Cheltenham Town draw level with Port Talbot this evening.
A 1-1 draw was played out at the GenQuip stadium this evening with Darryl Duffy having to equalise for Cheltenham Town.
The Welsh Premier hosts took the lead through Lee John but Duffy struck just after half time to claim a draw. Nothing much of not happened after the equaliser but both managers will be happy with a decent workout here tonight.
A roasting hot day set the scene here at the GenQuip Stadium with the Robins travelling the short distance from their training base to face Welsh Premier side Port Talbot. The Steelmen, who finished seventh in their division last season, were the opponents for Cheltenham's second pre-season friendly of the 2012-13 campaign. Mark Yates gave Tristan Plummer another chance to impress on the right wing this evening and he also started former Everton goalkeeper Adam Davies in goal. Jordan Hibbert, another trialist who started out with Chelsea, was also named on the substitutes bench after leaving Portuguese club Farense. Alan Bennett started his first game of the pre-season schedule and McGlashan was handed a breather.
The game started with the host very much on the front foot with Cheltenham still settling into the game but Cheltenham had the first opportunity on goal through jeff Goulding. The striker linked up well with Sam Deering but his lofted effort was just over the bar. Port Talbot hit back moments later with a long range shot from Crowell but it was wide of goal. The Steelmen had another good opportunity on ten minutes when Blane headed Crowell's freekick in at goal but Adam Davies was equal to the effort. Port Talbot did take the lead after fifteen minutes after Sam Deering sloppily lost play 25 yards from goal. The ball was intercepted and the pass found Lee John who made no mistake in slamming the ball past Davies for 1-0.
Cheltenham has a good opportunity to draw level on 25 minutes when Duffy was brought down on the edge of the area but Billy Jones' effort was saved low by Talbot keeper Richards. Darryl Duffy was able to fire in a shot at goal mid-way through the half but it was deflected wide although the referee chose to give a goal kick. In truth it was all very relaxed by Cheltenham who has a tough training session earlier in the day. Port Talbot, despite being in the lead, weren't controlling the game however and the Robins continued to seek an equaliser through into the second half.
Half Time: Port Talbot 1-0 Cheltenham Town
The second half began with a bang coming courtesy of former Swansea striker Darryl Duffy. The Scot caught hold of a Sam Deering through ball and side-stepped the defender before shooting beyond Richards to level the scoreline. They were on the attack once again ten minutes later when Tristan Plummer thumped a devilish cross across goal but Bagasan Graham could only steer his shot wide of goal. Sido Jombati, Harry Hooman, Danny Andrew and Kaid Mohamed were all introduced at the expense of Steve Elliott, Alan Bennett, Billy Jones and Tristan Plummer on 59 minutes as Mark Yates looked to change his side. Russ Penn wasn't far behind and replaced Marlon pack on 63 minutes,
Cheltenham continued to ease forward at a relaxed pace but they were firmly in control of this fixture now with both sides making numerous changes in the heat of the evening. Youth team player Joe Hanks was given a run out on 75 minutes at the expense of Sam Deering in what was his first ever game with the senior team. Port Talbot did have a chance ten minutes from time when Wright ploughed through the middle of the defence but Sido Jombati was on hand to produce a fine tackle to deny the striker.
Jombati's presence on the right wing really added to Cheltenham's attack in the latter stages with Port Talbot tiring but it was Danny Andrew who almost created a winner with a couple of searching crosses from the left wing. Port Talbot managed to hold off any attack, including an effort from youngster Joe Hanks, that the Robins threw at them in the latter stages however and Cheltenham had to settle for a draw here this evening.
Full Time: Port Talbot 1-1 Cheltenham Town
Port Talbot FC (4-2-3-1): Richards (GK); De-Vulgt (Sheehan 63), Hancock, Belle (Coles 63), Bloom (Keddle 63); Crowell (Harling 46), Blane (France 74); John (Wright 63), Thomas (Payne 21 (Biddescombe 80)). Brooks (Phillips 69); White (Saunders 60)
Cheltenham Town FC (4-4-2): Davies (GK); Lowe, Elliott (Jombati 59), Bennett (C) (Hooman 59), Jones (Andrew 59); Plummer (Mohamed 59), Deering (Hanks 75), Pack (Penn 63), Graham; Goulding (Hibbert 69), Duffy
Subs not used: Brown (GK)
Referee: Mr. Brian James
Robins Star Man: Darryl Duffy - The Scot was his usual fiery self this evening even if it was just a friendly and his goal was a well worked manoeuvre.