A RAMPANT Newport County left a lacklustre Cirencester chasing shadows, particularly in the second half, as the Welsh raiders ran out comfortable 5-0 winners in this pre-season friendly.


Cirencester Town 0

Newport County 5

Ciren gave a first start to former Bath City full back Gethin Jones and the Newport side included Chris Zebroski, one of the early graduates from the Cirencester Town Academy as well as Yan Klukowski, a recent signing from Forest Green Rovers.

Town just about held their own in a relatively uneventful opening 45 minutes.

Bridegroom-to-be Jamie Reid sent a fizzing drive just over the bar in the 26th minute after Ben Wells’ free kick came back off the wall into his path.

But the nearest Ciren came to scoring was minutes earlier when Lenny Pidgeley sliced an attempted clearance over his own head before backpedalling to recover.

With County gradually getting on top, Aaron O’Connor broke the deadlock in the 38th minute, coming in stealthily at the back post to convert a Jack Simmons cross.

Newport changed all 10 outfield players at the start of the second half and the game was over as a contest in the 50th minute when Rene Howe picked his spot from 25 yards and sent a superb curling left-footed effort into the top corner.

An uncharacteristically disheartened Cirencester were being overrun by their classy League Two opponents who went 3-0 up in the 59th minute when a blocked shot fell kindly to Howe in space and he buried it past Glyn Garner from 12 yards.

County should have been 4-0 up when a cushioned back-post Howe header gave Shaun Jeffers an easy opportunity in front of goal but he blazed the shot wildly over the bar.

The visitors did not have to wait too long for their fourth as substitute Joe Parker, making his County debut, left three Town defenders mesmerised as he danced into the box before slotting a composed finish past Garner.

A sorry day for the home side, who failed to muster any sort of threat on goal in the second half, ended with the fifth – and perhaps the best – goal in the 82nd minute.

Slick build-up play saw the ball reach Christian Jolley, whose wicked cross between defenders from the left was met sweetly by Mike Flynn with a unstoppable header that sent the net bulging.

Following the promise of their draw against a team of Bristol Rovers triallists in the week, this reverse will prove a major wake-up call for Town who fortunately will not be playing any side as potent as County when the Southern Premier season gets under way.

Cirencester Town: Garner, Jones, Prictor, Pritchett, Hooper, Henry, Wells, Reid, Bennett, Edge, Williams.

Subs used: Bond, Bumphrey, Wimble, Holden, Anson. Unused sub: Mortimer-Jones.