Honours even in North/South clash

A stunning injury-time strike from the half-way line denied City a hard-fought pre-season victory over Gloucester City at Twerton Park this afternoon. City had led 2-0 and 3-2 before Young saw his speculative effort with the last meaningful kick of the game fly past Will Fuller. There had been little to choose between the Vanarama National League South and North rivals in the opening exchanges before City struck first on 35 minutes, with new signing Elliott Frear marking his Romans debut with a great 25-yard shot that gave keeper Cole no chance. Five minutes later City doubled their lead. Mo Dabre’s weaving run allowed him room for a shot that Cole could only parry and Cody Cooke was perfectly placed to head home. The second half was just nine minutes old when a neat finish from McClure pulled a goal back for the Tigers. And it was the same player who levelled the scores on 71 minutes, taking full advantage of Jack Batten’s poor pass to slide the ball past Fuller. With six minutes left City regained the lead after great work by Joe Raynes – marking his return to the pitch after 16 months out injured – allowed Alex Fletcher a shooting chance that Cole could only deflect into the roof of the net. It looked as this would be the winning goal as the game entered stoppage time before Young’s remarkable last-gasp effort.