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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Cirencester Town 2 - 2 Hitchin Town

Expectations were not high after recent results and with Ciren facing relegation could the team lift themselves and produce a performance worthy of the glorious  weather we had for this game.
With a attendance of just over 100 many wearing shorts and midsummer clothing there was an expectancy of a cracking game of football! We were not to be disappointed.
From the kick off, Ciren dominated the first 15 minutes with 5 very good chances to take the lead but as of late that final killer punch eluded the Ciren attack.
In the 20th minute Hitchin mounted their first move into the Ciren half this resulted in a corner which was taken by Burke and headed by Luke Gregson but fortunately for Ciren wide of the goal.
In the 25th minute a long range shot by Hitchin's Fontenella was comfortably saved by Ciren's young keeper Hedges who it has to be said has adapted comfortably to first team football. Against the run of play Hitchin took the lead with a cross from Fontenella was met by Burke who in his shot on goal got the ball trapped under his feet some how he regained his composure and tapped the ball into the Ciren net from 3 yards.

Within 5 minutes Hitchin increased their lead when after a quick break the ball was passed down the left to Donnelly who slotted the ball from 10 yards into the right hand corner of the net. The game had now turned Hitchin's way with a further attack in the 33rd minute with a header from Gilbert just over the bar.

In the 38th minute with a one on one situation Hedges bought down the Hitchin striker which earns him Ciren's 1st booking. The free kick was cleared by the Ciren defence for a Hitchin corner and from the corner Hitchin thought they had increased their lead to 3 but it was disallowed by the referee for offside.

Fortunes changed for Ciren approaching half time. A long ball was pumped up to Scott Griffin who cleverly turned the Hitchin defender and slotted the ball past the keeper. 

Half time Ciren 1 - 2 Hitchin.
The second half started with Hitchin launching attacks on the Ciren goal and after 53 minutes a shot on goal from Gregson hit the post, 5 minutes later a further shot from Burke was saved by Hedges. From the goal kick, the ball was received by Scott C, and with a great ball found his name sake Scott G who's resulting shot was saved by the Hitchin keeper.
In the 58th minute Ciren made a substitution Bennett on for Claridge.
In the 67th minute the Hitchin keeper bought down Jody Bevan 2 yards inside the box. However the ref saw it different and gave a free kick outside the box. The keeper was booked and the free kick was over hit for a Hitchin goal kick.

Within 3 minutes in a goal mouth scramble a Hitchin defender handballed inside the box and there were no arguments about the penalty decision. Jody Bevan, who needed 6 goals for a career total of 250 Southern League goals, took responsibility and with a perfect, unstoppable shot fired into the top right hand corner. ( he now needs 5 more ) 

Hitchin made their 1st substitution, Morgan on for Fontenelle. In the 76th minute a cross from the right was met by the Ciren captain James Mortimer-Jones with his right foot shot hitting the Hitchin goal post. Three minutes later a great ball from Bennett down the right hand side saw the ever youthful Bevan swing in a tantalising ball which Mortimer-Jones headed just over the Hitchin bar.

Hitchin made another substitution, replacing Frendo for King, with 10 minutes left. Ciren were now pushing for the win and mounting preesure on the Hitchin goal with goal attempts from Else and Bevan. When the final whistle came it was appreciated by both sets of supporters although with a 2-2 score line, Hitchin seemed more happy with the point than Ciren.
This was a very entertaining game of football played in great spirit and a tribute to both teams. The spirit of the Ciren team today was exceptional, more please!.

Jamie Reid played a fantastic game and was deservedly given the Four Pillars hotel Man of the Match award.

Attendnance: 99

Referee: Mark Derrien

Cirencester Town:

1. Mike Hedges
2. Scott Claridge
3. Ellis Dunton
4. Zak Westlake 
5. Nathan Davies
6. Jamie Reid 
7. Wayne Turk
8. James Mortimer-Jones (C)
9. Jody Bevan
10, Scott Griffin
11. Jon Else

12. Aiden Bennett (on for Scott Claridge - 56 mins)
14. Ollie Pitt
15. Jamie Dunn
16. Liam James
17. Josh Russell

Hitchin Town:

1. Martin Bennett
2. Tom Pepper
3. Mark Leach
4. Lawrie Stewart
5. Dean Gilbert (C)
6. Callum Donnelly
7. Tony Fontenelle
8. Luke Gregson
9. Zak Burke
10. John Frendo
11. Ieian Lewis

12. Aaron Morgan (on for Tony Fontenelle - 68 mins)
14. James Edgerley
15. Stewart King (on for John Frendo - 80 mins)
16. Louis Lee
17. Bart Pedreyz 

Match Report by Andy Buchan


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