (GK); Lowe, Hooman, Hamilton, Wellington; Hughes, Penn, Farrah; Plummer, Duffy, Mohamed
A completely different looking Cheltenham side took to the pitch in the second half with a number of trialists with a point to prove. One of those trialists, Tristan Plummer, almost made an instant impact with a cross ball to Mark Hughes, another trialist. The midfielder couldn't quite connect to get a shot in at goal but the ball did deflect goalwards and required a clearance from Rory Wood. Darryl Duffy was played through moments later following a deflected through ball but substitute goalkeeper Nick Rhodes was quick to pounce at his feet and deny the effort.
Despite Cheltenham's pressure it was Evesham United that took a shock lead when Agbor sailed a cross into the area from the left wing and on trial defender Hamilton headed into his own net past Smith. 1-0 and game on for Evesham.
Cheltenham weren't about to roll over even if it was just a friendly and Tristan Plummer forced a very good save from Nick Rhodes with a devilish strike on the edge of the area. Darryl Duffy followed up on the rebound but Rhodes was on hand once again to parry that effort away too. Duffy was denied with a clearance off the line on 61 minutes following good attacking work by Mohamed. His shot found it's way to the Scot but his effort was cleared well by Henry Eze.
It got worse for Cheltenham on 68 minutes when Lowe was adjudged to have brought down Palmer in the box. Luke Corbett stepped up but saw his penalty well saved by former Swindon keeper Phil Smith and the score remained at 1-0. The action up front calmed down for a while but Leigh Downing could have stretched his side's lead by a further goal when a defensive mishap allowed him the time and space to shoot but it was a poor effort and Smith was able to let it dribble wide.
Cheltenham did get what was probably a deserved goal on 80 minutes and it was trialist Tristan Plummer who grabbed it. The former Bristol City forward twisted and weaved until he found an opening and his shot was sweetly delivered into the bottom corner of the goal. A very good goal and an impressive performance from the 22 year-old.
Evesham had the odd flutter at goal but Phil Smith seemed strong and quick off his line to deny the hosts. The game ended as a draw with Mark Yates more than happy with a good workout for his players.
Full Time: Evesham 1-1 Cheltenham
Evesham United (4-4-2): Coleman (GK) (Thomas 60); Wood, Masutto (Osborne 46), Robinson, Eze, Gierdl (MacKenzie 51), Downing, Hicks, Corbett (Gierdl 81), Tulloch (Palmer 51), Agbor
Subs not used: Jones
Referee: Mr. Kevin Morris
Robins Star Man: Tristan Plummer - Got his goal and looked lively. Decent performance.