Cirencester Town start new campaign with three points at Mangotsfield
Evo-Stik Southern Div 1 South & West.
Mangotsfield Utd 0 Cirencester Town 1.
JAMIE REID took less than 20 minutes to pick up his first yellow card of the new season, yet before the half was over he had scored a goal that may not be bettered by a Cirencester player before the prizes are given out at the end of April.
It was enough to provide Ciren with a deserved three points in the seasonal opener at Mangotsfield.
Reid is the Town player opposing fans (and benches) love to hate and, while no pussycat, his reputation precedes him.
After clashing with Mangos’ left back Tom Parrinello in an off-the-ball incident that had the home dugout protesting en masse, Reid was cautioned.
The Field had started brightly and though not fashioning any clear chances, a number of teasing crosses demanded telling clearances from Reid, new captain Matt Sysum and, at least twice, from Ellis Dunton, while Town did escape from an almighty goalmouth scramble in the 23rd minute.
But it was Ciren who carved out the gilt-edged opportunities.
Sam Collier, who worked tirelessly up front throughout, timed his run superbly to beat the Field defence to an Alex Allard through ball in the 27th minute, only to lob tamely over the bar.
Soon after, Collier showed his confidence was not rattled when hitting a sweet left-footed volley straight at Greaves, but the flag had gone up for offside.
Then, in the 38th minute, he spun on a clever Reid throw into the box and volleyed sharply with his right foot, his goalbound effort denied only by a brilliant save from the keeper.
Greaves, however, could do nothing with Reid’s world class finish three minutes before the interval.
Ciren, for whom the back four, particularly Sysum and Chris Thompson, had been commanding throughout, did switch off in added time and Marcus Duharty was gifted two excellent chances, one prompting Matt Bath’s only meaningful save of the game.
In warm second half sunshine, the Mangos never looked like finding the quality or the work rate to unlock Ciren, who settled early for a game of comfortable containment.
Inevitably, a flurry of late corners and free kicks pushed the visitors back, but still Mangotsfield failed to create one decent chance in the box.
Ciren should have sealed victory in the 93rd minute when substitute Aidan Bennett broke clear with the Mangos pressing forward, however, he was suckered into shooting early by Greaves, who safely smothered the effort.
Cirencester: Bath, Bailey, Dunton, Sysum (capt), Wells, Thompson, Reid, Mortimer-Jones, Collier (Griffin, 84), Allard, Packer (Bennett, 67). Unused subs: Sheppard, Hawkins, Hale.
Standard MoM: Jamie Reid.