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eEvo-Stik League Southern D1 S&W

Didcot Town 2 - 2 Cirencester Town

Match Report by Andy Buchan

On the back of two clean sheets Cirencester travelled to the Loop Meadow Stadium for this Division 1 league game against Didcot Town. With a decent crowd of 128, perfect weather and a pitch that was in great condition considering the recent wet weather.

From the off, Ciren went on the attack and it was in the first minute that Ciren had a free kick from 30 yards. Ben Wells floated the ball into the box, Rick Allaway rose high and powered a header at goal which was inches wide. 5 mins later, Joe Shepherd fired a penetrating ball into the Didcot goal area which was deflected by Luke Carnell into his own net giving Ciren the early lead.

As of recent games Aidan Bennett and Ellis Dunton were on top form, both making penetrating runs and putting in some great crosses and with Wells making himself available throughout the middle of the pitch, Ciren had got a good command of the game. They could have been 2 up in the 13th min when Shepherd fired a great shot which brought out a one handed save from Marcos Belloli-Periera.

Didcot had a scoring opportunity in the 18th min when Morgan Williams sent in a high ball from a free kick which Carnell headed over. Four minutes later, Williams was through on the right side but saw his shot rise over the bar.

Within the next five minutes, Ciren went close twice. First was Wells whose powerful header looked destined for the top corner but brought out another fine save from the Didcot keeper. George Washbourne was also having a fine game, causing the Didcot defence problems with his silky and skilful play down the left side and it was in the 30th min that Washbourne put a inch perfect pass into the path of Sam Packer who hit a tremendous shot which beat the keeper and the far post.

Ciren had a corner in the 34th minute from the right, the ball was cleared and picked up by Chris Thompson who fed the ball out to Ellis Dunton who ran at the defence before unleashing a stinging shot at goal which was deflected off Allaway and into the Didcot goal, there was dismay from the Didcot supporters who were claiming a hand ball. Ciren 2 up.

Cirencester were by far the more industrious in the first half and Brian Hughes would have been more than happy for the game to continue without a half time break as Didcot were continually on the back foot. The first half finished 0-2.

Didcot came out in the second half looking a different team after a stern pep talk and the Didcot fans vocally urging for more effort. In the 52nd minute Elliott Osbourne-Ricketts hit a controlled chip come cross over to the far post which was met by Alex Stanley who was unmarked and had the simple task of a headed goal.

In the 57th minute, after a run down the left from Washbourne, what followed was an a amazing incident after a foul by Washbourne. Osbourne-Ricketts started to punch Washbourne who was laid on the ground. Referee Rob Hughes gave Didcot a free kick and booked Washbourne, apparently for inciting the incident!

It was now Ciren’s turn to be on the back foot and it would need another goal to ease the pressure and it could have happened in the 60th minute when Packer was through and only the keeper to beat. The keeper came out of the box and, in true Bruce Lee style, kung foo kicked Packer to the ground, Rob Hodges instantly blew up and, with Belloli- Periera being the last man, it had to be early bath time! Amazingly the ref didn't even see it as a yellow card. Ben Wells took the free kick from 20 yards with the resulting shot going over the bar.

In the 64th minute Packer was through again with just the keeper to beat and from 10 yards his weakly hit shot was comfortably caught by the Didcot keeper. In the 66th minute Ellis Dunton was booked for a late tackle and Aidan Bennett also in the 69th minute for kicking the ball away after a free kick had been awarded.

All went pear shaped in the 75th minute. After a Didcot corner there was a goal mouth scramble and from this, the ball was adjudged to have crossed the line and the referee gave a goal. The Ciren players demanded he spoke to the linesman, but after consulting the linesman, the referee gave the goal which was awarded to Luke Carnell. Score: 2-2.

Luke Carnell "scores" Didcot's second goal

(Photo from Didcot's website)

Brian Hughes made three changes in the 76th min taking off Dunton, Shepherd and Washbourne and bringing on Sam Collier, Jon Beedon and Brad Hooper. Ciren, after the cruel decision by the ref, upped their game and in the 81st min Ben Wells curled a lovely ball towards the top right hand corner and it looked in all the way but for a diving save from the Didcot keeper.

Leigh Henry was booked in the 85th min after only minutes earlier he himself had been poleaxed without the referee taking action. In the dying minute of the game, Bennett sent in a glorious cross which Hooper thumped with his head, beating the keeper, but it flew inches past the post.

In the 93rd minute, the referee brought the game to an end in a 2-2 draw with the Didcot supporters deliriously happy with their one point from the game, whereas Ciren felt they had been cheated by not taking all three points. It felt like we had played against 12 when it should have been 10 or possibly 9 after the two second half incidents!

Well, it will only take three days to forget about this injustice as we have another big game away at Yate on Tuesday evening, see you there.

Atrtendance: 128

Referee: Rob Hodges

Didcot Town:

1. Marcos Belloli-Periera
2. Ryan Tappin
3. Callum Casson
4. Sam Elkins
5. Luke Carnell
6. Alex Stanley
7. Elliott Osborne-Ricketts
8. Jamie Heapy (C)
9. Pablo Haysham
10. Josh Webb
11. Morgan Williams

12. Craig Williams
14. Ben Hepburn
15. Conor Harris
16. Ian Concannon
17. Mauro Periera

Cirencester Town:

1. David Evans
2, Aidan Bennett
3. Ellis Dunton
4. Rick Allaway (C)
5. Leigh Henry
6. Chris Thompson
7. Ben Wells
8. Joe Shepherd
9. Sam Packer
10. George Washbourne
11. James Mortimer-Jones

12. Scott Griffin
14. Nathan Hawkins
15. Brad Hooper (on for Joe Shepherd - 76 mins)
16. Sam Collier (on for George Washbourne - 76 mins)
17. Jon Beedon (on for Ellis Dunton - 76 mins)

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