Cirencester Town opened their pre-season campaign with a narrow defeat at home to local rivals Swindon Supermarine in a thrilling encounter.

The sides couldn’t be separated in the first half. An own goal and a Tommy Ouldridge strike cancelled out Harry Williams’ opener, but Brad Hooper equalised from the penalty spot.

Substitutes Bampton and Shepherd gave Supermarine a 4-2 lead before Freeman netted for Cirencester to round off the scoring.

Charlie Griffin named all four of his new recruits in his starting line-up and a host of youngster on the bench.

There were a handful of former Cirencester players playing for Supermarine, including the recently departed Louis Spalding.

There was little between the sides in the early on, but it was the visitors who took the lead after 10 minutes.

Henry Spalding forced Sam Ayres into a fine save to his left, but Williams was there to pick up the pieces and slot the ball home from inside the area.

Supermarine fans hadn’t finished celebrating when Aidan Bennett’s cross was turned into the net.

The Southern Premier side then piled on a bit of pressure.

Bradley Gray headed off the post on 17 minutes, but it was the Centurions who scored the third goal when Michael Pook’s lovely diagonal ball found Bennett in the area and his deft flick found Ouldridge who hooked the ball home to mark his return with a goal.

Supermarine fought back and equalised themselves after 30 minutes from the penalty spot. Williams was brought down by Shayne Anson and Brad Hooper found the bottom corner with a fine strike from 12 yards.

They almost took the lead three minutes later when Louis Spalding found Williams who turned the ball towards the top corner only for Sam Ayres to tip it onto the crossbar and behind for a corner which he punched away.

He was Ciren’s hero again five minutes later when Williams got the better of Anson with a backheel to find Bradley Gray who was one-on-one, but he denied the forward with a brilliant save with his feet.

Cirencester made a change at half-time with Jack Freeman and Will Peck replacing Ouldridge and Will Tunnicliff while Supermarine made wholesale changes at the break.

The hosts made a strong start to the second half. Will Christopher’s wicked strike took a deflection and just went wide on 52 minutes before Jonny Dennis clipped the post with a low effort after a brilliant solo run three minutes later.

Supermarine grew into the half and got their noses in front on 63 minutes. Gray’s free kick was spilled by Ayres which led to an almighty scramble in the area.

The ball eventually came out to substitute Bampton who unleashed an absolute thunderbolt into the top corner from 20 yards.

The away side stretched their lead further 10 minutes later when substitute Joe Shepherd rifled in Gray’s cross.

Cirencester weren’t down and out there though as Freeman curled in a beauty three minutes later.

The Centurions probed late on but couldn’t find an equaliser. They now turn their attentions to their trip to Fairford Town in their next friendly on Friday evening.