FOOTBALL: Supermarine dent Ciren Town's title challenge
Calor Southern League Div One South & West
Cirencester Town 0
Swindon Supermarine 1
SWINDON SUPERMARINE became the first team to do the double over Cirencester Town this season when winning the local derby at the Corinium Stadium by a solitary goal.
Victory was made all the more sweet as it not only dented Town’s title hopes but boosted Marine’s own play-off aspirations as they moved up to third in the table.
And it was former Centurion Ashley Edenborough who grabbed the winner in the 73rd minute despite the visitors being under the cosh for much of the second half.
Cirencester had managed to grab a stoppage-time equaliser against Godalming last week but they could not get out of jail in two successive home games.
Indeed, Marine could have made it 2-0 in time added on only for Ciren keeper Glyn Garner to deny another Ciren old boy Josh Morse with a brilliant full-length save. Town dominated both possession and territory in the second half without fashioning the one gilt-edged chance they desired. And when required the Supermarine defence either made telling blocks or keeper Sam Warrell was on hand to save.
With leaders Merthyr being held to a goalless draw at Shortwood, Cirencester – who have the toughest run-in of the principals – will be doubly frustrated to let points slip away.
The frenzied first half was played at 100mph and went past in a blur. But the only time either keeper was tested came in the 17th minute when Garner had to get down smartly to his left to push away a Josh Parsons free kick.
In the first minute after the interval, however, Ciren were on the front foot, with the industrious Matt Liddiard having a firm shot well saved by Warrell, while moments later Lee Smith wriggled free only to have his effort blocked for a corner.
What little Supermarine had to offer was dealt with by Ciren’s back four, with Mark Pritchett and Leigh Henry solid throughout. Then, out of the blue in the 73rd minute, came the breakthrough.
Matt Jones unleashed a ferocious shot from the right which Garner did well to parry but the ball was crossed back into the box by sub Harry Etheridge and before the Ciren defence could regroup Edenborough had buried a header from eight yards.
Without hesitation, manager Brian Hughes sent Jody Bevan into the fray (with left back Ben Prictor withdrawn) and suddenly the hosts had a new dimension with the veteran striker winning a constant stream of flick-ons as Ciren probed for the equaliser.
Warrell denied Liddiard again and promising Swindon Town loanee Curtis Da Costa managed to deflect a goalbound Bevan effort wide.
The closest Town came to scoring was from a speculative 35-yard cross-cum shot from Aidan Bennett which had Warrell backpedalling so quickly he tripped and would have been in no position to save had the shot dipped under the bar.
Cirencester Town: Garner, Anson (capt), Prictor (Bevan, 74), Pritchett, Liddiard, Henry, Bennett, Mortimer-Jones, Morford, Davies, Smith. Unused subs: Wood, Shepherd, Hooper, Wells.