Ciren boss Hughes heaps praise on his title-winning players
CIRENCESTER town manager Brian Hughes hailed his players after they came from 1-0 down to lift the Southern League Division One South and West crown.
Having won titles as a player with Cheltenham Town and Gloucester City, Hughes knows that this achievement will never be forgotten following their 3-1 success at Yate Town.
“People still talk about the time I won the league with Cheltenham and that was 30-odd years ago,” he said.
“Now people will be able to see that Cirencester have won the league forever and a day - it is in the record books and that is some achievement.
“It is different winning the league as manager, because when you are a player you can personally try to influence things, but when you are on the sidelines you are in your players’ hands.
“And for most of the season, we’ve had a few ups and downs along the way, I have felt safe with the players.”
Jake Jackson looked set to spoil the party for the Centurions as he fired Yate into the lead eight minutes before the break.
But after the break the Corinium Stadium side hit back to ensure that they would celebrating.
James Mortimer-Jones fired Cirencester level in the 69th minute and then three minutes later Lee Smith put Hughes’ side into the lead.
The title was sealed on 78 minutes when Jacob Davidge got the party started.
“It is quite a strange feeling when you win the title away from home,” Hughes said. “We had a few drinks when we got back to the clubhouse - but I was home by 11.”
The Ciren boss also hailed his retiring striker Jody Bevan as he ended his career with a winners medal.
“It’s the stuff of fairytales isn’t it,” Hughes said. “I stuck on him for the final 10 minutes because he deserved to be on the pitch at the end.
“At the start of the season you could see that he had the bit between his teeth and while I’ve got a job there is always a place for Jody.”
Elsewhere in the Souther League Premier James Guthrie’s strike around 20 minutes from time ensured Chippenham Town ended their Premier Division campaign with a victory.
Town took the lead on 24 minutes, midfielder Joe McClennan firing home from the penalty spot after Jake Harris had been fouled.
But the hosts were level on 33 minutes as Lorenzo Ferrari rounded Kent Kauppinen and fired home.