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Smith And Matthews Make Comeback

Korey Smith made a goalscoring return for City in a behind-closed-doors 6-0 victory over Cheltenham Town this afternoon.

The midfielder, who last appeared for the first team against Fleetwood Town at the start of January, signalled his recovery from a hamstring injury with the first goal of the rout.

Smith and Adam Matthews both completed 45 minutes in the fixture, before being substituted at half-time as planned.

Smith’s only two first-team goals came against Cheltenham in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in 2014 and he kept up the tradition by heading in Callum O’Dowda’s cross after three minutes.

It was two soon after when Hordur Magnusson headed in unmarked from Bobby Reid’s corner kick.

Reid turned goalscorer on 15 minutes after being picked out by the ever-dangerous Jamie Paterson, who had launched a counter down the left flank. Reid took one touch on the edge of the box before drilling a low shot inside the far post.

City were 4-0 up by the interval as Paterson was again the provider, slicing the Cheltenham defence apart with a through ball for O’Dowda to run clear and slot home.

Aaron Wilbraham scored the fifth goal after the break, tapping in after substitute Jonny Smith’s shot had been parried out by the keeper.

Gustav Engvall hobbled off on 80 minutes with an ankle injury and his replacement Kel Akpobire completed the scoring two minutes from the end.

Head coach Lee Johnson said: “It was always the plan to give Korey and Adam 45-minute run outs. I think Saturday (at Derby) will come too soon for them, but we’ve got six games in 15 days coming up, so we need as many players available as possible.”

City: Fielding, Matthews (Harris 46), Vyner, Magnusson, Nurse, O’Dowda, Reid, Smith (Morton 46), Paterson (J.Smith 46), Wilbraham (Bascombe 60), Engvall (Akpobire 80).