BetVictor Southern League

Division 1 South

Cirencester Town 2

Sholing FC 1

By Dave Pyzer

WHISPER it quietly, but Cirencester are now just five points off the play-offs after Bradley Gray's sumptuous strike set the template for an impressive victory for John Brough's side.

From the get-go, Cirencester came out of the blocks quickly against their south coast opponents – pressing from the off to win early corner kicks and clip the outside of the left post – but it took 25 minutes before they opened their account with a sensational 30-yard strike from Gray that rocketed into the top left corner.

A few minutes later Cirencester had a strong claim for a penalty kick denied when Toumani Sidibe was brought down as he cut in from the left.

Whilst the home side pressed Sholing mounted a counter attack that required a double save from Lewis Clayton to deny them shortly before Cirencester scored.

As the interval neared and Cirencester pressed again Sholing countered down their left as Bradley Targett worked his way into the home area to finish at the second attempt.

Cirencester made the perfect start after the break when Jonny Dennis fired into the top left corner as he cut in from the left.

This prompted an immediate response from Sholing, but by the hour mark Dennis had fired wide of the right post and both Nick Hancock and Sidibe had headed over.

After a period of neat play from the hosts a Sholing attack to the left corner resulted in a throw-in that was back-headed for Targett to strike a half-volley over the bar from near the penalty spot.

As the game was drawing to a close Levi Irving made some strong runs down the left flank and from one of these keeper Ryan Gosney saved at the feet of Tommy Anderson.

CIRENCESTER TOWN: Lewis Clayton, Jordan Morris, Will Tunnicliff, Michael Pook (C), Josh Nelmes, Will Wellon, Tommy Anderson, Nick Hancock, Levi Irving, Bradley Gray (John Dennis 41), Toumani Sidibe (Ross Gilbert 71).

Unused subs: Jack Freeman, Lewis Thompson, Josh Parsons.

Next up: Cirencester travel to Frome Town tonight (Tuesday) for their Southern League Challenge Cup Quarter-Final tie and Paulton Rovers in the league on Saturday