COVENTRY CITY RES 0 CHELTENHAM TOWN RES 2
TRIALIST defender Duane Courtney was one of several players to shine for Cheltenham Town in this behind-closed-doors second team friendly at Coventry City yesterday.
The 26-year-old played at centre-half alongside youth team captain James Fawke and demonstrated aerial strength and speed, helping the Robins to a morale-boosting win over a Sky Blues line-up that included the likes of Michael McIndoe and Northern Ireland international midfielder Sammy Clingan. David Bird set up Marley Watkins for the first chance of the match in the 14th minute, but the Welsh winger missed the target from a good position. But Cheltenham took the lead in the 21st minute when Frankie Artus' scuffed corner caused problems at the near post and Theo Lewis bundled the ball over the line after a scramble.
Daniel Lloyd-Weston made an excellent save, low to his left, keeping out Clingan's drive after half an hour and Phil Walsh went close to making it 2-0, but his effort was inches wide. Roy O'Donovan, a former Cheltenham trialist, crashed a shot against the frame of Lloyd-Weston's goal in the closing seconds of the first half. Clingan almost knocked the goal over with a powerful attempt that left Lloyd-Weston motionless, but it rebounded off the bar early in the second period. Josh Low, Frankie Artus and Bird were all taken off just after the hour with Saturday's trip to Port Vale in mind. Shaun Jeffers then took centre stage against his parent club, running at the defence before curling a lovely shot inside the top right corner for what will have been a very satisfying strike for the teenager.
Coventry wasted several good opportunities in the closing minutes, but Cheltenham matched them in every department and watching boss Mark Yates will certainly have taken note of their efforts. Former Birmingham City trainee Courtney is not particularly tall and has spent much of his career at full-back. He has a prodigious leap though and looks capable of doing a job in League Two, with Martin Riley injured and Andy Gallinagh struggling with a pelvis problem.
Cheltenham Res: D Lloyd-Weston; K Haynes, J Fawke (J Sauntson 80), D Courtney, J Low (S Rawlings 65); M Watkins, D Bird (J Turley 65), F Artus (J Egan 65), T Lewis; S Jeffers, P Walsh (D Waters 78).