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Evo-Stik League Southern D1 S&W

Merthyr Town 0 - 0 Cirencester Town

 

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


Cirencester made the long journey to the Welsh Valleys for the midweek League fixture against play-off contenders Merthyr Town at Penydarren Park.

The visitors were without Chris Thompson (injured) and Shayne Anson (working) so Jamie Reid returned to the starting eleven, at right back, regaining the Captain’s armband in the process. 

Former Centurion, Nathan Davies, was unavailable to the hosts as he was serving the second of his three match suspension due to a recent misdemeanour.

The match was played in mild conditions on a pitch that became more slippery as the evening progressed and proved to be a pulsating encounter, despite the nil-nil score-line.

Straight from the kick-off Merthyr showed the confidence of a home team that sits fourth in the League table – having lost only once in their last twelve matches (last Saturday against Paulton) - as within the first two minutes a powerful header from the edge of the penalty area by Gary Colborne was cleared off his line by the outstretched right foot of Aidan Bennett.

A couple of minutes later Bennett was again involved as he made a determined break, from just inside the Merthyr half, down the right wing that took him almost to the byeline where he crossed a dangerous ball to the far post. Shayne Bumphrey was making ground in support but was just too late to reach the cross with his head on the edge of the 6 yard box.

On the quarter hour a free kick from the visitors left flank was punched out of the area by Glyn Garner where Ian Traylor volleyed it wide of the right hand post as he viewed it. Almost immediately Merthyr were back again as a corner from their right wing was headed over by Aaron Cornwall.

Shortly after, the speedy Traylor took the ball to the byeline on the left and crossed to the back post but once again the header was over the bar. 

It appeared only a matter of time before Merthyr would score and in the 21st minute it looked like they had finally broken through when Traylor received the ball on the left edge of the penalty area and as Jamie Reid closed him down he managed to flick the ball past him and the advancing Glyn Garner towards the goal. Fortunately for Cirencester Jon Beeden was covering back and facing his goal he managed to clear the ball with his left foot just before it could cross the line inside Ciren’s left post.  The clearance reached a Merthyr player wide on the Cirencester left flank and in his attempt to win the ball Shayne Bumphrey was adjudged to have fouled, resulting in a yellow card. 

The resultant free kick was driven towards goal and it required a full length diving save from Garner to tip it past the far post.  

Jamie Reid took a knock to his recently broken right leg whilst attempting to block a shot and hobbled around briefly before sitting on the ground. Whilst receiving treatment the home crowd, not aware of this history, thought he was playing for time and became restless – a scene that was to be repeated shortly afterwards.

Garner was once called into action again in the 25th minute to make another good save and a few minutes later Ryan Prosser clipped the top of the bar following a five pass move from the home team that started on the right, switched to the left before returning to the right.

Cirencester were riding their luck and feeding off scraps but at the same time when the ball reached Aidan Bennett he was proving a handful for the home defence.  Jamie Reid fed the ball to him, just after the half hour mark, and he sped down the right wing, crossed to the left where Shayne Bumphrey just missed the left post.

This seemed to encourage the visitors and almost immediately Ellis Dunton intercepted a through ball on the left and fed Bumphrey on the half way line, he in turn passed to Brad Hooper – who was having an industrious game – who returned it to the left wing but unfortunately the move came to nothing.   

Five minutes before the scheduled interval Jamie Reid collapsed again with no-one around him and the ball in the Merthyr half.  This time he left the field for good to be replaced by Liam O’Brien.

This required a re-shuffle as Liam took a position in the centre of midfield and James Mortimer-Jones moved to right back.

Liam was involved in the action almost immediately on his arrival as Ellis Dunton once again intercepted a ball on the left, 20 yards inside his own half, made ground before slipping the ball inside to the supporting O’Brien – midway into the Merthyr half.  Upon receiving the ball Liam looked up and saw Aidan Bennett in space on the right edge of the penalty area.  He then drove an inch perfect ball to his team-mate that cleared the head of the home left back. Aidan took the ball in his stride into the area and before anyone could get to him struck a fierce shot that just missed the left hand post.  Had it struck the post or been slightly less fierce it might have reached Sam Collier who was following up.

The last few minutes of the half had been more productive for Cirencester and were a sign of things to come.

 

Half Time:   0 – 0

 

Cirencester began the second half more purposefully and within the first ten minutes had had three corners. The first following a ball from O’Brien to Hooper on the right wing and his cross was headed behind, then shots from Bennett and Collier that were blocked.

Twelve minutes into the half a ball to the left wing found Bumphrey who advanced to the left edge of the penalty area before pulling the ball back towards the centre edge of the area for Sam Collier to strike on the run. Unfortunately he did not connect cleanly and the ball was cleared.

A minute later, Ben Wells fed the ball to the left wing and from the resulting cross Hooper volleyed the ball wide of the left post.

In the 63rd minute Ryan Prosser received the ball with his back to goal, just outside the Cirencester penalty area – right of centre, was allowed to turn and shot with his left foot wide of the right post.

Eight minutes later Ben Wells struck one of his trademark long passes from right midfield to left wing where Shayne Bumphrey shot wide of the left post.

Just before the half hour mark of the half Garyn Preen, who had replaced the dangerous Traylor, wriggled his way past a couple of Cirencester players and with O’Brien snapping at his heels approached the centre edge of the area but shot over the bar.

In the dying moments of this tense and exciting game, neither side wished to concede a late goal and Cirencester had a chance when the ball reached Collier in space on the right, 10 yards outside of the penalty area.  Noticing that ‘keeper Giles Cutlan had advanced off his line, he tried to lift the ball over him but at full stretch Cutlan managed to catch the ball cleanly.  

 

Final Score: 0 - 0

 

This was an exciting match, played in a good spirit, at pace, with much endeavour and resolute defending. Merthyr dominated much of the first half whilst Cirencester rode their luck and looked dangerous on the break. The second half was more even with Cirencester proving resilient and adventurous as they kept possession better.

It was certainly a game you could not take your eyes off for fear of missing something such was the speed and change of direction of the attacks at either end of the pitch.

A great team effort with everyone playing their part, against a side that plays fast, attacking football and has received glowing reports from other teams that have played against them - WELL DONE LADS.

MOM: Glyn Garner – who encouraged the team throughout (as usual) and pulled off numerous saves of note to keep Ciren in the match. 

Attendance: 207

Referee:      Marvyn Amphlett – Kidderminster

 

Merthyr Town:

1.   Giles Cutlan
2.   Steve Williams  (C)
3.   Alun Griffiths
4.   Andrew Thomas
5.   Gary Colborne
6.   Jamie Rewbury         
7.   Matthew Harris
8.   Aaron Cornwall
9.   Ryan Prosser
10.  Marcus Griffiths
11.  Ian Traylor               

12.  Jon Newall (on for Jamie Rewbury – 77 mins)
14.  Jack Howe
15.  Garyn Preen (on for Ian Traylor – 69 mins)
16.  Luke Jones (on for Aaron Cornwall – 60 mins)

 

Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Jamie Reid  (C)         
3.   Ellis Dunton
4.   Jon Beeden
5.   Leigh Henry
6.   James Mortimer-Jones
7.   Brad Hooper
8.   Ben Wells
9.   Sam Collier
10.  Aidan Bennett
11.  Shane Bumphrey

12.  Scott Griffin
14.  Sam Packer
15.  Liam O’Brien (on for Jamie Reid – 40 mins)

 

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