Comeback sees Cirencester rally to sink the Boatmen
CIRENCESTER TOWN 3 SHOLING 2
CIRENCESTER Town kept their Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West play-off hopes alive with a battling comeback victory against in-form Sholing.
The three points keeps Brian Hughes' men in touch with the top-five places in the table, albeit with many of the sides around them having a number of games in hand on the Centurions.
That they claimed victory without three key performers in skipper Jamie Reid, defender Chris Thompson and wing star Josh Morse shows a growing confidence in the squad.
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Trailing to an early Marvin McLean goal, Ben Wells levelled the scores shortly before half-time while second half goals from Academy graduate Shane Bumphrey and striker Aidan Bennett sealed the points.
Buoyed by a recent run that has seen them secure six wins from seven games, Sholing started brightly and took the lead with just five minutes on the clock as McLean beat Glyn Garner.
Undaunted by the setback, Cirencester pushed hard for an equaliser that looked like it wasn't going to come before the half-time break.
Sam Collier held the ball up and fed Wells to strike an unstoppable shot past the helpless Matt Brown to make the half-time cup of tea taste a whole lot sweeter for the hosts.
A defensive reshuffle at half-time saw Bumphrey come on and boss Hughes move to three at the back.
And the move paid dividends as the hosts dominated the second period.
Three minutes after the hour mark, Bumphrey latched on to Wells' free-kick and fired the Centurions into the lead – but it didn't last long.
Just three minutes passed before long-serving Boatman Byron Mason struck a superb shot from 25 yards that Garner could just wave at as it sped into the net.
But Cirencester were not to be denied their victory and after Wells had spurned two presentable chances, Bennett fired home at the far post to establish what proved to be a decisive lead.
Further chances came and went as Collier and Bennett missed out on extending the lead, but in the end it didn't matter as Brian Hughes' men celebrated the three points.
Cirencester Town: G Garner, S Anson, E Dunton, J Beedon (S Bumphrey, 46), L Henry, J Mortimer-Jones, B Hooper, B Wells, S Collier, A Bennett, S Packer. Unused sub: S Griffin, J Shepherd.
â Cirencester welcome Cheltenham Town to the Corinium Stadium tomorrow night for a Gloucestershire Senior Challenge Cup tie. (7.45pm).