CIRENCESTER TOWN opened their pre-season schedule with a visit from newly-demoted from League Two Bristol Rovers and gained a draw that their classy first half display certainly warranted.
Cirencester Town 1
Bristol Rovers 1
Any neutrals in the crowd would have thought that Ciren were the ex-League side in the opening 45 minutes as they out-passed their lofty opponents and forced Craig Ross into at least two very good saves.
Ross had to be brave to smother a Jamie Edge close-range effort after a good cross from the busy and effective former Cheltenham Town player Ed Williams.
And then he made a fine full length save to keep out an Aidan Bennett pile-driver after a mistake by Ryan Higgins.
Williams and Bennett showed early signs of developing an interesting striking partnership and how Ciren will selfishly hope that midfielder Edge’s trial with Torquay United next week comes to nothing.
Town keeper Glyn Garner, largely a spectator in the first half, made his first save in the 41st minute from Jamie Lucas and Jonathan Brown should really have buried the follow-up.
Ciren sub Shane Bumphrey saw his looping header come back off the bar in the 55th minute but a Rovers side full of triallists and first-year pros came much more into the game in the second half and went ahead during their best spell around the hour mark.
Lawson D’Ath, previously of Reading, was in the right place at the right time to convert a left wing cross from Aaron Ward-Baptiste as Rovers attacked with pace and purpose.
But Ciren’s man of the match Ed Williams, who had been substituted in the 65th minute, came back on to net the 80th minute equaliser thanks to a delightful give and go with Brad Hooper and then a superb lob.
On Saturday, Town entertain League Two side Newport County who enjoyed a 4-2 victory this evening at Evesham United.
Cirencester Town: Garner, Anson, Pritchett, Henry, Prictor, Edge, Wells, Reid, Hooper, Williams, Bennett. Subs: Wimble, Pitt, Bond, Mortimer-Jones, Bumphrey.