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Cheltenham 1-3 Blades - report

21 July 2015

Two late goals secured another pre-season victory - Michael Higdon and Jose Baxter scored after 89 and 90 minutes respectively to beat Conference side Cheltenham Town.

They came after Che Adams opened the scoring and Amari Morgan-Smith levelled for the home side.

New signing Woolford was named as a substitute at Whaddon Road but Harris and Cuvelier missed out as precautionary measures. Before kick-off boss Adkins indicated that the starting XI would get 60 minutes with the subs being introduced for the last half hour and vice versa for Thursday's fixture at Exeter City.

It was quickly apparent that Adams was featuring as a central striker, as opposed to left wing in the previous game, and it paid off within 13 minutes when he gave United the lead. A neat through ball from Calvert-Lewin saw ADAMS beat goalkeeper Phillips at his near post.

Cheltenham's major first half threats came from set-pieces, but Storer poked wide, Pell fired over the crossbar and Parslow's header was off target.

For United there were half-chances for Di Girolamo, Reed and Adams, whilst close to half-time Calvert-Lewin almost turned in a deep free-kick from James Wallace, but there was a further piece of action in first-half injury-time. McGahey's clearance was intercepted by Munns and the ball fell invitingly for an unmarked MORGAN-SMITH to beat Long from close range.

Dimaio and Di Girolamo tried their luck from distance early in the second half, whilst a Downes header was saved by Long before the anticipated changes on the hour.

Higdon headed Campbell-Ryce's cross into the arms of Kitscha as United's mass changes settled quicker than their home counterparts. For Cheltenham, Dale created himself space but shot across goal and wide.

There was little goalmouth action until late on, when, on 89 minutes, United claimed an impressive second. Woolford's corner was half cleared but HIGDON retreated to the edge of box to fire home an unstoppable half-volley, right in front of the Blades fans.

Two added minutes were announced and there was enough time for the Blades to claim a third. This time Murphy progressed down the left and his pass inside felt invitingly for BAXTER, whose first touch secured him a shooting opportunity and he made no mistake.

Cheltenham: Phillips, McLennan, Storer, Downes, Barthram, Pell, Wright, Morgan-Smith, Waters, Munns, Parslow. Subs: Kitscha, Bowen, Williams, Deaman, Dale, Kotwica, Wynter, Hall, Rowe.

Blades: Long (Howard 60), Dimaio (Freeman 60), McGahey (Collins 60), K. Wallace (McEveley 60), McFadzean (Woolford 60), Scougall (Campbell-Ryce 60), J. Wallace (Basham 60), Reed (Baxter 60), Calvert-Lewin (Murphy 60), Di Girolamo (Higdon 60), Adams (McNulty 60).

Attendance: 1,247 (236 Blades fans)

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