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Calor League Division 1 South & West

Cirencester Town 2 - 0 Stratford Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Stratford Town, newcomers to the division, were the latest visitors to the Corinium Stadium. In the reverse fixture the Centurions managed to come away with a victory after a hard fought game and Stratford are in a good run of form - unbeaten in their last 7 matches - so another tough match was expected.

Cirencester kicked off playing towards the Shed End on a bright, dry day with the same starting eleven as the previous two matches.

Stratford showed their intent from the off and immediately mounted an attack down their left flank which led to a free kick that Glyn Garner punched to the edge of the box for a Cirencester counter attack via Will Morford and Steve Davies.

Stratford won the ball back and Loyiso Recci advanced down their right wing before whipping in a dangerous cross to the edge of the 6 yard box that Tyrone Fagan got his head to and it looked destined for the inside of the far post until Garner dived full length to tip it round the post for a corner. Alex Price blasted the corner kick clearance over the bar from some 30 yards.

Eleven minutes into the match Cirencester played some neat football on their left flank but Lee Smith’s cross was comfortably caught by visiting ‘keeper Andy Kemp.

Shortly afterwards Mark Pritchett made a superbly timed tackle on the edge of his penalty area to stop a dangerous Stratford attack in it’s tracks.

At this stage Stratford were very lively - winning most of the second ball and passing more accurately than their hosts.

Despite this, the Centurions did manage to threaten a couple of times in the first quarter through Lee Smith and Will Morford. Smith collecting a free kick on the left edge of the penalty area, turning and shooting wide of the right post, whilst Morford took a headed pass from Sean Wood on his chest and struck a right footed volley on the turn from 25 yards that also narrowly passed wide of the right post.

Just on the mid-point of the half Stratford nearly opened the scoring when a dangerous ball into the box reached the Divisions top scorer, Richard Gregory, on the edge of the 6 yard box at the back post. Gregory saw Garner diving to block any attempt on goal and cleverly scooped it over him to hit the inside of the post. The ball rebounded to the right and before anyone could tap it into the empty net Leigh Henry booted it clear.

The Centurions were showing signs of getting into the game around the half hour mark as James Mortimer-Jones played a ball over the top for Morford but the alert Kemp managed to reach it first. This was closely followed by a Morford header that went wide of the left post following a throw-in on the right flank and a Smith shot that was blocked for a corner.

Henry then struck a shot over the bar from 25 yards, left of centre, after some neat play between Smith and Morford had created the opportunity.

Cirencester nearly opened the scoring themselves when Sean Wood launched a pass from just inside the visiting half on the left flank towards the penalty spot where Matt Liddiard, who had made a well timed run into the box, headed it against the crossbar.

The final action of the half came as a result of a long throw from Ellis Dunton on the left flank  that fell to Smith – his drive from the right of centre edge of the penalty area was cleared off the line towards the Cirencester left flank where Dunton latched on to it and struck it back towards goal. This time it was diverted for a corner that was cleared. 

Half Time:   0 - 0

On the resumption, Stratford’s Mason Rowley had a pot at goal following a corner from the left but his attempt was parried by Garner before being driven over the bar by Chris Sterling.

Cirencester had come out for the second half with much more positive mind set and after this initial shock Morford was in the action again as his run was blocked in the box with the loose ball breaking to Leigh Henry on the centre edge of the penalty area but his shot was parried.

The next attempt on goal also came from Henry as he latched onto a clearance from Kemp following a deep free kick from the home side’s right flank.

Will Morford had been busy all match working the flanks and the centre and from a run down the left edge of the penalty area he crossed the ball towards the back post where Steve Davies was dashing in to collect but the ball was cut-off before it reached him and cleared.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 65th minute after Ellis Dunton darted in front of an opponent to intercept a pass out of the visitor’s penalty area. Dunton then played the ball into the path of Lee Smith making a run down the left side of the penalty area and as he closed in on goal he was brought down and a penalty kick was awarded.

Steve Davies stepped up and despatched the penalty into the bottom left corner.   1-0

Within minutes of this breakthrough Garner punted the ball downfield to Dunton who headed on to Morford who moved it on for Liddiard to strike a fierce shot from the left side of the penalty area towards the bottom corner (left side) but Kemp produced a superb diving save to push the ball round the post for a corner.

Cirencester increased their lead fifteen minutes later following a throw-in on their right flank into the visitor’s penalty area – the ball was headed out to the point of the area (right side) where James Mortimer-Jones was on hand to collect. He started a run along the edge of the area moving towards the centre and after a couple of steps unleashed a spectacular left footed shot that entered the net in the top right corner with Kemp helpless to stop it.   2-0

With five minutes to play the match could have become very interesting as Stratford were awarded a penalty after Henry tripped Jamie Sheldon.

Top scorer Gregory placed the ball on the spot and fired his kick towards the bottom right corner of the goal but Garner had guessed correctly and dived to his left to catch the ball.

Final Score: 2 - 0

An entertaining game with plenty of good football (Stratford first half, Cirencester second half), goalmouth incident, two penalties and woodwork struck twice

The Four Pillars Hotel Man of the Match Award was voted on by supporters and presented to Glyn Garner.

Attendance: 111                                 

Referee:    Ben James     

Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Shayne Anson    (C)
3.   Ellis Dunton
4.   Mark Pritchett
5.   Matt Liddiard
6.   Leigh Henry
7.   Sean Wood             
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Will Morford
10. Steve Davies          
11.  Lee Smith               

12.  Jody Bevan       (Will Morford-79mins)  
14.  Aidan Bennett   (Sean Wood-86mins)  
15.  Ben Prictor      
16.  Dan Hill
17.  Matt Fusco 

Stratford Town:

1.   Andy Kemp
2.   Loyiso Recci     (C)
3.   Trey Braithwaite
4.   Callum Burgess         
5.   Mason Rowley
6.   Alex Price    
7.   Chris Sterling
8.   Sam Adkins
9.   Richard Gregory
10.  Tyrone Fagan
11.  Jamie Sheldon

12.  Simeon Tulloch    (Tyrone Fagan-65mins)                   
14.  Guy Clark             (Sam Adkins-45mins)
15.  Sean Brain           (Loyiso Recci-82mins)
16.  Aaron Williams

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