Bishops Cleeve extended their pre-season voodoo over Gloucester City with a 1-0 at Kayte Lane.
The Tigers have not won against the Villagers during Dave Mehew’s tenure as manager, and the City boss will be keen to iron out the defensive mishaps which handed Cleeve an easy goal before the season starts.
Starting with a strong side, featuring triallist and former City loanee Ben Hunt, Gloucester looked physical against a more diminutive Cleeve side.
Carl Brown, up front for the home side, looked sharp from the off, testing the reactions of Matt Coupe. It was Will Gaiten, for Cleeve, who had the first shot on goal, firing wide of Mike Green’s right post 12 minutes in.
City were quick on the break, but failed to capitalise from a corner on 22 minutes, Jack Harris, playing on the wing, heading the ball wide of the goal. Sam Rawlings, playing in Harris’ normal left back position, looked solid and assured, dropping back to clear the ball from danger after Green rushed out of his box on the half hour mark.
When Coupe brought down Lamin Sankho in the box on 33 minutes it looked like Cleeve would be handed an early goal from the penalty spot, but experienced midfielder Mike Jackson dinked the ball over the bar, as manager Alex Sykes noted down penalties on his ‘things to practice’ list.
City’s Tom Webb, exploiting his pace on the right wing, burst through towards goal from the resulting goal kick and fired away a shot but it missed the target.
Moments later a poor back pass left Green exposed at the back, thinking Coupe would clear the City keeper took too much time to grab for the ball, allowing it to roll under him to the feet of McKeown for an easy tap in.
Before the break Darren Edwards had a shot fly just over the bar, after collecting a pin point cross from Lewis Hogg.
After the break new City triallist, Eddie Stevens, a former youth player with Swindon Town, made an appearance in place of Harris. Hogg’s dipping shot bounced back from the underside of the cross bar as the Tigers looked for an equaliser.
Again Rawlings looked assured at the back, slowing the game down and blocking the threat from the Cleeve front men. With a trio of substitutions City shuffled the pack with Darren Mullings moving to centre half and Scott Wilson partnering Adam Mann upfront.
Mullings fired a snap shot from a set piece on 59 minutes, before Wilson fired a ball over the bar. With the unfamiliar line up City looked lively but couldn’t capitalise against a solid looking Cleeve side.
Bishops Cleeve: L Barnfather, A Hoyle (A Sykes), A Mace, L Davis, S Avery (R Clarke 46), J Lee (S Avery 71), L Sanhko, M Jackson (A Caudwell 46), S McKeown, C Brown, W Gaiten
Gloucester City: M Green, M Green, S Rawlings, M Coupe (A Mann 53 ), T Hamblin, T Webb, L Hogg, D Mullings , D Edwards (S Wilson 53) , B Hunt (A McGrann), J Harris (E Stevens 46)
Star Man: Sam Rawlings