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Report: Cheltenham 1-2 Oxford United

13 September 2016

Friendly defeat for the Robins

A Cheltenham Town XI put in a good performance against a strong Oxford United XI but ultimately lost 2-1 at Seasons Training Ground.

Played in heavy rain and flashes of lighting, the first half was an even affair with both teams having chances to score. Trialist Ben Kalambay could only shoot straight at the keeper when Jack Munns had put him through and Jonny Smith had a couple of long shots that were only just off target.

Kane Hemmings should have opened the scoring but he couldn't keep a header on target from six yards.

The deadline was finally broken in the 40th minute when defender Easah Suliman rose highest to meet a Jack Munns corner and power home a header from eight yards.

That gave the Robins a 1-0 lead going into the break.

After the break Billy Waters came on to replace Smith up front but the action all came at the other end.

Highly rated Arsenal loanee Dan Crowley proved the difference in the second half, dropping deep from his striker role to cause Cheltenham problems.

Robins' goalkeeper Calum Kitscha was also on top form, producing a string of fine saves, mostly to deny Crowley but he could do nothing about the equaliser.

Crowley picked the ball up on the edge of the box before smashing his shot into the top corner from 15 yards to make it 1-1.

Oxford continued to dominate and were soon ahead when Crowley beat Suliman to the ball inside the Cheltenham box and earned his team a penalty.

He picked himself up and took the penalty, sending Kitscha the wrong way to score his second of the game.

Eventually Cheltenham managed to get a foothold in the second half and started to put pressure back on the visitors.

Waters, Koby Arthur and Munns were all lively and it took several fine saves from United keeper Benji Buchel to keep Oxford ahead.

Most notably a fine reaction save from an Aaron Downes header and a brilliant diving save to push away a George Lloyd strike from 25 yards.

The final chance fell to Waters after good work from Arthur & Jordan Lymn but he could only fire straight at Buchel as Oxford ran out 2-1 winners.

Cheltenham team:
Calum Kitscha,
Jordan Lymn, Aaron Downes (c) (Taylor Cordell, 67), Easah Suliman, Matt Bower
Jack Munns, Danny Whitehead, Lee Llewellyn (George Lloyd, 67)
Koby Arthur, Ben Kalambay (Trialist), Jonny Smith (Billy Waters, 46)

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