A CLASSIC No.9’s header from Will Morford early in the second half put title-chasing Cirencester Town ahead at Thatcham and it was a lead they had no intention of relinquishing.
Calor Southern Div One South & West
Thatcham Town 0
Cirencester Town 1
Manager Brian Hughes opted for an attacking 4-2-4 formation, Aidan Bennett coming into the side in place of midfielder Sean Wood but taking up a position on the right flank, with Steve Davies playing off central striker Morford.
Both sides struggled with the bumpy pitch and there were a host of mishit passes.
Twice in a minute, Ciren’s prolific striker Lee Smith almost broke the deadlock. Matt Liddiard, who was having a composed game in midfield, produced some neat footwork to release Lee Smith on the left flank but his shot from the left edge of the area was saved low by Aaron Bufton.
Smith then moved on to a Davies pass but his left-footed shot went wide of the near post.
Five minutes before the interval, however, Thatcham should have been ahead.
Aaron Ferris made a strong run down the left flank and his cross towards the penalty spot was blazed over the bar by Gio Wrona with the goal at his mercy.
In the 52nd minute Ciren were not so wasteful as they got their noses in front.
Liddiard and Prictor linked up well in the left corner and the latter’s cross to the near post was headed firmly into the top right corner of the net by Morford.
Encouraged, Cirencester created opportunities for Morford and Smith before looking as if they might go 2-0 up at the end of a slick move.
Bennett pinged a ball down the left wing for Smith, whose cross to the back post for Davies was headed back into the danger area where a diving Morford was unable to make contact.
Morford was in the action twice more before the final whistle. Firstly, he had a chip deflected wide for a corner and the resulting set piece was headed by Pritchett back towards the penalty spot, where Morford spun and shot wide.
Thatcham did have one final chance to nick an equaliser when Luke Abrahart latched on to a throw-in only to strike his shot into the side netting from the right edge of the area.
Cirencester Town: Garner, Anson (capt), Prictor, Pritchett, Liddiard, Henry, Bennett (Bevan, 84), Mortimer-Jones, Morford, Davies, Smith. Unused subs: Wood, Shepherd, Hooper, Wells.