Cirencester Town FC
Tuesday 8th October 2013
Cirencester Town 7-1 Didcot Town
FA Trophy Preliminary Round Replay
Originally I'd not been planning to do a groundhop on this date, as I was going to go to Wycombe's home tie with Bristol City in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Though I had been slightly open to doing an alternative, as Wycombe were asking £12 entry. Hardly the king's ransom, but when I considered that my season ticket works out at £10.50 a game and that a lot of other clubs like Peterborough were letting in fans for a fiver, for what is essentially a reserve team competition, it seemed a bit much in comparison. I looked in the non-league paper for a game and two stood out. I'd have preferred to go to Coalville Town v Stratford Town, due to Wycombe having played them in the FA Cup in 2004 and it had been on my radar for a while. But Cirencester was nearer and therefore a bit cheaper, as well as the fact that I had an early start as per usual on Wednesday after. I'd not seen Cirencester play before, but I did recognise one name on their teamsheet. Former Leyton Orient keeper Glyn Garner had played on my first ever visit to Craven Cottage, where Leyton Orient gave Fulham an almighty shock in the FA Cup 3rd Round as they won 2-1 against the Premiership side. That was a trick that Wycombe repeated a year later in 2007, on their way to the League Cup semi-final. I'd also been to the ground for pictures before, though I don't recall getting inside, so it would be nice to return for a proper game. Didcot on the other hand, I had seen play a few times. A youthful Wycombe side had edged past them in the Berks and Bucks Cup in my only visit to their home ground in 2008. I had also seen them lose at North Leigh late on last season, but more recently I had seen them triumph over local rivals Wantage Town in the FA Cup. It was no easy task, with Wantage top of the Hellenic Premier and Didcot bottom of the Southern League Division 1 South and West, but they prevailed 3-2 in an entertaining game. But their poor league season continued, despite success in the cups with them still in the FA Cup at the time of the game too. They had former Wycombe youth teamer Stuart Cattell in their side, who can play in either defence or midfield.
I was off as usual on the day of the game, which was just as well. I had been busy at work, doing a 13-hour shift and 11-hour shift the two previous days. It was pretty tiring and what with working in a supermarket, that is when some of the daft questions that come from customers get on your nerves. But you have to be polite and put a happy face on, no matter how tired you are. I went to town with my Dad in the morning then spent the afternoon relaxing before leaving for Aylesbury at 3.30. I had a quick look round Aylesbury and then picked Anwar up at 4.50. The journey was pretty much the same as when we went the same direction last time to Bishops Cleeve. Pretty much problem free apart from a 25-minute delay on the roundabout near Witney on the A40, where it always seems to be clogged up during busy times. We got into Cirencester at 6.40 and went into town looking for food. I was pleased to see there was free parking, which is unusual in towns, usually, they try to bleed you dry, even in the evenings. We had a look around, but there didn't seem to be a great choice of takeaways, only spotting an Indian and a fish and chip shop. As I had Indian the past couple of times, I opted for the chip shop. It was called The Friar Tuck and was a bit disappointing, to be honest. The portions were small for what they cost and the chips were all soggy. Also, the Gloucestershire Sausage I had was nothing different to the usual fare you get in chip shops, though luckily it tasted OK. And the service was pretty slow, taking 15-20 minutes to serve a queue of 4 people, despite lots of people standing around doing nothing. We got to the ground at about 7.20. I paid to get in and also bought a reduced size programme for 50p. I was quite pleased with this. Although it was photocopied, it still had the info you needed in it. Enfield Town charged me 3 times that recently for a thinner programme littered with errors and not much to read. Probably printing a full blown one meant that they would have lost money, so this was a sensible option. I went round the ground getting some pictures and checking Facebook before the game kicked off.
The hosts would turn out to be comfortable winners. There was little indication of the rout to follow when Chris Holland headed the opener for Cirencester after 41 minutes. Steve Davies shot into the bottom right-hand corner doubled their lead deep into injury time at the end of the first half. Matt Blenford pulled one back for Didcot on 50 minutes as his shot went in off the right-hand post and it looked very much game on. On 55 minutes a James Mortimer Jones header made it 3-1 to the hosts and from then on, it was plain sailing. It would be another 20 minutes before Chris Holland blasted home Cirencester's 4th but then followed a goal glut with Lee Smith's curling shot making it 5-1. Sam Collier made it six with a close-range finish on 82 minutes before Sean Wood fired home the 7th from the edge of the area deep into injury time. The game had quite a bit of time added on, and it wasn't till 9.45 that we left. During the course of the evening, we had been following Wycombe's JPT game against Bristol City and were both pleased to see that Wycombe had won 2-1 and put in a good performance by all accounts. Matt Bloomfield had scored in his first start in over a year after a long injury layoff, so that added to the good news. I tried to get BBC Radio Bristol on in the car to hear their side of the story, but we were a bit far away to pick it up. We made do with Radio Wiltshire, where Swindon fans were still downbeat despite winning. It was nice to hear them read out some non-league results too. After an easy journey home, I dropped Anwar off at 11 and got home myself just over 20 minutes later. I checked Facebook again, stayed up for an hour watching TV before going to bed.
THE CORINIUM STADIUM is a pretty good ground for this level and is covered on 3 sides. The newest stand is on the side you go in and has the board room and bar at the back of it. There is also a bigger seated stand opposite, which appears to be the original main stand. At a guess there is seating for 500, all covered. Further cover is behind one goal, though it is flat standing, rather than a terrace. The rest of the ground is open. The bar looked pretty smart and modern, also serving Thatchers Gold. I think the food place must have been in there too, but I didn't try anything. They had what looked like a club shop too, just a small range of merchandise, but it was closed on the night, due to the low key nature of the game.