Reserves lose by the odd goal in seven at Cheltenham
Cheltenham Town 4
Deering (44), Elliott (49), Gornell (59), Kotwica (78)
Bristol Rovers 3
Harding (11, 15, 40)
A hat trick from Mitch Harding, in a sparkling first half Rovers display wasn’t enough to prevent an experienced Cheltenham side coming out on top in this reserve team friendly played at the Robins’ training ground this afternoon.
Cheltenham pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time and scored three times after the break to clinch victory in an entertaining match.
Harding’s first goal arrived on 11 minutes when home goalkeeper Harvey Rivers fumbled an Alefe Santos cross from the right and the striker rifled the ball home from close range.
Four minutes later he doubled his, and Rovers, lead when he headed home Matt Gill’s corner from the left.
Harding completed his hat trick with five minutes of the half remaining. Another Gill corner from the left was headed back across goal by Trey Anderson and the striker was on hand to hook in another close range effort.
Cheltenham pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time when a 25 yard screamer by Sam Deery struck the underside of the crossbar on its way past Conor Gough.
Four minutes into the second half former Rovers defender Steve Elliott found time and space in the area to head home David Noble’s corner and just before the hour mark Terry Gornell met Ashley Vincent’s cross and headed past Gough for the equaliser.
The winning goal came on 78 minutes, when Zack Kotwica’s mazy run ended with him drilling a low shot past Gough from the edge of the area.
Rovers: Conor Gough, Josh Southway, Trey Anderson, Pat Keary, Jake Green, Alefe Santos (Danny Greenslade, 70), Jordan Goddard, Matt Gill, Seanan Clucas, Shaquille Hunter (Jamie Lucas, 60), Mitch Harding.
Substitutes: Kieran Preston, Dominic Thomas, Aaron Ward-Baptiste