CIRENCESTER TOWN’s fine start to the Southern Premier season continued with a battling 0-0 draw at high-flying Hitchin Town on Saturday, writes Danny Hall.

It was, however, a case of two points lost rather than one gained according to boss Brian Hughes.

“By the time we play Chippenham on Saturday and Redditch on Monday, I think we will have taken on six or seven of the top teams already,” said Hughes. “It’s been a tough start but I am comfortable where we are.

“Hitchin were decent for 15 or 20 minutes at the start and Glyn (Garner) has made a great save in the first half, but we played very well again and we created the best chances by a mile.

“It is a sign of the progress we have made that the lads were disappointed afterwards that we had not turned them over.

“The fact that their goalkeeper was man of the match tells you all you need to know.

“We obviously missed having Nat Jarvis (away on international duty with Antigua) up front but Jamie Reid worked his tail off playing out of position and he’s some way from being 100 per cent fit.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s Chippenham derby, Hughes said “We will have Gethin Jones back and possibly Jamie Edge which means for the first time this season I will have to make some tough decisions.

“At the very least we are going to have the strongest bench we have had all season.

“I have got a pretty good rapport with Nick Bunyard, the manager at Paulton Rovers, and they have already played Chippenham so I will be on the phone picking his brains before Saturday.”

THE Cirencester Town Development team, champions of the Uhlsport Hellenic Div Two West last season under boss Clive Messenger, are also at home on Saturday.

They face North Leigh United on the back pitch at the Corinium Stadium with a 2pm kick-off.