The Tigers shook off a poor pre-season with a comfortable 2-0 victory over a mixed Bristol Rovers side.
Goals from Will Morford and Steve Davies were only half the story as young stand-in keeper Connor Thompson put in a confident and bold performance between the sticks to deny the League 2 visitors a chance of fighting back.
Matt Lund tested Thompson early on, but the teenager, who has been on the books of Norwich an Swindon, calmly blocked the shot.
City were well organised, and with the energetic engine room of Tom Webb and Lewis Hogg in the centre of midfield, they were quick on the break. Hogg’s whipping ball in from the right proved just a little too much for Darren Edwards on 15 minutes, the striker just missing out on one of his trademark glancing headers.
Jack Harris fired a Darren Mullings free kick over the bar moments later before Steve Davies’ looping header went in the same direction as the home side looked for a goal.
A free kick just inside the Rovers half was the catalyst for the first goal, Hogg powering the ball straight to the feet of Morford, giving the striker time to turn, compose himself and hook the ball past Conor Gough.
Hogg linked up well with Ben Hunt, taking advantage of the luxurious Whaddon Road surface for some neat passing play. Rovers were quick on the break but Thompson, and the back four in front of him were strong and resolute, Thompson pulling off another acrobatic save in the final minutes of the half.
Wayne Brown’s free kick early on in the second half could’ve give Rovers a way back into the game, but although he beat the City wall the ball flew straight to Thompson.
Thompson’s clearance sparked another City attack with Davies picking up the ball on the wing and running through to the edge of the box to volley it straight into the top corner to make it 2-0.
As manager Dave Mehew chopped and changed his team with half an hour left to play, with stand-in Rovers boss Marcus Stewart doing the same the game lost some of the tempo of the first half. But still City didn’t look rattled, with Thompson displaying more acrobatic skill to stretch for a save on 65 minutes.
Young gun Joe Parker had two stunning runs into the box in his ten minute cameo – standing up strong to the Rovers defenders, but he couldn’t find a way past the advancing keeper for a third.
Gloucester City: C Thompson, S Rawlings (A McGrane 75), J Harris, M Coupe, D Mullings, L Hogg, S Davies (J Parker 83), T Webb (M Liddiard 46), D Edwards, W Morford (M Green 62), B Hunt (S Wilson 55).
Referee: Brian Durie