Saturday 19 July 2008 - The Causeway - kick off 3.00pm
||Evans, G Jones (Rollo 75), Rollo (c) (Slocombe 45), Coupe (Holland 45), Cochlin (Moore 45), Badman (Hogg 45), Gibb, Ellis (Rogers 45),
Gilroy, Paul (Gosling 60), Gosling (Wood 45). subs not used: none
|man of the match:
|league position: n/a
||next match: Oxford Utd (H)
The Relish family affair of City’s second pre-season outing ended all-square as they battled out a goalless draw with Cinderford Town. The Forest of Dean side are managed by Lee Relish, son of City boss John, and they gave his Dad’s side a tough test with just three weeks to go before the start of the 2008-09 Blue Square South season. City’s squad was missing a number of players, including Steve Jones (holiday), Darren Edwards (wedding) and Stuart Douglas (traffic), plus Steve Perrin and Sekani Simpson, but they were boosted by Birmingham City trainees Deneiro Moore and Tom Ellis, who were given 45 minutes each, plus Martin Slocombe who continued to feature while looking for a new league club.
Having already held Blue Square South rivals Newport County and Southern League Premier side Gloucester City to draws, Cinderford were always going to be a tough opponent and despite dominating possession in the first half City couldn’t find a way past Matt Bath in the home goal. Ali Gibb – who played the full 90 minutes – and Gethin Jones were combining well down the right flank, and Dave Gilroy and Martin Paul both looked lively up front – each having efforts from the edge of the box in the opening 15 minutes. City’s main attacking threat was Jamie Gosling on the left with his direct running, and he almost ended one weaving run by putting City ahead on 23 minutes, only to get crowded out as he set himself to shoot. He was also involved in City’s best chance of the half, finding space in the box to pull the ball back for Paul, who saw his shot hacked off the line by a Cinderford defender. At the other end of the pitch Paul Evans had largely been a spectator, although big centre-forward Jason Price meant Paul Cochlin and Matt Coupe had to stay alert.
The usual slew of half-time substitutions saw City make six changes and this seemed to disrupt their pattern of play, the home side seeing more of the ball and looking more of a threat. Around the hour mark only a smart block from Evans prevented them taking the lead. Gosling returned to the fray just after this, replacing Paul to play alongside Gilroy – another full 90-minuter. The closing 20 minutes saw City regain the upper hand, with Jason Wood testing Bath with a low shot and Gilroy firing across the face of goal. The final chance of the game also fell to last season’s top scorer but he failed to hit the target, ensuring neither member of the Relish family had bragging rights over the Saturday tea-time table.