The Robins have started their 2017 pre-season schedule with a 2-1 loss away to Oxford City in the pouring rain.
Five of Gary Johnson's summer signings made their first appearance for the club whilst Jon Flatt returned in goal to start his second loan spell.
Jordon Forster, Jamie Grimes, Jerell Sellars, Nigel Atangana and Mohamed Eisa all pulled on the red and white shirt for the first time, and despite lots of promosing moments, were unable to prevent the defeat.
After an even opening few minutes, Oxford took the lead in the 18th minute when a Cheltenham move broke down outside our box, allowing Reece Fleet to slot the ball under Flatt to make it 1-0.
The Robins missed a string of good chances as they searched for a way back into the game. Sellars was arguably the most promising spark, regualry beating multiple defenders with his quick feet. The former Aston Villa forward almost scored a superb solo goal, only for his 30-yard strike to ping back off the inside of the post.
Rain continued to lash down on Oxford's new 3G pitch as both teams struggled to hold on to possession for long but it was the hosts again who managed to find the breakthrough, this time from the penalty spot.
Will Boyle was ruled to have pulled down his man from a corner and Fleet again was on hand to score from 12 yards a minute before the half-time whistle.
Gary Johnson made five changes at the break but his side still struggled to capitalise on the chances they were creating.
Adam Page looked sharp and helped set up lots of dangerous attacks, but it was two new signings who finally helped breach the Oxford goal.
Sellars played in Eisa who made a surging run before beating the keeper from an angle, his first goal for Cheltenham Town.
The Robins pushed hard for an equaliser but couldn't quite find one and the match finished 2-1 to the home side.
Jon Flatt, Jordon Forster (Josh Thomas, 81), Jamie Grimes (Matt Bower, 46), Will Boyle (Dan O'Shaughnessy, 46), Jordan Cranston, Kyle Storer, Harry Pell, Nigel Atangana (Adam Page, 46), Carl Winchester (Mohamed Eisa, 46) Jerell Sellars, Dan Holman (Danny Wright, 46)