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Evo-Stik League Southern D1 S&W

Hungerford Town 0 - 1 Cirencester Town

On the 2nd of February, Cirencester travelled to Bulpit Lane to take on top of the table Hungerford Town. Earlier in the season we suffered defeat by them at the Corinium Stadium, so the Centurions were looking for revenge and after an impressive performance the previous week at Evesham, there was an air of expectancy within the team and travelling supporters.

Ciren were playing down the slope in the first half and went on the attack from the off, with Josh Morse making a good run down the left bringing Ciren a corner in the 1st minute. Ben Wells' kick was cleared as far as Aidan Bennett who saw his shot go high and over the bar. Minutes later Hungerford made a good break and from the right saw a penetrating cross cleared by the Ciren defence.

In the 8th minute Jamie Reid, who was back from injury, made a powerful run and fed a good ball in for James Mortimer-Jones whose left footed shot flew wide of the far post. From the goal kick Hungerford broke quickly down the right with Bradley Gray sending over a cross which found the head of Mark Draycott at the near post, whose attempt was inches wide of the post. This was to be Hungerford’s only real chance of the half.

For the next 35 minutes it was to be all Ciren and in the 20th minute Wells, after a good run, hit a cross into the near post where Mortimer-Jones nipped in and flicked the ball agonisingly over the bar.

As in the Evesham game, Morse was looking very lively and causing the Hungerford defence constant problems with his searing runs, no more so than in the 24th min, when he tore through the defence making his way into the box before letting rip with a shot that Paul Strudley the Hungerford keeper did well to save.

Sam Collier was working well up front on his own holding the ball up and laying off to the midfield players, and it was in the 26th minute that he knocked on a great ball for Jamie Reid who got to the by-line and fed the ball back into the path of the advancing Morse whose shot flew wide.

Ciren were completely dominating the game and deservedly went ahead in the 27th minute after Jamie Reid picked the ball up in the middle of the pitch, took two paces forward before unleashing an unstoppable shot with swerve that found the top corner of the Hungerford net.

This goal seemed to give Ciren even more confidence with Wells, Mortimer-Jones and Reid running the show from midfield, Collier holding the front line with Morse and Bennett causing Hungerford lots of problems down the flanks.

Within the next 15 mins Ciren went close and could have increased the lead in the 30th min when Reid laid a good ball on for Bennett who fired over the bar. Then it was Bennett’s turn to be the provider passing for Wells who then fed Reid who also saw his shot fly over the bar. Further attempts from Wells and Mortimer-Jones brought out good saves from the keeper.

It looked like we were to get that second goal with minutes left of the 1st half when Collier made a great turn leaving the defence for dead and fired from 25 yards a rocket of a shot.The keeper never moved and could only watch as the ball flew past him and inches wide of the far post.

Half Time: 0-1

The second half started like the first with Ciren looking for every opportunity to get forward but it was in the 54th minute when the flow of the game would change. Morse made a great run up the left beating one defender. He then went round the second before being brought down, which resulted in the defender being booked. Wells' free kick was hit into the box and out for a goal kick. However, after appeals from the Hungerford team, the referee consulted with the linesman who judged that Jamie Reid had deliberately handballed. He had already been booked in the first half so this brought him a second yellow card, followed by a red. Ciren were now down to 10 men and against the top of the league team who were playing down the slope, this was going to prove a test of Ciren’s team spirit and fitness!

The remainder of the second half saw Hungerford pilling on the pressure, but Ciren’s back four were resilient and with Glyn Garner behind them there was such a strong feeling of confidence in the whole team. Garner had very little to do in the first half but, when called upon in the second, he dealt with everything comfortably. This seemed to give the back four that added confidence which meant Hungerford were struggling to break through and have any real opportunities of goal scoring chances.

Although on the back foot, Ciren had not given up on adding to their own score and on two occasions Bennett was through only to see one go wide and the other over the bar. In the 76th minute, Sam Packer replaced Sam Collier who had been ill earlier in the week and had worked tirelessly throughout the game. In the 85th minute John Beedon came on for the injured Morse.

In the 91st minute, Ellis Dunton put through a great ball for Bennett and with only the keeper to beat pulled his shot wide. The referee seemed to playing a lot of extra time and it was in the 97th minute that Beedon chased down Strudley’s kick out. The ball was in the air and Beedon beat Strudley to it and headed it back towards goal and as the keeper was on the floor, Beedon sho,t only to see it hit the side netting,

The last action of the game was a Hungerford free kick from  25 yards, which saw Glyn Garner collect after the ball came at him through a group of players. As Garner booted the ball out, the referee brought the game to an end with a well deserved win for Ciren.

Full time Hungerford 0-1 Cirencester.

The referee  booked 10 players in this hard fought match.

In front of a crowd of 84, this was a five star Cirencester performance and if we continue to perform like this we have no one to fear.

Attendance: 84

Referee: Antony Foster

Hungerford Town:

1. Paul Strudley
2. Mark Hughes
3. Diak John (C)
4. Gary Horgan
5. Matt Day
6. Luke Brewer
7. Bradley Gray
8. Ian Herring
9. James Clark
10. Mark Draycott
11. Alan O'Brien

12. Ben Pugh (on for Mark Draycott - 45 mins)
14. Sean Wood 
15. Harry Goodger (on for Bradley Gray - ? mins)
16. Dean Stow
17. Scott Rees

Cirencester Town:

1. Glyn Garner
2. Shayne Anson
3. Ellis Dunton
4. Chris Thompson
5. Leigh Henry
6. James Mortimer-Jones
7. Jamie Reid (C)
8. Ben Wells
9. Sam Collier
10. Aidan Bennett
11. Josh Morse

12. Scott Griffin
14. Jon Beedon (on for Josh Morse - 85 mins)
15. Sam Packer (on for Sam Collier - 76 mins)

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