Both teams drew a blank in the first half with neither side producing anything of not but it was much more open game in the second half and either side could have stolen the lead but 90 minutes soon came round and neither Cheltenham nor York had managed a breakthrough. A point apiece here at Bootham Crescent this weekend.
The Robins were taking on York City for the first time since 2004 where they did everything but condemn York to relegation with a 2-0 victory. An own goal and a Paul Brayson penalty did the job that day and the travelling Robins would be hoping for a similar result this weekend. Mark Yates made just the one change to his Cheltenham Town team here this afternoon with the combative Russell Penn replacing Sam Deering in midfield.
The sun was out but it was a chilly afternoon at Bootham Crescent signalling the start of an Autumn season and the Robins started out on the front feet against a side still settling into their new surroundings of the Football League. It had been 2004 since City had last been in the League and they were keen to bounce back from the midweek defeat to Burton Albion. City carved out the first real opportunity of this game when Patrick McLaughlin broke away from his marker to slip Coulson through on goal but the former Barnsley forward could only find the grateful arms of Scott Brown at the near post. It wasn't long before Cheltenham had an opportunity themselves but Harrad found his shot blocked well by goalkeeper Ingham following decent work by Zebroski on the left. A long ranged effort from McGlashan was next for the Robins but the winger was being tightly followed by Fyfield who was giving him no room to breathe.
It was a tightly contested half with both teams failing to carve any clear cut opportunities but York did close on 31 minutes when Jason Walker unleashed a 25 yard drive at goal only for Brown to make the save. The Robins were also finding it hard to unlock the York defence and were restricted to long shots but Marlon Pack's effort on 32 minutes failed to hit the target. Efforts from Shaun Harrad and Jason Walker tried but failed to breach the deadlock and even the left foot of Jombati failed to make an impact on York's goal. It really was a half of few chances and not too much to report on with both sides taking the stalemate into the break with them.
Half time: York 0-0 Cheltenham
York City made a half time change with Lee Bullock replacing central defender Chris Smith but it was Cheltenham that made the early movements in this game with Darren Carter firing a 25 yard freekick wide of goal. Sido Jombati found himself in the book after 51 minutes following a clumsy challenge but York's freekick was wasted and Penn was able to guard against a second wave from Coulson. York were having a good spell early on and they could have seriously tested the Robins had McLaughlin been able to get a shot on target after 53 minutes but the winger messed it up completely and it dribbled harmlessly wide of goal. They were at it again moments later when Coulson fired a dangerous low drive back into the area only for Walker's strike to be blocked and diverted past the post. A close call for the Robins and one they needed to heed with York looking bright.
Lanre Oyebanjo came desperately close to opening the scoring for the hosts with a well driven effort but a block from Steve Elliott spared the blushes of his team-mates and Cheltenham continued to search for some control of the game which was now being driven by York. City had their tails up and Brown was called upon to make a vital stop when Lee Bullock managed to strike the ball from a right wing cross from close range only for the Robins number one to deny him with superb reactions. Cheltenham needed to change something and that they did with Shaun Harrad being removed for Kaid Mohamed on 73 minutes. That change almost brought about a goal when the substitute met McGlashan's cross with a decent strike only to see it cannon off the bar and down onto the line. There were claims it had crossed the goal mouth but the linesman was having none of it. Seconds later York were forced into their third and final change when McReady, a half time substitution, departed with what looked to be a dislocated shoulder and was replaced by Matty Blair.
78 minutes and Sam Deering replaced Darren Carter with the Robins much more settled following a decent York spell. Jamal Fyfield was booked ten minutes from time for another foul on Jermaine McGlashan but Zebroski couldn't steer his header on target from Pack's chipped freekick. Marlon Pack tried his luck from distance twice during the closing stages of the game but neither were on target and the game remain deadlocked with York proving just as wasteful up front. A lack of clear cut chances was probably the story of this game and the full time whistle called time on a 0-0 draw and a point for either side.
Full Time: York 0-0 Cheltenham
York City FC (4-3-3): Ingham (GK); Oyebanjo, Smith (Bullock 46), Doig, Fyfield; Smith (McReady 64 (Blair 75)), Parslow,McLaughlin; Coulson, Walker, Chambers
Subs not used: Musselwhite (GK), Johnson, Challinor, Taylor
Cheltenham Town FC (4-2-3-1): Brown (GK); Jombati, Bennett (C), Elliott, Jones; Pack, Carter (Deering 78); McGlashan (Goulding 89), Penn, Zebroski; Harrad (Mohamed 73)
Subs not used: Roberts (GK), Lowe, Hooman, Duffy
Referee: Mr. Scott Mathieson
Attendance: 3,477 (196 from Cheltenham)
Robins Star Man: Steve Elliott - Dominant in the air and a solid defensive performance for the central defender.