Reserve loss at the hand of Harriers this afternoon.
The Robins lost today's behind closed doors reserve friendly with Kidderminster Harriers 2-1.
Two first half goals from the visitors took firm control of the match but a much better second half performance from the Robins did bring about a well worked Owen Donaghue goal although they couldn't force an equaliser.
All in all it was precious match fitness for a number of the first team squad and a good opportunity for a number of the youth players playing in front of the senior management.
A behind closed doors reserve fixture versus Kidderminster Harriers was scheduled for this afternoon in an effort to hand important match fitness to members of the first team squad. Harry Hooman, Danny Andrew, Bagasan Graham, Chris Zebroski, Russ Penn, Jeff Goulding and Darryl Duffy all started the fixture this afternoon. Kidderminster named a number of first team players amongst their reserve side today and there was also a familiar face with former Robins trialist Manny Panther taking up a role in the centre of midfield.
The game kicked off on an even footing but Cheltenham looked to exploit the wings with the pace of Chris Zebroski and Bagasan Graham. The Robins were unable to carve out any meaningful opportunities however and it was instead Kidderminster that drew first blood in this friendly match. An attack broke down the left wing through Briggs and his low cross found Gittings who made no mistake in driving the ball into the bottom corner beyond Reaney's reach. That early lead was a deserved one and the visitors continued to push forward as the dominant force in this game with Manny Panther putting in a good shift amongst his misfield opponents.
It was 2-0 after 30 minutes in this match when Harry Hooman was adjudged to have handled the ball inside his own area somewhat harshly. Kidderminster right back Lee Vaughan stepped up to divert his spot kick past Reaney into the top corner and hand Harriers firm control of this reserve fixture.
It took Harriers' second goal to really spur Cheltenham on and they finally started to settle and play some decent football. A corner for the Robins kindly fell to Jeff Goulding at the far post but his downwards header was well cleared off the line by the Harriers defence and Chris Zebroski was later denied by Lewis in goal after the forward had broken the defensive line and fired in a low shot. It was a much better performance in the final ten minutes of the half but the Robins still found themselves behind at the break with it all to do.
Half Time: Cheltenham XI 0-2 Kidderminster XI
It was a much more positive start by Cheltenham Town in the second half and Joe Hanks could have had the Robins back in the game after decent play from Duffy but his eventual shot was well blocked by Lewis in the Harriers goal. The central midfielder had another effort just two minutes later when Chris Zebroski's superb cross but his effort was again well saved by Lewis.
Kidderminster stood firm to an improved Cheltenham attack but Ryan Rowe ensured Dale Reaney was still alert with a strong 10 yard strike forcing the young goalkeeper into a very good save.
The Robins were much improved and they found a foothold in this game courtesy of substitute Owen Donaghue. A long ball from Danny Andrew fell to the feet of Duffy who made a terrific run down the right wing. The Scot's low cross into the box was met by Owen Donaghue who had ran at least 30 yards before striking well past Lewis in the goal.
There was some really good stuff being played by the Robins late on in this half and much of it was being inspired by the younger members of the squad such as Adam Powell and Joe Hanks with the latter producing another fine save from Lewis with a thunderous drive on 88 minutes. Another young member of the team, Dale Reaney, was called into action just a minute later making a superb point blank save denying Peniket from 6 yards.
A much improved performance in the second half wasn't enough for the Robins come 90 minutes but there were reasons to be positive with a number of young players impressing in front of both Mark Yates and Russell Milton.
Full Time: Cheltenham XI 1-2 Kidderminster XI
Cheltenham Town FC (4-4-2): Reaney (GK); Gonzalo, Hooman, Hibbert, Andrew; Zebroski (Donaghue 69), Hanks, Penn (Powell 75), Graham; Goulding, Duffy
Subs not used: Kirkpatrick-Jones, Bowen
Kidderminster Harriers FC (4-4-2): Lewis (GK); Vaughan (Gowling 63), Austin, Sharpe (Dunkley 46), Demetriou; Briggs, Panther (Johnson 65), Trialist (Blissett 58), Gittings; Rowe (Peniket 83), Malbon
Robins Star Man: Joe Hanks - Very busy in midfield and made some intelligent runs when on the attack.