89th minute Ciren winner sees off hosts Banbury
4:44pm Sunday 15th September 2013 in Sport
FA Cup – First Qualifying Round.
Banbury United 1.
Cirencester Town 2.
CIRENCESTER TOWN once again showed great character to bounce back from conceding a goal within five minutes to proceed to the next round of the FA Cup.
In a frantic end-to-end affair, Town eventually saw off Banbury United, who play one division higher in the Southern League.
It took until the 89th minute for Town to seal the win but victory was nothing more than they deserved after a dominant second half display.
Ciren were still without injured captain Shayne Anson (groin) and suspended Joe Shepherd, but their first choice centre back combination was restored after Chris Holland returned from an absence of four games with a back injury to join Leigh Henry.
Cirencester could not have made a worse start, conceding a goal in the fifth minute when a Scott Bridges corner was headed powerfully home from the edge of the six-yard box by Adeyinka Talabi.
Banbury looked the sharper team in the early stages and always seemed to have a free man in midfield, but Cirencester were gradually settling into the game while mounting counter attacks through Steve Davies and Lee Smith on the flanks.
Banbury’s Kynan Isaac was denied by a good save from Ciren keeper Glyn Garner before Ellis Dunton headed wide from a Davies corner and then Banbury keeper Leigh Bedwell, on loan from Swindon Town, parried a Smith shot at the near post as the visitors began to crank up the pressure.
The equaliser their efforts deserved came in the 40th minute, Davies racing through the centre of the defence before picking his spot with superb right-footed strike.
Within four minutes of the re-start, Cirencester should have been ahead.
Davies pounced on a defensive error but poked the ball just wide with just Bedwell to beat.
The Banbury area came under bombardment, but chances for Brad Hooper, Sam Collier and Chris Holland all missed the target.
In the 75th minute, Ciren looked as if they might pay for their wastefulness when Isaac broke into the box and unleashed a well struck shot only for Garner to make a good save.
Garner also kept Cirencester’s hopes alive in the 84th minute when giant substitute Leon Simpson’s powerful header was tipped around the post by the keeper diving full length.
But these were rare forays forward for Banbury and Cirencester got their deserved winner a minute from the end of normal time.
An inswinging free kick from Davies was helped on by Henry with defender Tom Ryan getting the final touch into the back of the net.
Ciren therefore picked up a healthy £3,000 in prize money for their first qualifying round victory and are now just three victories away from the first round proper.
Cirencester Town: Garner, Dunton, Beeden, Mortimer-Jones, Holland, Henry (capt), Bond, Hooper, Collier (Bevan, 81), Davies, Smith. Unused subs: Bennett, Bromley.