Full-time: Bishop's Cleeve 1, Robins 1
A young Cheltenham Town side were held to a 1-1 draw tonight by Bishop’s Cleeve at Kayte Lane in their latest friendly.
The Robins featured the three trialists in centre half Sam Jones (formerly of Blackburn Rovers), midfielder Gus Mufuta (Bristol City) and goalkeeper Rhys Lovett (Rochdale) although the latter was the only player to not feature on the night.
Gary Johnson’s side had to come from behind to take a share of the spoils through Harry Williams in front of a decent crowd.
Adam Page replaced Jordan Wynter after only eight minutes and fashioned the first chance of the evening, delivering an inswinging ball from the right which Harry Williams glanced wide.
It was Kirk Layton that gave Cleeve a spectacular 14th minute lead, smashing one into the top corner from 20 yards after Cheltenham had failed to clear a corner from the right.
There was a string of opportunities for the Robins to pull level by the break, but they couldn’t make them count.
Deaman headed over and saw another saved, Page poked wide while Bobbie Dale lifted one over and angled effort saved. Williams had his chance, but his effort was deflected over.
Shane Bumphrey missed a chance to extend the lead mid-way through the first half, mis-directing his header and it opened up again for Layton a moment later, but he couldn’t repeat his earlier heroics.
Kotwica fired wide with the final effort of the half, dragging a 20 yarder a couple of feet past the right post.
The opening 20 minutes of the second period didn’t amount to much, but Cheltenham pulled level with 24 minutes to play through Williams.
Substitute Kieran Russell turned back a deep cross from the right and the young striker was on hand to bundle it home from six yards.
Jamie Goodwin called Sam Kitscha into a sharp save from distance ten minutes from time, and Bowen curled over a free-kick from the angle of the box by a matter of inches.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-4-2): Kitscha; Hanks, Jones, Deaman (Russell 46), Bowen; Kotwica (Lewis 69), Hall (c), Mafuta, Wynter (Kilkenny 69); Williams, Dale. Sub not used: Lovett.
BISHOP’S CLEEVE (4-4-2): Gilder; Bryan, Stoddart, Hitchman, White (Howard 46); Sholley, Layton (c), Horrell, Major (Goodwin 57), Kennedy (Sitch 69); Bumphrey (Drake 57). Subs not used: Wieczorek, Odiero, Sherry, Young.
REFEREE: M Lytheer.