A CROWD of 250 turned out at Devizes Town FC on Thursday night to watch a mixture of local non-league players make Second Division side Bristol City work hard for their win.

Thursday night's friendly match had been organised as part of Bristol City's aim to attract new fans from across Wiltshire, and City manager for the night Shaun Taylor had an experienced squad to at his disposal.

The former Swindon Town and Bristol City stalwart said the match had been a success both on and off the pitch.

"It was our first friendly of pre-season and it was a good run-out," he said. "We want more supporters from across Wiltshire and that was why the chairman arranged the game.

"It's good to come and play these games and we were happy with our performance and pleased to be accepted so warmly by the crowd."

The North/West Wiltshire side was made up from a pool of players provided by Devizes Town, Corsham Town, Bradford Town and Bradford United, and their hard working display kept the score at 0-0 for more than an hour.

In the opening stages it was the Wiltshire XI who pushed forward. But they never found a cutting edge up front and at times were chasing shadows as City's slick passing saw them hold possession for long spells.

Young Devizes striker Justin Lyle had a penalty shout waved away in the second minute when he chested the ball down and was barged to the ground by Danny Coles.

Minutes later James York's pass gave Lyle a sight of goal on the right of the Bristol area but Clayton Fortune was quick to get in a strong tackle.

City's first decent opening came on eight minutes when Mickey Bell's corner was punched to the edge of the area by Bradford Town goalkeeper Craig Guthrie and Aaron Brown controlled and drove the loose ball back over the bar.

As the first half wore on City started to spray the ball around the park while the Wiltshire XI were limited to the odd counter attack.

Christian Roberts was busy down the Bristol right but his work was wasted with Leroy Lita missing two close-range headers.

York had a shot saved by Mike Stowell but Lita should definitely have broken the deadlock in the 37th minute when Clayton Fortune played him clean through only for Lita to hit the side-netting.

After the break both sides made wholesale changes and the Wiltshire XI's stubborn resistance was finally broken by two goals in the space of five minutes around the hour mark.

Right full-back Louis Carey did most of the damage breaking into the area and working the ball to Andrew Hawkins, who fired past Warren Jackson.

Hawkins then turned provider when his left-wing cross was only half cleared and Joe Burnell thumped the ball in from the edge of the area on 68 minutes. It was almost all one-way traffic after that with Wiltshire's only real effort a coming from a Marcus Wallen shot that went well wide.

The final two goals came in the last five minutes when Sekani Simpson and Carey combined to tee up Hawkins from close range.

Then in City's next very attack Hawkins, a product of the club's youth academy, ran on a floated cross from Simpson and headed into the corner to complete a deserved hat-trick.

North/West Wilts XI: Craig Guthrie (Warren Jackson), Bradley Newman (Russell Mills), Ricky Trott (Jack Cullis), Mark Doswell, Andrew Coombes (Dave Hopkins), George Maguire (Craig Davage), James York (Gary Campbell), Dan Cullen (Alan Coffey), Justin Lyle (Nathan Perkins), Jamie Harrison (Adam Smith), James Thornby (Marcus Wallen).

Bristol City: Mike Stowell (Steve Phillips), Kevin Amankwaah (Louis Carey), Mickey Bell (Marvin Brown), Robin Hulbert (Tommy Doherty), Danny Coles (Tony Butler), Clayton Fortune (Matthew Hill), Christian Roberts (Joe Burnell), Lee Matthews (Lee Peacock), Leroy Lita (Darren Jones), Aaron Brown (Brian Tinnion) (Sekani Simpson), Craig Woodman (Darren Hawkins).