SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Cox stuns leaders Cirencester

JAKE Cox grabbed the only goal as Yate stunned Division One South & West leaders Cirencester at the Corinium.

Cox’s long range strike in the 19th minute was enough to give the Bluebells a superb victory against a Ciren side who struggled to cope with the elements in the first-half and could not even muster a shot on target after the break with the wind in their favour.

Since being beaten 5-0 by then-leaders North Leigh three weeks ago, Yate have become more resilient and are unbeaten in four games, with this being their third win in a row.

It was only Cirencester’s second defeat in the last 16 league games and they are only top now by virtue of having a better goal difference than second-placed Merthyr Town.

Cirencester’s best moment of the game came in the second minute when Aidan Bennett burst into the box and crossed from the byline into the six-yard box but Steve Davies could only hit wide on the stretch.

That was not a sign of things to come, however, as Yate soon got on top and Ross Staley tried his luck with a speculative shot from distance that Glyn Garner did well to tip away.

Cox was next to have a go from 35 yards and the ball travelled fast as soon as it left his boot, going under the diving body of Garner on its way into the net.

Yate continued to put the pressure on as they looked to make the most of their advantage in the first half . When Mike Bryant received a pass from Haldane in the box with his back to goal, his bicycle kick attempt went wide, while James Harmer was also off target from 25 yards.

After seeing his side fail to create anything in the first 10 minutes of the second half, Cirencester boss Brian Hughes reacted by sticking on striker Shayne Bumphrey and switching to a bold 4-2-4 formation.

Davies shot into the side netting from a tight angle soon after the change, but Yate became more of a threat on the break and Harmer had a great chance to double their lead but he sliced wide when well placed after Bryant slid the ball through to him.

Lewis Haldane looked set to score when he was released by Harmer and left one-on-one with Garner, but the goalkeeper got a enough touch on the ball to allow Brad Hooper to scamper back and scramble the ball away before it reached the goal.

Cirencester survived another scare when Bryant flicked on Bradley Abraham’s cross and, after Shayne Anson’s attempted clearance hit Joe Chandler, Garner reacted quickly to tip the ball onto the post.

The expected onslaught from Cirencester in the closing stages never came, and indeed they had Garner to thank for keeping the score down as he dived low to his left to get a strong hand to substitute Sam Kamara’s fizzing drive and athletically clawed away an effort by Jake Jackson after he exchanged passes with Abraham.

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