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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Brackley Town 0 - 0 Cirencester Town


Cirencester Town put in their best performance of the season so far on Saturday and were only denied the three points by a good display by Brackley's on-loan goalkeeper Paul Walker from Northampton Town.

In only the 5th minute Mitch Bryant curled an effort wide of the far post after cutting in from the left and Brackley got their first opportunity at the other end after a great ball in from Tom Winters from a free kick whistled just wide of Cirencester Town's goal.
In the 20th minute, Jamie Reid put in the first of many headers and Jon Else in a striking role for the afternoon saw his vicious swerving drive beaten away by Paul Walker in what was to prove a busy afternoon for the young goalkeeper.
With Town choosing to isolate Brackley's left back Ellis Mvies against Reid it was Reid who had the beating of him in the air all afternoon and from where Town built up a lot of their attacks and forced Brackley onto the back foot.
Brackley did manage their one shot on target of the day when the much travelled Jefferson Louis turned well in the Town penalty area and shot low to Mike Green's right but he was down well to save comfortably.
Callum Henry, starting his first game on loan, showed a little rustiness from not playing many games this season and conceded a handful of free kicks and eventually he was booked by Referee Hodges. However, as the game wore on Henry adjusted to the tempo to the game and got better and better.
In the 37th minute Town nearly took the lead when a great cross in from the left saw Jon Else beat his man to the ball and flick his header just wide of the post. It was Mortimer-Jones who went closest next, with a driven shot which Walker went full length to save leaving the score at 0-0 at half time.
Jamie Reid, who had picked up a calf injury just before half time,  came gingerly out for the second half but he shrugged it off to pick up the ball just inside the Brackley half two minutes into the second half and he drove at the heart of the Brackley defence before shooting narrowly wide of the goal. Adam Mayo then went into the Referees notebook, a decision which baffled most of the Town following.
Despite Brackley now having a good amount of possession they couldn't turn that into clear cut chances with the Town backline showing a much improved defensive performance and snuffing out any danger. In the 55th minute goalkeeper Green launched a volley forward deep into the Brackley half and Jon Else rose well to flick on to Mitch Bryant and he ran through and shot low with Brackley keeper Walker blocking with his legs and Brackley scrambling the ball to safety.
Next up Mortimer-Jones who was putting in a good performance on his return to the starting line up delivered abother cross with Else once again unlucky to flick his header just wide of the Brackley goal.
It was then the turn of Brackley to create a couple of chances, firstly Tom Winter whipping in a dangerous free kick which Brackley's captain Brett Solkhon headed just wide of the far post of the Town goal and then after a good run and cross from right back Joe Magunda, Louis got up well but couldn't direct his header on target.
There was a scare for Town when Brackley got into the Town final third and centre back Matt Sysum slipped as he went to challenge allowing Winter to have a good sight of the Town goal but Callum Henry produced a brilliant last ditch block to send the ball spiralling over the bar for a corner which the Town defence then greatfully cleared.
Ellis Mvies, Brackley's left back who had a torrid afternoon, nearly made up for it when he found himself in a great position in the Town final third and he cut inside his man to get a right foot shot off which whistled wide of Town's goal.
In the 65th minute, after good work from Else, the ball bounced up to Jamie Reid some 25 yards from goal and he let fly with a great volley which looked like heading in to the far corner but that man Paul Walker once again went full length to spectacularly parry the ball wide for a Town corner.
With Bryant working tirelessly up front he eventually was given a rest with ten minutes left and Mike Tambling, coming on to offer some fresh legs for the latter part of the game, showed some trickery and direct running to create a few half chances. However, it was Brackley who nearly gave Town a scare at the death when they won a corner with 93 minutes on the clock but as was the case all afternoon the Town defence dealt with it well and secured only their second clean sheet of the campaign and a well deserved point.
No doubt Manager Brian Hughes will have felt a much happier man after the recent weeks as this was a performance that lifted the spirit of all of the Town camp and a reminder of what the squad can produce. Hopefully this may be the performance that can help the side turn the corner and start working its way up the table to safety and into next Saturdays local derby with Chippenham Town (pending their FA appeal against FA Cup expulsion).
Attendance: 221
Referee: Rob Hodges
Brackley Town:

1) Paul Walker
2) Joe Magunda
3) Ellis Mvies
4) Carl Palmer
5) Chris Willmott
6) Josh Green
7) Owen Story
8) Brett Solkhon (c)
9) Jefferson Louis
10) Elliott Sandy
11) Tom Winters

12) Paul Dempsey (on for Elliott Sandy 65 mins)
14) Tom Kemp
15) Michael Chennells (on for Owen Story 85 mins)
16) Steve Diggin

Cirencester Town:
1) Mike Green
2) Neil Arndale
3) Richard Mansell (c)
4) Callum Henry
5) Adam Mayo
6) Matt Sysum
7) Jamie Reid
8) James Mortimer-Jones
9) Jon Else
10) Mitchell Bryant
11) Zak Westlake

12) Mike Tambling (on for Mitchell Bryant 81mins)
14) Paul Banks
15) Tom Etheridge
16) William Loughman 
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