Cirencester take their chances to beat Shortwood

GFA Senior Challenge Cup 1st Round.

Cirencester Town 3 Shortwood United 1.

A GOAL from James Mortimer-Jones that would not have been out of place in the Champions League helped seal victory for Cirencester in their first round County Cup clash with Shortwood.

The visitors were working up a head of steam and looked increasingly likely to snatch an equaliser when the midfielder’s brilliant strike in the 86th minute ended their resistance.

Picking up the ball in space 25 yards out, ‘Jonah’ set his sights on the top left hand corner and sent an arrow straight to the target with his left foot.

Town’s already skimpy squad were without the injured duo Ben Wells and Chris Thompson as well as banned striker Scott Griffin. But they were able to introduce new signing Chris Taylor, the former Swindon Town player who has completed his comeback from a horrendous long-term knee injury.

Taylor began to find his rhythm in the latter stages of the first period and it coincided with Cirencester’s best spell as they hit back to lead 2-1 at the break.

They had gone behind in the eighth minute when James Singh capitalised on a Matt Bath fumble and rolled the ball into an empty net.

Shortwood were playing the slicker football until the perseverance of Nathan Hawkins got his team back in the game.

Charging forward, Hawkins got lucky with a ricochet and as the ball broke for him inside the area he thundered it past former Centurion Tom King.

There appeared an element of good fortune about Ciren’s second goal, too. Joe Shepherd’s ball through a crowd of players seemed misplaced, but Sam Collier was alert to the situation and wasted no time blasting the chance past King.

Both sides had opportunities in the second half as the two captains, Matt Sysum and Ash Thomas, had to be substituted through injury. Then, just when Shortwood were cranking up the pressure, Mortimer-Jones’s sublime finish put the result beyond doubt.

Cirencester Town: Bath, Allard, Dunton, Sysum (Hale, 69), Taylor, Hawkins, Reid, Mortimer-Jones, Collier (Packer, 79), Shepherd, Bennett (Bailey, 79).

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