Cheltenham Town's 2019/20 pre-season campaign got underway at Southern Premier Central Division side Stratford Town with a 2-1 defeat.
Luke Varney came off the bench to find the net in a 90 minutes that saw Michael Duff's side use 20 different players in their opening run out in the build up to the new League Two campaign.
There were opportunities for the fans who made the trip to watch Rohan Ince and Tahvon Campbell in action for the first time, while trialists Kyle Rowley and Reece Cole were handed trial opportunities.
And it was Cole who forced the first opportunity of the game on five minutes when his shot from 25 yards was saved by Elliott Taylor.
Academy second year Grant Horton then sent Campbell through minutes later with a fine forward ball, and the summer arrival saw his lobbed attempt clip the top of the bar.
Stratford, who reached the Southern Premier play-offs last season, nosed in front however midway through the half.
Nabil Shariff did well to force his way into the box and unleashed a powerful strike that flew across goal and into the back of the net.
Cheltenham looked to level from a Chris Clements free kick on 32 minutes that was saved well by Taylor, who was busy again shortly after to keep out a Campbell strike after Ince had steered an eye-catching ball into the strikers path.
The final chance of the first half saw Rhys Lovett make an excellently timed smothering save to deny Joel Gyasi who had found space in the box.
Clements produced the first effort of the second half only to see his shot saved, while Lovett used his feet to deny Kynan Isaac after the powerful left sider had broken through.
A raft of changes on 61 minutes saw the Robins bring on eight new faces, and although Varney had the ball in the back of the net shortly after only to see it disallowed, it would be the hosts who would double their advantage on 76 minutes.
Louis Morrison rose highest from a set piece to head in to install some daylight between the two sides.
Late urgency saw Cheltenham look to force their way back into the game. Ryan Broom supplied a cross for Varney that bounced over after hitting the ground.
The experienced forward did find the net though shortly after when good work by George Lloyd saw the ball eventually find Varney in the box, and he had time to pick his spot and halve the scoreline.
Lloyd could have almost nicked a draw late on, however his close range header from a Conor Thomas corner was snatched out of the air by Stratford replacement goalkeeper Sam Lomax.
STRATFORD: Taylor, Cox, Endall, Morrison, Fishwick, Lawton, Gyasi, Lukinga, Shariff, Wilson, Isaac, Fisher, Lomax, Tumelty, Ford, Dovey, Eze, Hancocks, Parker, Mukota, Wilder, Wreh
ROBINS: Lovett (Flinders 61), Rowley, Raglan (Long 61), Cole (Brennan 78), Clements (Thomas 61), Campbell (Varney 61), Boyle (Debayo 61), Addai (Lloyd 61), Ince (Tozer 61), Horton (Lawrence 78), Brennan (Broom 61)
Subs not used: Stanton, Basford, Atwell