WORCESTER City kicked off their pre-season programme with a friendly defeat against Birmingham City’s development squad and victory over Coventry Sphinx.

The Aggborough outfit’s first-team squad were beaten 3-0 by Blues at the Championship club’s Wast Hills training base, while a team comprising primarily of youngsters won 2-1 at Coventry.

The Birmingham match, played behind closed doors, was the first opportunity manager Carl Heeley has had to assess his players since they returned from their summer break.

Mark Owen’s academy players made up the bulk of the team at Coventry, although keeper Jose Veiga featured and left-sided player Danny Edwards completed 90 minutes after recovering from a fractured ankle sustained at Hednesford Town in April.

Former Coventry City striker Ben Maund, 19, was also among those on show against the Midland League Premier Division hosts.

City opened the scoring in the first-half through Jamie Smith’s free-kick and, once Coventry had equalised after the break, Lewis McPike sealed victory.

Elsewhere, Evesham United drew 1-1 against League Two outfit Cheltenham Town at the Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium.

Evesham, who lost 2-1 at home to Gloucester City on Thursday with Jared Wilson scoring a penalty, shocked Cheltenham by taking a seventh-minute lead.

Kevin Slack’s deep corner was played back in by Nathan Jackson to striker Ashley Edenborough, who glanced a header past Ben McNamara.

Town defender Jack Deaman cleared off the line to deny Lance Smith extending Evesham’s lead.

Cheltenham equalised in stoppage-time when Lee Vaughan’s cross was tapped in by Andy Howarth.

Hereford United’s match at Eagley, based near Bolton, was switched to “an undisclosed location” due to “safety concerns”, according to the Bulls’ official website.

The site reports a “positive outcome” but no scoreline was published. Some Bulls fans had planned to protest against the club’s new regime at the match.

Kidderminster Harriers drew 1-1 at Stratford Town with a second-half equaliser from defender Chey Dunkley.