Southern Premier Division
Cirencester Town 0
Corby Town 0
NEWLY-PROMOTED Cirencester Town showed again that they are going to be no one’s whipping boys in the Southern Premier with a fine point at home against highly-touted Corby Town.
Indeed, Ciren will have been slightly disappointed not to take all three points having been the better side in the second half.
In the 81st minute the hosts looked set to secure the victory when a mazy run and cross from the excellent Ben Prictor fell to Aidan Bennett charging in at the far post.
Bennett would have buried the chance nine times out of ten but the half-time substitute, who had missed Ciren’s opening two games due to some minor surgery, was foiled by a terrific save from Corby’s Paul Walker.
It was the best chance in a match played in tricky conditions with the wind swirling around the Corinium Stadium.
Ciren had to reshuffle before the start when captain Leigh Henry was too unwell to play. Brian Hughes moved the experienced Gethin Jones alongside stand-in captain Mark Pritchett at centre back and Ryan Elliott, on his league debut for Town, replaced Jones at right back.
In contrast, Corby were able to introduce their latest signing, 21-year-old midfielder Shane Byrne, whose previous clubs include Leicester City and Bury as well as playing for both the Republic of Ireland’s U17s and U19s.
The Cirencester back four of Elliott, Jones, Pritchett and Prictor were disciplined and magnificent throughout the opening 45 minutes against a busy and powerful Corby outfit.
The only occasion the visitors were given a serious sight of goal came after an uncharacteristic slip by the otherwise impregnable Jones as early as the second minute, but Garner kept out the shot from range.
A similarly resolute Corby defence restricted Ciren to pot-shots from distance – Hooper, Williams and Jarvis all failing to find the target until Pritchett’s fierce stoppage-time drive was saved by Walker at the second attempt.
Ciren enjoyed more territory and possession in the second half without creating much in front of goal despite some tireless running from Jarvis, Bennett and Williams and Corby manager Tommy Wright’s frustration became evident when he sent himself on with 20 minutes to play.
Still Ciren were the better side but in the immediate aftermath to Bennett’s miss they could have forfeited all three points when Corby left back Lewis Jackson broke clear into the left side of the box only to blaze wildly over the bar.
It was another committed and classy 90 minutes from Cirencester Town who have to do it all again on Tuesday night away to unbeaten Poole Town as their tough baptism in the Southern Premier continues.
Cirencester Cirencester Town: Garner, Jones, Prictor, Pritchett (capt), Hooper (Wells, 73), Elliott, Edge, Reid (Bennett, 46), Jarvis, Liddiard, Williams. Unused subs: Bumphrey, Bond.