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Calor League Division 1 S&W

Stratford Town 0 - 2 Cirencester Town

Match Report by Andy Buchan

Cirencester Town made their first visit to the new DCS Stadium home of Stratford Town for this Division 1 South/West league match.

It was sure to be a hard fought competitive game with Stratford having scored 16 goals in their last 3 games and Cirencester having conceded only 17 all season.

Cirencester were without Chris Holland (injured) and Jon Beeden who has signed for Chippenham Town.

In front of a healthy crowd (241) Stratford won the toss and elected to play from right-to-left. Straight from the whistle Ciren were on the attack down the left with Lee Smith upended in the 2nd minute. The free kick taken by Sean Wood was deflected for a corner, this was the pattern of play for most of the first half with both teams having half chances and the occasional corners.

Stratford’s Sam Adkins from a free kick saw his shot blocked and cleared. Both Matt West and Stratford’s leading scorer Richard Gregory were active upfront, however Leigh Henry and Ellis Dunton at the heart of the Ciren defence were in no mood to give them any space to show their abilities.

Ciren were controlling most of the play in midfield with Jamie Edge being in the thick of it and spreading accurate balls down both flanks for Aidan Bennett and Lee Smith.

The first half finished goalless with little to separate the teams.

The second half commenced with no changes for either team. Ciren nearly made the break through in the 48th minute after Smith dropped his left shoulder and went right leaving his marker for dead, Smith fired a shot at the far top right corner which looked to bring his tally for the season to 22 and would have been but for a superb one handed save from Andy Kemp who palmed it over the bar.

Cirencester had now lifted the tempo and were driving forward looking for that first goal. Bennett was causing the Stratford defence all sorts of problems with his powerful runs down the right and this was the case in the 49th min when he got to the byline and sent in a great cross which Smith headed low into the near post which Kemp did well to collect.

Ciren were to take the lead in the 60th min from a penalty which nobody seemed to know what for. There was mayhem in the Stratford box with Steve Davies 3 yards from goal, he looked to turn and then he was on the floor. Referee Simon Wales who was close to the incident immediately blew for a penalty. Davies placed the ball on the spot and buried it low into the left hand bottom corner giving Kemp no chance.

Even after this contentious decision Stratford still continued to play good football and went looking for the equalizer.

It was in the 86th minute that the game was sealed with a Ciren second goal, after another Bennett run down the wing his attempted cross was deflected for a corner. The ball from the corner came to Dunton who smashed it past Kemp with the ball coming back off the post which bounced off the back of Kemp heading towards goal. A defender cleared off the line only as far as Davies who rammed the ball home from 3 yards.

The match finished minutes later with Cirencester securing all 3 points and joining North Leigh, who we play against on the 26th of this month, on the same points at the top of the table.

This was another good performance from Cirencester against a well-organized side that plays good football and is sure to be a threat to all opponents in the league. All the Ciren supporters were of the same opinion that Stratford has fantastic facilities a superb pitch to play football on, and we all felt very welcome from all the officials and supporters of Stratford Town FC.

Next game; away to Clevedon Town on Monday evening the 18th Nov 7.45pm kickoff, If we win we go top, with good support, we can do it.

Supporters man of the match: Aidan Bennett.

Attendance: 241

Referee: Simon Wales

Stratford Town:

1.   Andy Kemp
2.   Gary Moran (C)
3.   Stuart Adamson
4.   Callum Burgess
5.   Dan Parker
6.   Jamie Sheldon
7.   Simeon Tulloch
8.   Sam Adkins 
9.   Richard Gregory
10. Matt West
11. Matt Gasper

12. Tyrone Fagan           (on for Richard Gregory - 76 mins)
14. Sam Brady (GK)
15. Loyiso Recci            (on for Stuart Adamson - 60 mins)
16. Michael Williams      (on for Matt Gasper - 54 mins)
17. Chris Sterling

Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Shayne Anson (C)
3.   Ben Prictor
4.   James Mortimer-Jones
5.   Ellis Dunton
6.   Leigh Henry
7.   Jamie Edge
8.   Sean Wood
9.   Aidan Bennett
10. Steve Davies
11. Lee Smith

12. Shane Bumphrey     (on for Steve Davies - 83 mins)
14. Brad Hooper
15. Jody Bevan
16. Kyle Pitts
17. Jack Smith

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