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FA Cup – First Qualifying Round


Banbury United   1 – 2  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Following their Preliminary Round replay victory over Slough Town, Cirencester made the relatively short journey to Calor Southern League Premier Division Banbury United for this First Qualifying Round tie of the FA Cup.

Once again there were a few changes to the line-up.


  • Shayne Anson - had not recovered from his groin strain.
  • Joe Shepherd - serving the second of his three match suspension.
  • Matt Liddiard - unavailable as parent club Gloucester City did not want him to become cup-tied.


  • Chris Holland - after missing the last four games due to the back injury he sustained in the Bridgwater match.
  • Jon Beeden - after completing his one match suspension.


As a result the back four once again had a new look with Ellis Dunton moving across to right back and Jon Beeden coming in at left back, with Chris Holland returning to the centre of the defence alongside Leigh Henry.

James Mortimer-Jones returned to midfield, after his recent sojourn at right back, in place of Matt Liddiard.

Cirencester kicked off on a firm, bumpy pitch in overcast weather conditions and lost the ball almost immediately.

The home side opened the scoring in the fifth minute, as they took advantage of the visitor’s defence getting their bearings in their respective positions, when they were awarded a corner on the Banbury left. Scott Bridges drove the ball to the edge of the 6 yard box where Adeyinka Talabi rose to head it into the top right corner.

Undeterred Cirencester immediately responded with a move involving several players as Leigh Henry took a free to Ellis Dunton who fed Sam Collier down the centre, on the edge of the penalty area. Sam released Lee Smith on the right and his shot was blocked and cleared.

Banbury were looking the sharper and always seemed to have a free man in midfield during the early part of the game but Cirencester were gradually settling into the game whilst mounting counter attacks with Steve Davies and Lee Smith the main threat down the flanks.  On the quarter hour mark Tim Bond won the ball on the left of midfield and launched a ball to Ellis Dunton on the right.  Dunton played a ball inside the full back to the speedy Davies who latched on to it and made ground before crossing. It was turned behind for a corner that was cleared.

Banbury’s Kynan Isaac had a couple of shots at goal from the right wing, the first resulted in a corner which was cleared, whilst the second was the result of a move that started on the left, with Kieran Westwood before being switched to Scott Bridges, and brought a fine save from visiting goal keeper Glyn Garner who turned it round for a left wing corner which was once again cleared.

Shortly after the mid-point of the half Cirencester had a good chance to equalise from a right wing corner taken by Steve Davies that Dunton met with a powerful header at the near post but unfortunately it flew wide of that post.

As the game entered the last ten minutes of the half Banbury played some neat football on the left which resulted in a corner on the right.

The game was now end to end with Cirencester showing more confidence and playing the ball on the deck. This was evident as a move down the centre to Sam Collier was fed on to the advancing Lee Smith on the left. Smith cut back inside the full back onto his right and fired at goal. Leigh Bedwell in the home goal parried the shot and then dived on the loose ball.

The Cirencester momentum was building and it was no surprise when they equalised in the 40th minute. Steve Davies received the ball from Tim Bond and raced down the centre towards goal before picking his spot with a superb right-footed strike into the bottom right corner of the goal.

On the stroke of half time Davies crossed a ball towards Smith that was taken off his head by ‘keeper Bedwell. 

Half Time:        1 - 1

Within two minutes of the re-start Cirencester showed the interval had not affected their concentration as they continued to press forward.

A break down the left reached the half way line and was switched to an advancing Dunton, in space outside the penalty area on the right, and he shot across the edge of the 6 yard box where Steve Davies at full stretch was unable to reach it.

Davies was in the action again a minute later when Tim Bond chipped the ball into his path as he raced through right of centre. Davies held off the challenge from the covering defender and as the ‘keeper advanced he clipped the ball towards goal but it finished just wide of the right post.  

A few minutes later a cross from the Banbury right wing was punched away by Glyn Garner - his momentum took him towards the edge of his penalty area - and Bridges immediately went for the lob but it cleared the bar.

A long throw from Dunton on the left was headed out by the Banbury defence but only as far as Brad Hooper who fired in a powerful shot from 25 yards out that went wide of the right post.

Cirencester were now creating a number of chances that unfortunately were not being taken and the travelling supporters were hoping they would not regret the lack of conversion.

At the mid-point of the half Sam Collier struck a shot over the bar and this was quickly followed by a corner from the right that produced another corner on the left which resulted in the ball being driven across the home 6 yard box with no Cirencester player able to reach it.

Shortly afterwards another left wing corner was powerfully headed over the bar by Chris Holland.

Cirencester supporter hearts were in their mouths when left back Kieran Westwood received the ball on the edge of the area but his shot was deflected for a left wing corner that fortunately came to nothing.

Kynan Isaac broke clear on the right and his well struck shot from inside the penalty area was well saved by Garner.

In the 75th minute a Davies break resulted in Collier looping a shot on the turn with his right foot over the bar, from just outside the right side of the 6 yard box.   

Glyn Garner kept Cirencester hopes alive with a spectacular save a couple of minutes later when the giant substitute Leon Simpson produced a powerful header that looked destined for the net before Garner dived full length to tip it wide of his right post.

This was to prove crucial as in the 89th minute Cirencester got the winner their second half performance deserved, although somewhat fortuitous in execution.  A Davies free kick from the left was deflected into the Banbury net by a defender, from within the 6 yard box, with Leigh Henry in close attendance waiting to pounce.

Final Score:      1 - 2

This was a good cup tie with both sides having periods of ascendancy and good play. It was an end to end affair played at a frantic pace.

Cirencester once again showed their character, coming from a goal down within 5 minutes to secure a creditable victory against a team from a higher division. It was another excellent team performance with everyone playing their part.

Attendance:     171                                          

Referee:           Ben Cooke

Banbury United:

1.   Leigh Bedwell
2.   Luke Cray         (C)
3.   Kieran Westwood
4.   Scott Bridges
5.   Wayne Blossom
6.   Tom Ryan
7.   Kyle Fraser-Allen
8.   Marvin Martin
9.   Adeyinka Talabi
10.  Kynan Isaac
11.  Aaron Morgan

12.  Anderson Pinto                                          
14.  Kyal McNulty                    
15.  Nic Evangelinos                 
16.  Leon Simpson  (on for Aaron Morgan – 55 mins)        
17.  Juliano Menezes
18.  John Mbamarah  (on for Kieran Westwood – 81 mins)
19.  Tanasheh Abrahams


Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Ellis Dunton
3.   Jon Beedon
4.   James Mortimer-Jones
5.   Chris Holland
6.   Leigh Henry     (C)
7.   Tim Bond
8.   Brad Hooper
9.   Sam Collier
10.  Steve Davies
11.  Lee Smith

12.  Aidan Bennett                               
14.  Jody Bevan  (on for Sam Collier – 81 mins)
15.  Dean Bromley

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