Steve Cotterill's Bristol City defeat Robins under the floodlights of Whaddon Road.Steve Cotterill's return to Whaddon Road was a happy one with his Bristol City side easing to a 4-1 victory.
An even first half of football saw City take the lead through Baldock but Richards had levelled soon after from the penalty spot. The League One side took control in the second half however and goals from Wilbraham, Bryan and Flint put Cheltenham's defence to the sword in an otherwise enjoyable pre-season friendly.
Lots of positives for Cheltenham but plenty of things to work on too as the 2014-15 quickly approaches.
The return of Steve Cotterill rightly dominated headlines ahead of this game with the Robins legend enjoying his return to Whaddon Road but the football in the first half soon take centre stage with both sets of Robins producing a steady flow of attacking football.
The first five minutes were largely possession-based in the midfield but it was Mark Yates' Robins that recorded the first shot of the evening with Byron Harrison catching hold of a long ball and shooting low only to be denied by the incoming Frankie Fielding.
Cheltenham's next effort was a long distance drive from Steve Elliott and Bristol City weren't too far behind with Wade Elliott attempting his own long distance shot only to see it float wide of Carson's goal.
The home crowd will have been impressed with the performance of their red and white striped side and they were unfortunate not to witness a Byron Harrison goal 14 minutes into proceedings with Gornell's through ball finding the striker but his effort cannoned back off the base of the post.
Cheltenham's chance to take the lead had gone and the League One side punished them by instantly grabbing a goal just one minute later. Sloppy play from Braham-Barrett alowed Wagstaff to steal possession and find Baldock in a central position. The City captain made space and made no mistake when dragging a shot past Trevor Carson.
That goal from the visitors only served to ignite Cheltenham however and they had soon found their way back into the game following chances for both Gornell and Harrison.
Terry Gornell, who was enjoying a solid game, was felled in the area and Matt Richards beat Fielding from the spot to make it 1-1 and drag his side back into the match.
The performance was buoyant from Cheltenham Town looking sharp in the new kit and they had good spells of possession coming into the half-time break with only Korey Smith's long range effort to contend with.
The second half started as an even affair with both teams sharing spells of play for the first 15 minutes but Carson did have to be aware early on and made a good low save from substitute Joe Bryan's drive towards the bottom corner.
Bristol City's Baldock & Wilbraham were starting to boss their way into the game and it took an excellent sliding tackle from Steve Elliott to deny Wilbraham a close range shot but Cheltenham's stronghold didn't last much longer.
A cross from the left wing was sent directly into the area on 67 minutes and Elliott was uncharacteristically muscled off the ball by Wilbraham who headed in from close range to hand his side the lead.
Bristol City had their tails up and they had soon made it 3-1 on the 73rd minute not long after Cheltenham had introduced Andy Haworth to cause the City defence problems. Trevor Carson made a superb save at his far post to deny Joe Bryan a close range header but the rebounded effort left him with no chance and the substitute continued his impact in what was an entertaining fixture.
Cheltenham were struggling to cope with a City side growing in confidence and despite their best efforts Steve Cotterill's side stretched their lead to 4-1 through the towering header of Aden Flint. A looping header from the penalty spot left Carson gripping at thin air and the visitors were now fully in control.
An effort from Harrison narrowly brushed over the crossbar and Bobbie Dale was introduced late on but an Andy Haworth drive at goal was the closest Cheltenham came to reducing the deficit in the dying embers of this friendly.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-4-3): Carson (GK); Brown (Black 77), M Taylor (c) (Deaman 46), Elliott; Vaughan, J Taylor, Richards (Curtis 70), Braham-Barrett; Gornell (Arthur 77), Harrison (Dale 86), Sterling-James (Haworth 67)
SUBS NOT USED: Jones (GK), Kotwica
BRISTOL CITY (3-5-2): Fielding (GK) (Richards 89); Ayling, El-Abd (Flint 46), Williams; Smith (Pack 77), Elliott (Wynter 82), Wagstaff (Little 69), Freeman (Reid 76), Cunningham (Wilbraham 46); Baldock (c) (Burns 82), Emmanuel-Thomas (Bryan 46)
ATTENDANCE: 1,570 (544 from Bristol)