Cirencester Town 1
Wootton Bassett Town 0
CIRENCESTER TOWN gained the first win of their pre-season campaign when beating their Corinium Stadium tenants Wootton Bassett Town with the only goal of the game.
The winner was scored in the second half by midfielder Matt Liddiard who looked as sharp as any of his Town team-mates despite just returning from holiday.
It was Liddiard who also helped set up the best chance of the game early in the second half for centre half and captain Leigh Henry but an outrageous bobble prompted the defender to punt the ball over the bar.
After previous work-outs against newly-relegated Bristol Rovers and impressive League Two outfit Newport County boss Brian Hughes had hoped his team would see a lot more of the ball against their Hellenic Premier League opponents.
It did not work out entirely to plan in an opening 45 minutes which looked more like a training ground game, with Bassett giving as good as they got, and with Jon Aitkenhead, Levi Cox and Callum Parsons all catching the eye for the ‘visitors’.
The one moment of quality came when Ben Prictor’s glorious first touch off a Ben Wells pass took him past his marker down the left channel and he delivered an inviting cross into the six-yard box that was spurned by his team-mates.
With Jacob Davidge, Shaun Wimble and Aidan Bennett coming on at the start of the second half, and Town reverting to the 4-3-3 system that served them so well in their championship-winning season, they looked altogether sharper and created enough chances to comfortably win the match.
Soon after Henry’s miss in the 50th minute, Ben Wells pounced on a Shane Bumphrey lay-off and drilled a fierce shot just wide.
The deadlock was broken in the 66th minute when, from a Wells corner, Mark Pritchett hooked the ball back into the danger area and Liddiard was in the right place for a tap-in.
Ed Williams later tested the keeper, Bennett was unlucky to see a lob come back off the bar and Jamie Edge was a yard from converting a cross into the box after a delightful run and cross by Davidge late on.
Town now have a short break before they visit Longlevens on Tuesday, July 22.
CIRENCESTER TOWN: Garner, Jones, Prictor, Pritchett, Hooper, Henry, Wells, Williams, Bumphrey, Edge, Liddiard. Subs: Bennett, Wimble, Davidge.