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Full Time: Leamington 1, Robins 2

18 July 2014

Williams and Richards on target in friendly

Goals from midfielders Harry Williams and Matt Richards gave Cheltenham Town a 2-1 win from their latest pre-season friendly at Conference North side Leamington.
Cheltenham fielded an experimental side with Craig Braham-Barrett at right-back - his first appearance in the position since an unhappy outing at Tamworth in the FA Cup last season - and two trialists in the starting XI.
Joe Curtis, a former Southampton trainee, played in the centre of midfield with young ex-Wigan Athletic forward Rakish Bingham in attack.
Leamington had the first chance of the match when Luke Hubbins dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box but it was not long before Steve Elliott headed onto the roof of the net from a corner taken by Joe Hanks.
Omari Sterling-James of Redditch United was making his second starting appearance of pre-season for Cheltenham and he tested Leamington goalkeeper Neil Collett with a low drive from 18 yards after some good footwork on 15 minutes.
Cheltenham were indebted to on-trial goalkeeper Ben McNamara on the half-hour mark when he rushed out to save a near certain goal when Stefan Moore received a pass from Danny Newton on the left with only the Australian goalkeeper to beat. McNamara narrowed the angle quickly and spread himself to make an excellent save.
Eight minutes later Cheltenham grabbed the lead when Leamington conceded a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Curtis took it left-footed and although the ball bounced off the end of the defensive wall, Harry Williams was well placed to turn and guide the loose ball into the net.
The lead was almost doubled a couple of minutes later when Sterling-James won the ball on the right and fed Williams. He made his way into the box and pulled back for Zack Kotwica, whose shot brushed the top of the crossbar.
After a low-key opening to the second half Cheltenham put the ball in the net following a good move but the effort was ruled out for offside. It was a shame because the play had deserved a goal with Curtis digging the ball out for Williams, who ran into space before releasing Kotwica with a fine pass but he had strayed too far forward.
The Robins were made to pay only seconds later when Leamington scored a well-taken 61st minute equaliser.
Trialist Jack Deaman mis-placed a pass inside his own half and as he tried to recover, Leamington midfielder Danny Newton reached the ball first and played it for Jordan Goddard to fire home from the edge of the box.
Cheltenham made a number of substitutions in the 66th minute, although both the new trialists remained on with Curtis pushed out to the left-hand side of a four-man midfield. Bingham was partnered in attack for the remaining 24 minutes by Bobby Dale.
Leamington almost took the lead on 70 minutes when midfielder Lee Chilton saw a heavily deflected shot bounce back off a post. Moore reacted quickest to the rebound but his mis-hit shot was gathered by McNamara.
Play switched quickly to the other end, however, and Cheltenham regained the lead with a well-worked move in the 72nd minute. Bingham fed Braham-Barrett down the right and his sharply delivered cross was headed in at the far post by Matt Richards.
LEAMINGTON (4-2-3-1): Collett; Delfouenso (Connolly 12), Tank (Trialist 57), Pierpoint, Mace; Batchelor (Edwards 46), Goddard; Hubbins (L.Moore 46), Chilton, Newton (C.Powell 80); S.Moore. Subs not used: Maher (Gk), Naylor
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-3-3): McNamara; Braham-Barrett, Deaman (Brown 66), Elliott, Bowen (Powell 79); Williams (Richards 66), Hanks (Taylor 66), Curtis; Sterling-James (Dale 66), Bingham (Harrison 79), Kotwica (Haworth 66). Sub not used: Carson (Gk)
REFEREE: Ben Cooke

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