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Evo-Stik League Southern D1 S&W

Abingdon United 0  - 2 Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Abingdon was the destination for the latest League fixture to play a United side that have had mixed fortunes of late, winning two and drawing three of their last ten games. The wins however were their last two home fixtures.

The visitors were without Chris Thompson (injured), Jon Beeden (working) and Sam Packer (holiday). Jamie Reid was still suffering from the knock he took at Merthyr on Tuesday so he was not risked but took a place on the bench. Into the squad came two 17 year olds, Kieran Jones and Tim Bond, from the Development Team – Kieran starting in midfield with Tim on the bench.

As a result of these absences James Mortimer-Jones once again moved to right back with Shayne Anson taking up a centre back position and regaining the Captain’s armband.

The match kicked off in dull, overcast conditions and straight from the start Cirencester looked keen to continue their run of good form as within minutes they had secured their first corner on the left but Abingdon cleared the danger.

Abingdon countered with a corner of their own which Glyn Garner safely gathered.

The first shot at goal in the match was from Brad Hooper who just cleared the bar having collected a chest lay-off from Sam Collier following a sequence of passes started by James Mortimer-Jones to Kieran Jones and onto Sam.

Cirencester were playing the more composed football with Brad Hooper and Ben Wells winning much possession in midfield and moving the ball on quickly whilst Abingdon were relying on the long ball approach to their front runners.

Cirencester opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a superb pass and move goal. Ben Wells collected the ball in the centre circle and with the outside of his right foot bent a pass into the path of Shayne Bumphrey on the left wing, midway into the Abingdon half. Bumphrey made ground towards the bye-line before crossing the ball into the penalty area.  Ben Wells had continued his run and rose to meet the ball, just left of the penalty spot, and powered the ball with his head into the top left corner.

Shortly afterward Wells was again in the action as he was ankle tapped as he lined up to shoot from just outside the box resulting in a free kick that he took himself.  The home ‘keeper had to make a full length dive to his right to parry the ball and then managed to collect it before a Ciren player could reach it.

Just short of the quarter hour mark Brad Hooper managed to win two headers in quick succession just inside the Abingdon half, right of centre. The second was collected by Shayne Bumphrey who drove into the home box, between two defenders and as he reached the penalty spot under pressure the ball ran away from him - enough for ‘keeper James Foster to dive on the loose ball.

Abingdon were persisting with the long ball and in the 20th minute a header-on, from midway into the Cirencester half, provided an opportunity for Aaron Woodley.  As he chased after the ball, just outside the Cirencester penalty area, right of centre, Glyn Garner raced out to meet him resulting in the striker hurriedly shooting high over the bar.

Midway through the half Cirencester extended their lead with another ‘cracking’ goal.

Aidan Bennett received a ball inside the Abingdon half, right of centre, and as his marker closed him down he flicked the ball over the Abingdon player’s head where it fell into the path of Sam Collier. Without hesitation Sam Collier took the shot on as the ball bounced up and struck a superb right footed volley from fully 35 yards that screamed into the back of the net, inside the right post, without ‘keeper Foster moving.

Just past the half hour mark Aidan Bennett received the ball from Brad Hooper, drove down the right on the edge of the area and as he reached the bye-line struck a cross shot into the side netting.

In the 36th minute Matthew Biddle had a pot at the Cirencester goal from 25 yards but it was wide of the right post.

The last action of the half came following a header from Brad Hooper to Shayne Bumphrey who took it to the edge of the area and bye-line before unleashing a fierce cross shot that struck the post and side netting.

Half Time:   0 – 2

The first action of the half came from Abingdon, 3 minutes in, when they were awarded a free kick just outside the box, right of centre. Kevin Halliday took the kick and Glyn Garner punched it out under pressure from the 6 yard box. The ball came back into the area and there followed a melee that eventually led to Garner collecting the ball near his right post.

It was evident that both defences had pushed up towards the half way line resulting in lots of bodies and no space in a 30 yard wide band across the pitch and this produced more long balls out into the space behind the defences and lots of ‘off-side’ decisions.

Quarter of an hour in, one such ball reached Aidan Bennett who attacked the Abingdon penalty area down the right and crossed the ball to Sam Collier who shot over the bar.

A good move down the left in the 63rd minute, involving several players – Wells to Dunton to Wells to Collier to Dunton to Jones to Collier to Dunton - following a short free kick inside the Cirencester half led to a cross that Foster managed to catch was an exception to the long ball. 

Three minutes later Matthew Biddle headed over the Cirencester bar following a left wing corner.

Cirencester made their first substitution in the 69th minute when Tim Bond replaced Kieran Jones who had supported well and played it simple whenever he received the ball.

A couple of minutes later Shayne Bumphrey drove a long pass, from left to right to Bennett who was on a run down the right channel but unfortunately he was quickly surrounded and the ball was lost.

Scott Griffin replaced Sam Collier, who had worked hard against his former Club and provided a springboard for a number of attacking moves, in the 85th minute.

Griffin managed to get a shot in, over the bar from the right side of the area in his short period on the pitch and in the dying moments of the match Bennett also had a shot blocked that spooned over the bar.

Final Score: 0 - 2

The promise of the first half was not fulfilled in the second due to the change in tactics and the game became a fairly dour affair but Cirencester will be pleased that they extended their unbeaten run and did not concede a goal. 

MOM: Several candidates – Brad Hooper always in support, Leigh Henry solid as a rock but my vote goes to Ben Wells who was continually probing and capped his performance with a fine goal.

Attendance: 83

Referee:      Ben Cobb


Abingdon United:

1.   James Foster
2.   Tony Booker
3.   Kevin Halliday
4.   Mark James
5.   Gareth Thomas  (C)
6.   Tom Melledew
7.   Carl Self
8.   Sam Tucker
9.   Aaron Woodley
10.  Matthew Biddle
11.  Steve Davis

12.  Carl Evans
14.  Toby Nowell              (Steve Davis – 68 mins)
15.  Ricio Gianlucca         (Sam Tucker – 46 mins)
16.  Nick Christodolou      (Carl Self – 68 mins)


Cirencester Town:

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

12.  Scott Griffin  (Sam Collier - 85 mins)
14.  Tim Bond     (Kieran Jones – 69 mins)
15.  Jamie Reid


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