CIRENCESTER Town suffered a rare home defeat on Saturday to relegation-threatened Kidlington.

Benjamin Richards' goal seven minutes into the second-half proved to be the winner as the visitors moved five points clear of the relegation zone with a vital victory at The Talent Hire Stadium.

The Centurions started well initially and had the ball in the back of the net after just five minutes, but the linesman's flag cut short Felix Miles' celebrations.

The away side dug their heels in for the majority of the first-half and came close to opening the scoring on the counter when Owen James' fierce strike on goal well saved by Cirencester's Stuart Nelson.

Ben Whitehead stung the palms of Kidlington's Jack Hopwood at the other end before Kidlington again went close; Jack Gardner firing wide as the game reached half-time goalless.

The hosts applied the pressure early on in the second-half but it was the away side who would take the lead with the game's only goal in the 52nd minute. A free-kick from Gardner was headed back out of the box to Richards, who unleashed a firm drive through a number of bodies before nestling inside the post.

The rest of the game was played in the Kidlington half but the away side continued to threaten on the break and Nelson had to react well to save from former Cirencester man Felipe Barcelos.

Cirencester had their chances in the final stages as Whitehead broke into the box before firing wide and George Peare crashed a header against the crossbar.

But despite their best efforts, Kidlington stood firm and held on for the three points.