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Report: Cirencester Town 1-2 Bristol City Under-23s

Tom Richards’ stunning late goal helped City Under-23s overcome Cirencester Town for the second time in three months.

The two sides competed in a long-awaited 2016/17 final back in August, with Luke Williams’ side coming out on top 4-2 to lift the trophy.

Ironically, the two sides were paired together in round one of this season’s competition and it took a late wonder goal to book City’s progress, where they will now meet Bristol Rovers in the quarter-finals.

Jake Andrews opened the scoring for City just before half-time, but that was cancelled out by Aidan Bennett’s looping header midway through the second period.

Just when the tie looked to be heading towards extra time, Richards struck gold with his left-foot swinger, curling an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 30 yards.

REPORT IN DETAIL

City were the better side in the first half, with Opi Edwards forcing a fine save from home keeper Mateusz Wieczorek early on.

Andrews, back from his loan spell at Chippenham Town, was next to stake aim, forcing Wieczorek into a brilliant one-handed save from a free kick and then watched Jake Stoddart clear his goal-bound attempt off the line.

Wieczorek was at it again soon after, diving away to his left to turn Tyreeq Bakinson’s stunning 30-yard attempt over the crossbar.

Just before half-time Chris Turner-Williams saw a shot deflected into the side-netting and Tin Plavotic headed narrowly wide from the resulting corner.

City finally had their breakthrough a minute before the break as Andrews swivelled in the area and somehow managed to send a deft chip over the keeper from close range.

Cirencester almost responded instantly, with Sesay doing well to keep out Matt Jones’ postage stamp free kick and Henry Spalding fired against the post from the corner that followed.

The hosts improved after half-time and deservedly levelled in the 68th minute when Bennett looped an effort over Sesay and into the far corner.

Both sides went for victory, desperate to avoid 30 minutes of extra time on a cold night at the Corinium Stadium.

It was City who booked their progress, and a home tie against derby rivals Rovers in the next round, as Richards sent his winner curling into the top corner with four minutes left.

City Under-23s: Sesay, Parsons, Baldwin, Plavotic, Edwards, Turner-Williams, Richards, Bakinson, Nurse, Akpobire (Holden 61), Andrews (Lemonheigh-Evans 61). Subs not used: Carey, Turner, Morton.