skip to content

FA Carlsberg Trophy – Preliminary Round

Didcot Town 1 – 1 Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Cirencester travelled to Didcot for this FA Carlsberg Trophy Preliminary Round match with a couple of changes to the starting line-up when compared with the eleven that took the field in mid-week against Cinderford.

Leigh Henry who left the field on Tuesday with a slight groin strain had not recovered sufficiently to take part so Shayne Anson moved into the centre of defence alongside Chris Holland and Joe Shepherd took the vacant right back slot. Joe’s place in midfield was taken by Sean Wood who rejoined the Club during the week from Hungerford Town. Sean last played for Cirencester during the 2010/11 season – since then he has played for Swindon Supermarine and Hungerford.

Cirencester kicked off and had the worst start possible as within two minutes they had conceded a goal.

An attempted clearance on the Cirencester left flank was charged down and the subsequent pressure led to a right wing corner being awarded to Didcot. Left back Taylor Janes took the kick with his left foot and drove the ball towards the near post where Lance Williams, who had made a darting run, met it with his head to power the ball inside the right post before Glyn Garner or his on-the-line defenders could react.  1-0

Encouraged by this early success Didcot continued to press and it took until the 9th minute for the Centurians to mount an attack – and a good move it was – involving Joe Shepherd, Brad Hooper, Sean Wood and Lee Smith. Smith cut in from the left edge of the penalty area aimed a curling right footed shot towards the top right corner but there was insufficient power and it was cleared.

A couple of minutes later Glyn Garner started another attack when he threw the ball to Smith in space on the left and he immediately galloped down the field for some 40 yards before releasing the ball to Steve Davies who had made an intelligent run across the pitch, centre to left flank as Smith moved inside and down the centre, behind the right back. Once he received the ball Davies made for the byeline and his left footed cross from just outside the 6 yard box was cleared before it could reach Sam Collier.

Didcot were extremely lively up front and looking very dangerous as they sent long balls forward for their eager strikers to chase. Just before the quarter hour mark there was a sustained period of pressure on the visitors when The Railwaymen cut off a pass and immediately launched the ball to Louis Joyce.  Joyce took on Shayne Anson twisting and turning, right then left, as he advanced into the box – Anson was matching him and keeping between the striker and the goal.  Eventually Joyce took on the shot and his team were awarded a left wing corner after the ball struck the side netting. Chris Holland headed the corner kick behind for another corner kick from the right.  This time the ball was cleared for a throw-in on the home team’s left flank. The ball was eventually cleared.

The dominance of the home team continued for the first half hour but there were signs that Ciren were beginning to get to grips with the bumpy pitch. 

Steve Davies made a run down the right flank and his cross produced a sliced clearance attempt from Luke Carnell that fell to Sam Collier. As the ball came down Collier took on the volley with his left foot, from around the penalty spot, but it went wide of the left post.

Shortly afterwards Brad Hooper intercepted another attempted clearance on the right edge of the penalty area, near the bye-line, and instantly crossed to Steve Davies just outside the centre edge of the 6 yard box. Davies did not connect cleanly and Keiran Beesley, the home ‘keeper parried the shot and it was cleared.

Cirencester were now enjoying more possession and produced their own period of pressure, with the ball bouncing around the home penalty area and several players having a kick at it in the box until Collier finally drove it high and wide of the target.

In the 43rd minute Cirencester mounted an attack that involved several players and went from left to right.  Unfortunately when Joe Shepherd made his pass from the centre circle to the right wing, with the outside of his right foot, he collapsed in pain. It is thought he has a recurrence of a previous injury to his right hip flexor. He left the field and was replaced by Aidan Bennett who took a position in midfield with James Mortimer-Jones dropping into right back.

During the period of added time Steve Davies crossed from the right to Lee Smith but his back post header was cleared for the umpteenth time by the dominant figure of Luke Carnell.

The final moment of excitement for the half came following a left wing corner, taken by Sean Wood, that found the head of Chris Holland on the back corner of the 6 yard box. Holland rose well and powered his header downwards towards the inside of the right post.  Beesley dived low to his left and somehow managed to get enough on it to slow the ball down and his defender on the line completed the clearance.

Half Time:   1 - 0

Within four minutes of the re-start Didcot created their first opening when Jemaine Ferierra slipped the ball to Nick Thorne on the right of the penalty area and he in turn crossed the ball to the centre edge of the penalty area where John Mills shot wide of the left post.

Cirencester responded with a move that started with a quick throw on the right from Mortimer-Jones to Brad Hooper who laid it off to Shayne Anson. Anson clipped the ball up to Steve Davies on the edge of the penalty area.  Davies played a ’chest pass’ into the path of Sam Collier who drove the ball over the bar from 23 yards.

The visitors were beginning to dominate play and mounting numerous attacks down the flanks with Smith and Bennett prominent.

In the 65th minute Bennett plucked a clearance from Janes out of the air with his left foot, with superb skill he brought it down and laid it off to Brad Hooper who struck a powerful shot, from outside of the penalty area, inches wide of the right post.

Hooper was popping up all over the midfield collecting balls and calmly moving on to team-mates along the deck and increasing the pressure on Didcot.

It was no surprise when, in the 76th minute, he received a ball inside from Mortimer-Jones on the right flank and in one move clipped it into the path of Bennett who ran down the wing to the corner. As the covering defender came out to close him down Bennett drove the ball low and hard across the 6 yard box. Jody Bevan, who had just replaced Collier, ran to the near post distracting the home defence, and the ball reached Steve Davies at the back post, almost on the goal line, and he bundled the ball over the line for an equaliser that had been due for some time.  

On the stroke of the completion of normal time Lee Smith saw his shot from the edge of the penalty area safely gathered, low to his left, by Beesley.

A couple of minutes later, in the last seconds of the match, Glyn Garner was called into action as Didcot with the last throw of the dice mounted an attack down their left flank.  The ball reached substitute Matt Blenford in space and as he entered the corner of the Cirencester penalty area he took the shot early and Garner spread himself well to save with his legs to earn a replay on Tuesday 8th October at the Corinium Stadium.

Final Score: 1 - 1

Didcot dominated the first 30 minutes but failed to increase their early lead as they were unable to break down the stubborn Cirencester defence.

Cirencester took the game to Didcot in the second half with more measured ‘on-the-deck’ football as they realised that Luke Carnell was winning everything in the air for the home side.

Their patience was rewarded.

Chris Holland was imperious in the visitors defence, ably assisted by Shayne Anson, and in the second half Brad Hooper was providing plenty of quality passes for Aidan Bennett and Lee Smith to cause problems down the flanks.  


Referee: Ernie Moore

Didcot Town:

1.   Keiran Beesley
2.   Sam Elkins
3.   Taylor Janes
4.   Sam Parish
5.   Luke Carnell   (C)
6.   Lance Williams
7.   Jemaine Ferierra
8.   Mike McKirnan
9.   Lois Joyce
10.  John Mills
11.  Nick Thorne
12.  Matt Blenford            (Lance Williams-84mins)                      
14.  Adam Morris             (John Mills-73mins)                  
15.  Joe Parish               
16.  Jack Longford           (Sam Elkins–66mins)       

Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Shayne Anson    (C)
3.   Ben Prictor
4.   James Mortimer-Jones
5.   Chris Holland
6.   Sean Wood
7.   Joe Shepherd
8.   Brad Hooper
9.   Sam Collier
10.  Steve Davies
11.  Lee Smith

12.  Jody Bevan               (Sam Collier - 74mins)         
14.  Aidan Bennett           (Joe Shepherd–44mins)
15.  Dean Bromley

Cirencester Town FC © 2011 - 2021