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Calor League Division 1 South & West

Shortwood United 1 - 2 Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Cirencester made the short journey to Nailsworth to play neighbours Shortwood United in this re-scheduled evening fixture. ‘The Wood’ are current leaders of the ‘6-match Form Guide’ and have lost only once in their last 21 games - scoring 18 goals in their last four fixtures and are therefore very much in form.

The Centurions were once again without Shayne Anson who is still troubled with a groin strain and is to seek medical advice in the next couple of weeks. As a result the starting eleven was as the previous match against Bishops Cleeve with Matt Liddiard at right back and Brad Hooper in midfield.

The home side kicked off playing away from their clubhouse.

The first attempt on either goal came from Cirencester in the third minute - Ellis Dunton won a header on the half way that landed at the feet of Aidan Bennett who shot wide of the left post from 35 yards.

Four minutes later the prolific Duncan Culley latched on to a loose ball on the right centre edge of the visitors penalty area and struck a powerful low shot towards the near post which Glyn Garner scrambled behind for a corner.

Cirencester had started the game in the same positive fashion they had displayed against Paulton and were not allowing their opponents any space to play and this was rewarded with a throw-in on the right flank which Dunton moved across from his flank to take. His throw found the head of Mark Pritchett, on the centre edge of the 6 yard box, and dropped tantalising close to the left post but Bennett was unable to get a toe on it and the chance was gone.

The Centurions opened the scoring in the 16th minute following a free kick 5 yards inside their half, left of centre, that Garner launched towards the right side of the home penalty area where Pritchett rose to head the ball. The initial header went high up into the air and in the direction of the penalty spot and Pritchett rose again to head it to the left side of the area, level with the penalty spot, where Lee Smith, in space, pounced to drive it inside the left post. 0-1

Cirencester were having a ‘purple patch’ and within minutes created another move down the right flank which began with a superb ball from Brad Hooper, on the right of the centre circle, to Bennett who made ground down the right of centre line of the pitch before releasing Smith on the left side of the penalty area.  Smith’s shot was blocked for a left wing corner.

Steve Davies took the corner kick and drove it to the back post where the attempted clearance fell to Pritchett, just inside the penalty area in line with the right post, and his left footed drive struck Joe Shepherd on the thigh, near the edge of the 6 yard box, and was diverted into the right side of the net.   0-2

The Shortwood response was a shot from 25 yards, left side, from Adam Price that Garner collected comfortably.

Encouraged by this John Cant received a ball on the left flank and made 30 yards before he was put under pressure by Shepherd as he was about to shoot – his effort going wide of the right post.

Moments later Cant was again in the action as he galloped down the left but this time it was Bennett who had chased back to put him under pressure enabling Matt Liddiard to collect the ball as Cant over-ran it on the left side of the pitch.  Liddiard played the ball up to Davies further down the flank and he took it to the bye-line before crossing into the box where Smith’s diving header, near the penalty spot, went wide of the right post.

Just past the half hour mark Bennett made a ‘chest pass’ into the path of Davies who immediately shot from 30 yards but his effort was high of the target.

In the final five minutes of the half Shortwood had a couple of shots at goal – the first following a throw-in on the right which reached Matt Bennett who shot over the bar from the right edge of the 6 yard box and the second when Culley held onto the ball with some ‘dancing footwork’ on the left edge of the area, with Shepherd in close attendance, before laying it back to a supporting Nick Hancock who fired over the bar.

Half Time:   0 - 2

The half time ‘pep-talk’ from the home management had the desired affect as Shortwood came out looking more positive and within the first minute Ross Langworthy sent in a cross from the right that Garner caught at full stretch in his 6 yard box.

In the next couple of minutes Garner was in similar action again as he caught a right wing corner, taken by the left foot of Cant, and then when Sam Avery’s cross from the right reached the left flank for Matt Bennett to send it back in again.

Twelve minutes into the half Cirencester produced a neat piece of football when Smith released Dunton on the left, he moved it on to Hooper who returned it. Dunton passed to Davies, who had made a run to the left corner, and his cross was cleared out to Hooper who moved it on to Bennett on the edge of the area. Bennett, back to goal, laid the ball off to Leigh Henry who took a pot shot that Tom King in the home goal collected.

Brad Hooper was in the action again a couple of minutes later when he sent in a fierce low drive from 25 yards, right of centre that was blocked.

Midway through the half Dunton was on the end of a Steve Davies corner from the right, but his header was wide of the left post from the left edge of the area.    

Shortly afterwards Adam Price had a snap-shot from the right centre edge of the area that went wide of the right post.

Shortwood were now on the up and a deep cross from the right touchline by Jake Parrott was once again caught by Garner at the back post.

The home side were rewarded for their effort with fifteen minutes of normal time remaining following an interchange of passes on the left flank between Kevin Slack and Sean Lawson that resulted in a cross from Lawson into the box. Adam  Price was on the end of it but his first touch ran away from him but fell kindly into the path of the lurking Duncan Culley, to the left of the penalty spot, who smashed it into the net off the inside of the left post.  1-2

Shortwood continued to press forward looking for an equaliser and from one deep cross from the right Liddiard did well to head behind for a corner when under considerable pressure.

In added-time Kevin Slack took a free kick from 25 yards out, right of centre, that flew high over the bar.

Final Score: 1 - 2

Cirencester started the match very well with their mobile forwards, supported by their busy midfield, looking very dangerous.

Shortwood had plenty of possession in the second half requiring the defensive side of Cirencester’s game to be at its best. Mark Pritchett, returning to his former club, was heavily involved in the action at both ends of the pitch.

He and his fellow defenders were in determined mood and extremely resolute.

This was the third time in as many weeks that Cirencester have played the team at the top of the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ and in each match they have played well.

In the games against Paulton and Shortwood the forwards have set the pattern of play by being very positive from the start and the rest of the team have responded.

Attendance: 127                                                   

Referee:      Dan Leach


Shortwood United:

1.    Tom King
2.    Sam Avery
3.    John Cant
4.    Ashley Thomas         
5.    James Coates  (C)
6.    Marc Richards    
7.    Nick Hancock           
8.    Adam Price
9.    Ross Langworthy                
10.  Matt Bennett
11.  Duncan Culley

12.  Jake Parrott   (Nick Hancock-53mins)     
14.  Daniel Martin
15.  Kevin Slack      (Matt Bennett-53mins)
16.  Sean Lawson    (Ross Langworthy-67mins)
17.  Ashton Herbert


Cirencester Town:

1.    Glyn Garner
2.    Brad Hooper     
3.    Ellis Dunton 
4.    Mark Pritchett 
5.    Matt Liddiard
6.    Leigh Henry     (C)     
7.    Joe Shepherd
8.    James Mortimer-Jones
9.    Aidan Bennett    
10.  Steve Davies
11.   Lee Smith 

12.  Jody Bevan     
14.  Tim Bond                   (Brad Hooper-90mins)    
15.  Jacob Davidge
16.  Ben Wells



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