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Full Time: Robins 0-2 Coventry

23 July 2013

Cheltenham Town slipped to their first friendly defeat tonight, losing to Coventry City at the Abbey Business Stadium.

A goal either side of half-time was enough for the League One side to consign the Robins to their first reverse of the summer.

Striker Leon Clarke handed his side a narrow lead at the break, and Cyrus Christie sealed the win 17 minutes from time.

The Sky Blues presented Mark Yates' side their toughest test yet but there are plenty of positives to come out of this latest contest, despite the scoreline.

Yates named a strong starting line-up for this one, pairing Russ Penn and Matt Richards in central midfield with Jermaine McGlashan (right) and Ashley Vincent on the flanks. Jamie Cureton joined Terry Gornell up front.

Steven Pressley, the Coventry City boss, deployed a blend of experience and youth as he continues to work under the transfer embargo placed on the troubled club.

Three 17-year-olds started here alongside six first teamers in the first of four pre-season matches this week for the 1987 FA Cup winners.

The home side started well, creating a handful of chances to take the lead in the opening 20 minutes.

Cureton and Gornell fired wide in the opening exchanges, while McGlashan's charge down the middle ended with a scuffed shot rolling wide. Vincent's audacious chance from 40 yards dropped well off-target.

At the other end, Callum Wilson was presented with a decent chance to put his side in front but Scott Brown came to the rescue, pushing away the striker's effort after some good play by Billy Daniels.

McGlashan looked lively down the right and produced a menacing delivery midway through the first half, but Gornell couldn't reach it.

Craig Braham-Barrett made his first start for the club at left back and made a couple of very promising sorties down the left wing, the second of which resulted in a lobbed effort that brought about a smart fingertip save.

The Sky Blues though took the lead nine minutes from the interval, Clarke thumping home a 20-yarder after a neat build up.

As expected the rhythm of the game was disrupted by a flurry of substitutions around the hour mark and as a result the chances dried up, save for Richards' 20-yard free-kick which flew a foot over.

The second goal arrived with 73 minutes on the clock, right back Christie bursting into the box from the right before smashing home an angled drive at the near post.

Coventry finished the game with just two players with first team experience, Jordan Clarke and Wilson, with the remainder of the side comprising Academy players.

There was some late goalmouth action, first Brown dropped to hold Wilson's low effort from 18 yards while Burge pulled off a couple of decent saves to deny Harrison.

Cheltenham Town: S Brown; Jombati, T Brown, Elliott (Lowe 71), Braham-Barrett (Jones 61); McGlashan, Penn © (Taylor 71), Richards (Bowerman, 80), Vincent (Kotwica 67); Cureton (Deering 61), Gornell (Harrison 71). Subs not used: Roberts (Gk), O'Donnell, Hanks, Williams. 

Coventry City: Burge; Christie (Bromley, 76), Finch, Clarke, Haynes; Baker © (Bako, 76), Daniels (Quinn, 76), Barton (Lawton, 76), Lebjoit; Wilson, Clarke (Maund, 76). Subs not used: Gott (Gk).

Referee: S Hooper

Attendance: 872 (199 from Coventry)

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