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Full Time: Evesham 1, Robins 1

12 July 2014

Haworth earns the Robins a point away at near-neighbours Evesham United.

Cheltenham drew 1-1 away at Evesham in their second pre-season friendly of the summer.
An early goal from Ashley Edenborough gave Evesham something to hold onto throughout the game and in truth, the Robins rarely threatened and chances were few and far between but Andy Haworth plucked an equaliser near the death to claim a draw.
Mark Yates' young side had their best chances through Cureton and Hylton in the first and second halves but on both occasions they were thwarted by Kevin Sawyer. It took a solid cross from Vaughan and an unmarked Haworth to claim a draw despite Evesham's valiant efforts.
Jamie Cureton was perhaps the main story in a Cheltenham team announced at the start of the game with a side that included mainly trialists and young professionals. The veteran, who was released in May, started alongside Culley in Cheltenham's attack.
Evesham were largely in control for much of the first half with their front pairing of Lance Smith and Ashley Edenborough causing plenty of problems for the Robins back four. After a couple of hopeful efforts from afar they broke the deadlock on 8 minutes. Nathan Jackson's devilish cross from the left wing found the diving header of Edenborough and trialist goalkeeper McNamara couldn't get across quick enough to make the save.
The lead was no more than what Evesham deserved however and they could have had another when Lance Smith raced towards goal and rounded the wandering McNamara. Fortunately Smith's eventual shot lacked power and Deaman was back in time to clear off the line.
The Robins settled after that but it took them 23 minutes to register their first real effort on goal with Zack Kotwica's dragged shot offering little as it dribbled wide of goal.
Former Evesham goalkeeper McNamara was called into action to save another effort from Smith but Cheltenham's best attacking movement came when the goalkeeper's clearance was well controlled by Kotwica and the winger produced some fine skill to lift the ball over the head of left-back Binns before sweeping down the right-hand side. His pass back into the path of Cureton allowed the veteran striker a shot at goal but Sawyer made the save before making another one at the back post from Bowen's header which proved to be Cheltenham's final meaningful attack of the half.
Cheltenham were much more positive from the start of the second half and Kotwica's 20 yard effort had to be tipped over by Sawyer but it was promising for the Robins.
There was a formation change soon after with Cheltenham moving into a 4-2-31 formation and they continued to build more pressure which almost saw Jack Deaman fire in a sensational goal but his volley was unfortunately over the bar.
Efforts from Gornell and Haworth continued to give the Robins hope but their best opportunity came on the 76th minute when Redditch trialist Jermaine Hylton forced a good save from Sawyers - an act which proved to be his last before being subbed off.
A goalmouth scramble caused by a searching cross from Harrison almost brought about the equaliser but Sterling-James' effort was beaten away by Goddard in goal.
Still the Robins, clad in blue and black stripes, pushed and they soon found an equaliser courtesy of two of the club's new signings. Lee Vaughan's cross found an unmarked Andy Haworth at the far post and his neat finish made it 1-1.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-4-2): McNamara (GK); Hanks (Vaughan 69), Streete (Brown 69), Deaman, Black (Braham-Barrett 46); Kotwica (Hylton 58), Wallace (Taylor 69), Williams (Haworth 69), Bowen (Richards 58); Culley (Sterling-James 58), Cureton (Gornell 46 (Harrison 69))

SUBS NOT USED: Reynolds (GK), Hall

EVESHAM UNITED (4-4-2): Sawyer (GK) (Goddard 79); Jackson (Sauntson 83), Sysum (Dovey 54), Wellon, Binns (Baldwin 58); Evans (Tambling 62), Jackson, Wood (Harding 46 (Saunders 90+4)), Slack (Watts 62); Edenborough (Palmer 55), Smith (Saunders 87)

SUBS NOT USED: Hitchman

ATTENDANCE: 454


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