Full-time: Robins 1, Cardiff City 1
Honours even, but once again Cheltenham Town impressed in their latest friendly against Cardiff City at the World of Smile Stadium.
They were denied the win four minutes from time, but that will not worry Gary Johnson who will be encouraged by his young side's latest refreshing display with only one match to play before the season gets underway at Lincoln City in ten days time.
Bobbie Dale started up front alongside Danny Wright, with James Rowe joining Amari Morgan-Smith on the absentee list with a slight knock.
Waters, who grabbed a brace against Bristol Rovers four days ago, dropped back to support the pair at the tip of the midfield diamond.
Daniel Parslow has impressed in central defence during the pre-season and made his first start since penning a one-year deal to join the club.
Trialist JJ Hooper was sent on for the final eight minutes in attack at the expense of Billy Waters.
Cheltenham acquitted themselves well against the Championship side and were the better side on the night.
Dale gave the Robins the advantage at the break with his first goal of the summer, smashing home from 14 yards after being put through by a deft flick by Billy Waters.
It may have been a friendly but Stuart O’Keefe stretched the idea a little when he crashed into Harry Pell in the 10th minute, drawing an angry reaction from the Cheltenham bench.
The former Crystal Palace man had a mixed first half and later surrendered the ball to Waters to allow the striker to break, but that time he miscued his through ball to Dale and the chance went begging.
Dillon Phillips had just one save to make to prevent Matthew Kennedy’s dipping free-kick finding the top left-hand corner.
At the other end, David Marshall pulled off an even better stop to deny Danny Wright after the frontman met Jack Munns delivery from the left with a glancing header.
Adam Le Fondre was one of two substitutions made by the Welsh side at the interval and the former Rotherham United and Reading man wasted a golden opportunity to pull his side level moments after the restart, firing over from 12 yards.
Pell’s deflected shot went close to dropping in,
Substitute Javi Guerra, the Spanish striker who scored 15 goals for Real Valladolid a couple of seasons ago, called Phillips into a diving save after a smart piece of individual skill to tee up a chance from the edge of the box.
Harry Williams also came off the bench to test Wilson, Cardiff’s replacement goalkeeper, with a couple of efforts in quick succession.
The first was beaten away for a corner, and the second flew narrowly over.
But Guerra squared the match four minutes from time, taking advantage of some space to head home Thomas O’Sullivan’s corner from the right.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-4-2): Phillips; Barthram, Parslow, Downes (c), McLennan; Pell, Storer, Munns, Waters (Hooper 82); Dale (Williams 52), Wright. Subs not used: Kitscha (Gk), Hall, Hanks, Kotwica, Bowen.
CARDIFF CITY (4-4-2): Marshall (Wilson 46); Barnum-Bobb, Ajayi, Nugent, Tutonda (James 82); Noone (O’Sullivan 66), Kiss (Patten 82), O’Keefe (Wharton 66) , Kennedy (Abbruzzese 76); Harris (Le Fondre 46), Doyle (Guerra 66). Subs not used: Velikonja, Watkins.
REFEREE: J Busby
ATTENDANCE: 886 (31 from Cardiff)