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FA Cup – Preliminary Round

 Slough Town 1 – 1 Cirencester Town


Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Cirencester travelled to the ground of Beaconsfield SYCOB to play against ground-sharing Slough Town in this their first cup competition of the new season.

The team were without Will Morford and Mat Liddiard as Gloucester City, their parent club, did not wish them to be cup-tied. In addition Steve Davies and Chris Holland had not recovered from their recent injuries and were unable to take part. Thankfully Leigh Henry was able to return to the centre of the defence, whilst Brad Hooper replaced Mat Liddiard in midfield and Aidan Bennett returned to the front line.

The weather was very warm, with little breeze, and the pitch very hard and bumpy.

Both teams are occupying mid-table positions in their respective leagues so a close match was anticipated.

Cirencester kicked off playing towards the clubhouse and the ball was fed to Ellis Dunton who moved it on to Lee Smith wide on the left wing.  Lee returned it when confronted by his marker and Ellis slipped it in behind the full back for Lee to collect but the resulting cross was blocked. A promising opening move and hopefully a sign of things to come.

A couple of minutes later Slough played a long ball to their left flank and the speedy Darren Wheeler latched on to it making good ground with Shayne Anson in pursuit. He managed to get his shot away from some 20 yards and struck the outside of the left post.

On 6 minutes a trademark long throw from Dunton, from the right corner, was met by Sam Collier, just outside the near edge of the 6 yard box, and he headed the ball well towards the back post. The home keeper, Jake Somerville, stretched to catch the ball and managed to hold it at the second attempt.

On the quarter hour the ball reached Wheeler on the right and his deep cross to the back post was headed back into the 6 yard box but was cleared by the determined Cirencester defence. The ball was immediately moved upfield and Aidan Bennett struck a firm left footed volley from the edge of the penalty area wide of the left post.

Within a minute another cross from the Slough right wing was pumped into the Cirencester area but it was over-hit.

The game was becoming a typical cup tie with the ball moving very quickly from end to end and due to the unpredictable bounce spending far too much time in the air as neither side appeared comfortable trying to take a touch.

Midway through the half a move between Dunton and Smith, very similar to the opening move, led to a left wing corner which was cleared by the home defence.

A couple of minutes later the ball reached the dangerous Wheeler who once again cut in from the right and unleashed a powerful shot with his favoured left foot which Glyn Garner tipped over the bar. The resulting corner was cleared.

Cirencester were put under a period of sustained pressure just after the half hour mark as Slough fired in a number of attempts at goal but the defence remained resolute to clear the danger.

Five minutes before half time Lee Smith collected a ball on the left, on the half way line, and struck a superb pass to Aidan Bennett on the right wing. Aidan made ground before driving a cross into the box where home ‘keeper Somerville caught the ball as Sam Collier was about to head it.

A frantic half with neither side having anything to show for their efforts.

Half Time:   0 - 0

Slough opened the half strongly and two minutes in headed a right wing cross wide of the left post.

After ten minutes Slough opened the scoring when they won a heading duel in the centre circle and the ball reached Darren Wheeler just outside the right edge of the penalty area and he lobbed Glyn Garner – the ball nestling inside the left post.

Within four minutes Cirencester equalised following a move down their left flank.  Ellis Dunton launched a long ball from just inside the Slough half, over the full back where Aidan Bennett made a run to collect. Aidan managed to retain possession despite the attention of two defenders and laid the ball into the path of Sam Collier who struck a firm left footed shot across the ‘keeper inside the far post from left of the penalty spot.

Shortly afterwards Slough’s Ollie Burgess drove a powerful free kick from some 35 yards which Garner did well to parry and the attempted over-head kick that followed comfortably cleared the bar.

A neat move on the right between Jack Smith and Tim Bond (who had replaced Aidan Bennett and Brad Hooper respectively) resulted in a pass to Lee Smith on the right edge of the penalty area and he struck a low drive that flew across the 6 yard box that first Jody Bevan (who had replaced Sam Collier) and then Joe Shepherd at the back post could not reach.

Half an hour into the half Jody Bevan, positioned near the centre circle chased a loose ball to the left touch line and passed it to Lee Smith who crossed for the hard working Joe Shepherd to head towards goal from around the penalty spot – Somerville saving comfortably.

The final quarter hour was attack and counter attack with neither side able to break down the other although Cirencester did get into the box a few times with no success.

Slough had a couple of free kicks from outside the box which were blocked.

With five minutes to go Lee Smith drove a fierce free kick from just outside the penalty area against the Slough crossbar.

Final Score: 1 - 1

This was a good cup tie, played in a good spirit on a difficult pitch in hot conditions.

An excellent team effort with everyone playing their part. Leigh Henry was always in the thick of it at the back and Lee Smith was constantly searching for the ball and not allowing the Slough rearguard to relax.

The replay takes place at the Corinium Stadium on Tuesday 3rd September, K.O. 7.45pm.

Please come along and support the boys in their effort to reach the First Round Qualifying Draw of the famous FA Cup.

Attendance: 222

Referee:      Paul Johnson


Slough Town:

1.   Jake Somerville
2.   Wes Harrison
3.   Ryan Lake
4.   Michael Blount
5.   Dave Woozley  (C)
6.   Ben Edwards
7.   Johnnie Dyer
8.   Ollie Burgess
9.   Ed Smith
10.  Darren Wheeler
11.  Sean Fraser

12.  Aaron Couch (Daren Wheeler – 85 mins)                 
14.  Scott Harris (Johnnie Dyer – 66 mins)
15.  Damien Smith (Ryan Lake – 83 mins)
16.  Adam Foulser           
17.  James Hawtree
18.  Sebastien Castello


Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Shayne Anson (C)    
3.   Ellis Dunton
4.   James Mortimer-Jones
5.   Jon Beedon
6.   Leigh Henry
7.   Joe Shepherd
8.   Brad Hooper
9.   Sam Collier
10.  Aidan Bennett
11.  Lee Smith

12.  Tim Bond (Brad Hooper - 62 mins)
14.  Jody Bevan (Sam Collier – 73 mins)
15.  Dean Bromley
16.  Kieran Jones
17.  Jack Smith (Aidan Bennett – 73 mins)

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