FA Youth Cup 2nd Rnd.
Swindon Town 6 Cirencester Town 1.
CIRENCESTER TOWN’S interest in the FA Youth Cup ended in front of a 500-plus crowd at the County Ground on Tuesday night when they were comprehensively beaten by Swindon Town.
Even without the likes of Miles Storey (away on England U19 duty) as well as Louis Thompson and Aaron Oakley, who have recently been part of Paolo Di Canio’s first team squad, Swindon proved too classy and professional for their near-neighbours.
The home side scored three goals in each half, including a hat-trick for striker Connor Waldon.
Swindon now face a mouth-watering third round tie at home to Liverpool in early December and any Merseyside scouts in the stands will have been impressed by the quality of the finishing from Paul Bodin’s side.
Swindon were 3-0 up soon after the half-hour mark. But Steve Lowndes’ Cirencester will wonder what might have happened had either Jack Smith or Naoki Montoya been able to put away headers in the opening 15 minutes when the visitors were arguably on top.
Swindon rallied with a trio of well-taken goals – a Waldon backheader, a lob from captain Alex Ferguson and a cool Waldon finish at the back post.
The Cirencester defence struggled all evening to cope with the mobility and touch of Swindon’s strike partnership Waldon and Mark Francis, while the energetic midfield (notably Ferguson) were only too happy to join in the attacks.
Any chance of a Ciren comeback evaporated in the 48th minute with Ferguson’s second goal of the game, a fierce drive after Waldon had chested a cross into his path.
There were further good finishes from Aaron Ferris and Waldon.
The only sour note for Swindon was the sending off of Ryan Rawlins for a clumsy challenge on Asa Cox in the 86th minute.
Cirencester did restore some pride by rallying in the closing stages – Tim Bond rattled the bar from 25 yards, a stinging Adam Mace free kick was tipped over by Josh Helm, and the visitors did bag a deserved goal when substitute Gareth James danced past three defenders before lashing a shot into the roof of the net from an acute angle in the 77th minute.
Cirencester Town: Berwick, Thompson, Mace, Roberts, Bateman, Keating, Montoya (James, 67), Bond (McLaughlin, 85), Smith, Cox, Owen (Picter, 70). Unused subs: Tom Mazur, Jamie Stones.