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Kev Sawyer returns to help Ciren secure semi-final place

BetVictor Southern League Challenge Cup

Quarter Final 


Frome Town  0 - 0  Cirencester Town

(Cirencester won 3-4 on penalties)


KEV SAWYER came out of retirement to help steer Cirencester Town into the semi-final of the Southern League Cup at Frome on Tuesday night when proving the hero in a penalty shootout, writes Danny Hall. 


The giant goalkeeper and former Centurion legend, who had not played for a year, kept a clean sheet over 90 minutes and then made the vital save in the last action of the match to see his side through after coming in as emergency cover for the injured Lewis Clayton.  

Ciren now go into the semi-finals to be played on either Tuesday, February 18 or Wednesday, February 19 – alongside Winchester City, Chesham (Bucks) and Needham Market (Suffolk) – with the two winners earning a place in the final on March 25. 

Sawyer was the surprise package on the visitors’ team sheet but Ciren also started with a new-look back four of Malachi Cotter, Will Tunnicliff, captain Will Wellon and Jordan Morris at left back.

With the industrious Nick Hancock having a fine game in front of them, the outstanding defence limited second-in-the-league Frome to few chances – and what they missed was dealt with by Sawyer. 

As early as the first minute he tipped over a fine effort by Joe O’Loughlin, before enjoying some luck soon after when a thunderous free kick from Jon Davies came back off the bar. But that was the closest Frome got to scoring on a deep, stamina-sapping pitch which only just passed the referee’s late inspection.  

Meanwhile, the former Lydney Town strike duo, Lewis Thompson and Ross Gabriel, both went close, Thompson with a 10th-minute screamer and Gabriel with a looping header on the half-hour mark after Jonny Dennis had forced a good save out of Kyle Phillips.   

It was more of the same uneventful stuff in the second half with both defences dominating. Sawyer did well to save from Davies at the near post but from the hour mark Cirencester, with the pacy Toumani Sidibe causing trouble down the left flank, began to look like the team who would get the one goal likely to win the tie.

On Ciren’s pristine pitch, both Thompson and Jack Freeman would have been expected to put away gilt-edged chances in the 65th and 70th minutes respectively, while Robins skipper Marcus Mapstone fashioned a brilliant saving header from under his own bar with keeper Phillips beaten. 

Sawyer did make a significant tip-over from a Simpson free kick in stoppage time and straight after club captain, and regular spot kick specialist Michael Pook was introduced to the action for the inevitable shootout.  

Pook, Gabriel, Irving and Freeman all kept their nerve to score and when the shootout became sudden death, Sawyer got down well to his left to keep out Sam Teale’s effort which earned a famous victory.  

A spirited all-round display by the Centurions, with Will Tunnicliff looking a natural at centre-back and just edging my MoM vote. 


Attendance: 118.

Referee: Craig Scriven.  



Phillips, Maidment, Lenihan, Hallett, Mapstone (capt), O’Loughlin, Mannings, Smith, Davies (Simpson, 67), Cottle (Gorman, 67), Peck (Teale, 75). 

Unused subs: Moon, Locke.    



Sawyer, Cotter (Pook, 90), Morris, Freeman, Tunnicliff, Wellon (capt), Dennis, Hancock, Gabriel, Thompson (Irving, 80), Sidibe (Anderson, 80). 

Unused subs: Mortimer-Jones, Rose.       



This entry was posted on 29 January 2020 at 21:45 and is filed under First Team | Miscellaneous. You can leave a response here.

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