Southern Premier Division
Cirencester Town 6
SOUTHERN League Division One South and West champions Cirencester Town administered six of the best on Tuesday night to Bideford, who had won the same title two years previously.
Two goals apiece came from midfielder Matt Liddiard, defender Leigh Henry and new striker Nat Jarvis and all came after Ciren had been rocked by a fourth-minute lead for the visitors.
From that moment, however, Ciren were totally dominant.
Resolute in defence, classy and combative in midfield, and a constant threat up front through the dangerous, mobile pairing of Ed Williams and Nat Jarvis – Town were the complete package and unrecognisable from the side who had put up such a lacklustre showing in defeat at Paulton Rovers on Saturday.
Gethin Jones made an uncompromising first official start for Ciren at right back, the red tape of his international clearance having belatedly been untangled; Liddiard, who had deputised for Jones on Saturday, kept his place in the team at the expense of fellow midfielder Ben Wells, while promising Development Team player Tom Luce was given a seat on the bench.
Within four minutes Ciren were behind, keeper Glyn Garner fouling Ryan Richards as he tried to shepherd the ball past his own dead ball line. Richard Groves made Garner pay with a firm, low penalty to the keeper’s right.
To their credit Ciren seemed unfazed by the setback, thrusting forward with some splendid one-touch football until a sloppy pass out of defence fell to Matt Bye who forced Garner to tip a fierce shot around the post.
It was the Robins’ last meaningful threat on goal until Town had knocked six goals past them.
In the 13th minute Liddiard’s long-range shot took a slight deflection before beating keeper Lloyd Irish and then just when it seemed their dominance would not be translated into further goals before the break, Irish spilled a stoppage time Jones cross and Jarvis put away the gift.
Within seven minutes of the restart Town were 4-1 ahead as a result of two Ben Prictor set pieces – both converted by headers from Liddiard and Henry respectively.
Jarvis then capped a fine home debut with a true opportunist’s goal, racing 30 yards to chase down a Garner goal kick and then out-jumping Irish on the edge of the box to nod it into an empty net.
Town’s sixth came from a back-post Henry header from another corner before the shine was slightly taken off their devastating second half display when Sean Downing produced a neat finish for a Bideford consolation goal in time added on.
Cirencester Town: Garner, Jones, Prictor, Pritchett, Hopper (Wells, 72), Henry (capt), Edge (Luce, 86), Reid (Bumphrey, 72), Jarvis, Liddiard, Williams.
Unused subs: Elliott, Davidge,