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The Calor League – Division One South & West

Bridgwater Town 1 – 3 Cirencester Town

The Centurions returned to league action after the Christmas holiday break with a trip to Somerset to meet old rivals Bridgwater Town who defeated them at home earlier in the season 4 – 1. A tough game was expected and so it proved.

The starting eleven had a different look to the one that took the field at Evesham due to the absence of Steve Davies and, following a fitness test, James Mortimer-Jones.

During the holiday period former player Mark Pritchett re-joined Cirencester from Shortwood, after a few years away, and took a position in the centre of the defence with Ellis Dunton moving to left back in place of Ben Prictor. Joe Shepherd started alongside Brad Hooper and Sean Wood in midfield, with Shane Bumphrey starting in the central striker role – Aidan Bennett moving to the right flank.

Cirencester kicked off on a damp, soft pitch but thankfully no wind – their previous two games having been played in extremely strong winds ruining both matches as a spectacle.

It was Bridgwater who had the first opportunity with a left wing corner in the first minute that was cleared downfield for Cirencester to counter attack down their right flank and this was also repelled.

The first free kick of the game was awarded to the visitors and Sean Wood drove it from the left flank into the penalty area where ‘keeper Chris Wright took the catch cleanly.

The match became end to end with neither side able to maintain any period of sustained pressure. Bridgwater looked very dangerous down their flanks with Kyle Tooze on the left and Danny Wring on the right featuring.

Bridgwater opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Kyle Tooze received a ball on the left and made ground down the flank with Shayne Anson in pursuit. When he reached the edge of the penalty area he cut back onto his right foot and across the front edge of the area looking for an opening.  After a couple of false alarms he took the shot and it entered the net just inside the unsighted Glyn Garner’s right post.  1 - 0

Cirencester responded with a move down their left which resulted in a shot from Shane Bumphrey that was collected at the second attempt by Wright.  Shortly afterwards Aidan Bennett, who had switched wings with Lee Smith, won the ball and crossed to the back post where the ball was put behind for a right wing corner. The resultant kick was headed over the bar by Ellis Dunton.

Just before the half hour mark Tooze once again collected the ball on the left and accelerated down the wing before unleashing a fierce left footed shot high over the bar. The prolific Joe Bushin then fired in a low shot from the centre edge of the penalty area that was comfortably gathered by Garner.

Ellis Dunton tackled Wring just inside the visitors half and when the ball broke loose had to make another challenge with Tom Warren. The ball dropped into his path and he charged down the wing before passing the ball into the left corner for Bumphrey to collect and cross to the back post. Joe Shepherd had made a supporting run but the ball was just too high for him.

Six minutes before half time Alex Faux  had to be replaced by Mike Duffy as he had sustained an injury.

A minute later a free kick, taken by Sean Wood, once again found the head of Dunton who sent it on to Bumphrey. In the challenge it dropped to Lee Smith on the left side of the penalty area and his left footed shot was parried by Wright before he was adjudged to be off-side.

Some neat football on the right resulted in the ball reaching Lee Smith but his shot from the edge of the penalty area was held by Wright.

There was a final flurry of activity in the visitor’s goalmouth as the half came to an end when Duffy had a speculative pot at goal from the left edge of the area that was saved by Garner and in the dying seconds a free kick, taken by Geraint Bater from near the right corner flag, was punched clear by Garner.


Half Time:   1 - 0


During the half time interval it was later reported that Manager Hughes gave his troops a Chuchillian motivational speech and this did the trick as the Centurions played at a much quicker pace than had been apparent in the first half and they were rewarded 6 minutes into the half.

Lee Smith, back on the left, collected a ball on the half way line and immediately set off down the wing towards the home penalty area. Once inside he cut back near the by-line but was brought down and referee Robert Dabbs, who was well placed on the left edge of the area, immediately awarded a penalty which Smith stepped up to convert with a well struck kick into the roof of the net.    1 - 1

Four minutes later Smith was in the action again as he crossed from the left, following another good run, to Bumphrey who shot on the turn, left of the penalty spot, but his shot was blocked for a left wing corner.

Sean Wood took the corner and drove the ball towards the 6 yard box where it was met by Ellis Dunton as he made a late run to the near post to head into the net.    1 - 2

In the 64th minute Jody Bevan replaced the hard working Bumphrey and within 5 minutes he was in the thick of it as he received a long ball from defence, controlled it and laid it into the path of Smith who shot on the run, just outside the penalty area, but it was blocked and cleared.

Another clearance by Joe Shepherd from the edge of the Centurions penalty area was chased down by Bevan and taken to the right corner of the pitch where he successfully won a corner.

There were a number of attacks started by clever headers and flicks from Bevan and in the 88th minute one such header released Smith who weaved his way into the right side of the penalty area. His toe-poked shot was blocked by a defender and as he went to ground his hand made contact with the ball stopping.  Referee Dabbs was well positioned, left of the penalty spot, and again awarded a penalty.

Lee Smith calmly drove the kick into the top right corner of the net.      1 - 3

The final action of note, in the 89th minute, nearly produced the 250th senior goal of Bevan’s career as he received a pass from Bennett and advanced into the centre right of the penalty area. He cut back to his right, then to his left to wrong foot his marker but once he had created the space his shot was blocked by another covering defender so he will have to wait for another game to score that elusive goal.


Final Score: 1 - 3


Cirencester launched too many high balls at the tall home defence in the first half with no success despite looking far more potent on the few occasions they kept it on the ground.

In the second half they played on the ground at a much quicker pace and once Jody Bevan took to the field and began to use his experience and size to compete in the air they looked even more dangerous as they had options in their style of play.

The final result was due to their ‘never-say-die’ attitude and commitment and Manager Hughes will no doubt be pleased with the response to his clarion call at half time. 

Debutant Mark Pritchett enjoyed a solid debut which totally justified his recruitment to the cause.

Attendance: 241                                

Referee:      Robert Dabbs

 

Bridgwater Town:

1.   Chris Wright
2.   Tom Warren   (C)
3.   Alex Faux
4.   Craig Allan      
5.   Scott Thomas
6.   Geraint Bater    
7.   Kyle Tooze               
8.   Toby Osman
9.   Mitchell Page            
10.  Joe Bushin
11.  Danny Wring

12.  Daine O’Connor       (Mitchell Page-75mins)                
14.  Mike Duffy               (Alex Faux-39mins)
15.  Chris McGrath       (Tom Warren-69mins)       
16.  Sam Turl        
17.  Sam Alexander - GK

 

Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Shayne Anson    (C)
3..  Ellis Dunton 
4.   Joe Shepherd
5.   Mark Pritchett 
6.   Leigh Henry    
7.   Brad Hooper
8.   Sean Wood
9.   Aidan Bennett    
10.  Shane Bumphrey
11.  Lee Smith

12.  Jody Bevan           (Shane Bumphrey-64mins)
14.  Ben Prictor          
15.  Dean Bromley            
16.  Jacob Davidge    

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