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Calor League Division 1 South & West

Mangotsfield United 2 - 3 Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

The Centurions travelled to the outskirts of Bristol to meet a side that a few weeks ago were on the fringe of the play-off positions.  The ‘Mangos’ have four former players in their ranks – Kevin Sawyer, Neil Arndale, Matt Sysum and Jamie Reid – who all captained Cirencester at some point in their spells at the Corinium Stadium.

The starting line-up for Cirencester had an unusual look about it due to the absence of Mark Pritchett who had dropped out at mid-day due to illness and Manager Brian Hughes had to shuffle his pack to accommodate this late withdrawal.  Ellis Dunton moved to centre back in place of Pritchett and Aidan Bennett once again showed his versatility by slotting in at left back.  Joe Shepherd took on the central striker role and Ben Wells started in midfield - his first start since his serious knee injury in the pre-season friendly against Cheltenham Town.   

Cirencester kicked off and attacked down the left flank but it was the home side that had the first pot at goal when Jamie Reid took on a shot from the right front edge of the penalty area that was blocked by a charging Ellis Dunton.

A minute later a Matt Sysum clearance was blocked and there followed the unusual sight of Sysum heading the ball back to ‘keeper Kevin Sawyer whilst on his knees on the edge of his penalty area - with Steve Davies trying to nick the ball.

Shortly afterwards Cirencester struggled to clear a left wing corner and the ball bobbled about the penalty area, with a number of attempts required, before the danger was over.

The Mangos maintained the pressure when a throw-in on their right flank into the visitor’s area was headed on to the left front edge where Tom Parrinello shot wide of the right post.

Cirencester responded with a Steve Davies break down their right wing but his cross was over-hit and went behind. 

In these early stages Mangotsfield were looking very dangerous and testing the understanding of the hastily-put-together back five of the visitors and Darren Edwards fought for a ball with two Centurions, who got in one another’s way, and shot from the right but his shot was blocked by Leigh Henry. 

Cirencester were relying on quick breaks down their flanks and one, after quarter of an hour, led to a throw-in on the left level with the front edge of the home penalty area. Dunton took the throw to Lee Smith and then exchanged passes with him before Smith worked himself into space and shot from the left front corner of the area but his effort went wide of the far post.  

The visitors were showing signs of wresting the initiative away from the home side and five minutes later Brad Hooper latched on to a loose ball, 30 yards out, and struck a fierce drive that just cleared the bar.

Hooper was in the action again a few minutes later when he won a challenge in the centre of the pitch and played a superb pass inside the defender for Smith to collect on the left. Smith cut-in and shot wide of the right post.

The two goal keepers were then called into action as Ashley Williams crossed the ball from 5 yards outside the left edge of the visitor’s area to Edwards but the resultant header from near the penalty spot was comfortably saved by Glyn Garner.

A free kick on the right flank into the box was then caught by Sawyer at his near post as Henry was just unable to get enough on the kick to deflect it past him.

James Mortimer–Jones was the next visitor to have a go following good work on the right by Shepherd where he won, then held, the ball before laying it off to the supporting Davies to cross to the back post. The clearance header from Alex Kite under pressure from Smith fell to Mortimer-Jones on the right front edge of the area and he shot low and wide of the left post. 

The deadlock was finally broken in the 33rd minute when Cirencester were awarded a free kick just outside the area, a few yards in from the left front corner.  Ben Wells stepped up and faced with a wall of defenders calmly, and superbly, curled his kick into the top right corner with Sawyer unable to get anywhere near it – perfection. A welcome sight for the visiting supporters to see him carry on where he left off last season, and fitting reward for his patient, determined recovery.   0-1

Cirencester nearly increased their lead a couple of minutes before the interval when Smith took the ball to the bye-line before sending in a low cross with his left foot that Sawyer managed to collect at his near post before the darting run of Davies could latch onto it.


Half Time:   0 - 1


The referee played a good advantage three minutes after the re-start when he allowed a move down the left flank to continue after Mortimer-Jones had made a heavy tackle on his opponent before Matt Sysum, who was playing on the left of a back three for Mangotsfield, collected the ball and made a run that took him to the bye-line inside the penalty area and his cross looped off Garner for Matt Liddiard to complete the clearance at the near post. The ball fell to Jamie Reid who shot wide of the left post from the right side of the penalty area.  The referee then awarded Mortimer-Jones a Yellow Card for the tackle.

Five minutes later Cirencester increased their lead when Shepherd won the ball in a challenge in the centre circle and released Davies who sped down the right wing before cutting in and moving the ball to Smith on the left front edge of the area. Smith moved to his right and then played the ball into the box for Steve Davies to collect, right of the penalty spot, and his early shot was blocked but had enough on it to squirt out and around the advancing Sawyer and inside the left post.   0-2  

Buoyed by this success Cirencester pushed forward and immediately afterwards a dangerous cross from Liddiard in the right corner caused the home defence some difficulty to clear from inside their 6 yard box.

Sixteen minutes into the half the busy Shepherd won a header that released Smith on the left and when he neared the bye-line he cut back to his right and shot wide of the far post from a narrow angle.

Midway through the half Mangotsfield brought on recent recruit Lewis Sommers in place of Lewis Powell and almost immediately he nearly opened the scoring for them when he shot from the right edge of the 6 yard box. His shot was blocked and cleared but only to the lurking Reid some 30 yards out, left of centre. Reid moved to his right and struck a ferocious drive that crashed into the crossbar and rebounded back to the edge of the area where the clearance was completed.

Mangotsfield opened their account in the 71st minute when they were awarded a penalty after Leigh Henry had taken the standing foot of Darren Edwards in a challenge to the right of the penalty spot as the striker made a sharp turn. The reliable Neil Arndale stepped up and calmly placed his kick inside the right post with Garner diving in the opposite direction.    1-2 

Just before the goal Jody Bevan had replaced Ben Wells - who had made a valuable contribution in his first competitive start of the season – and Bevan was in the action four minutes after the home score when he collected a ball on the half way line and fed Lee Smith who charged down the centre of the pitch with defenders chasing him. As he reached the edge of the area he coolly tucked the ball inside the left post as Sawyer advanced towards him.    1-3

Mangotsfield then put the visitors under some pressure but the resolute defence held firm and cleared the ball to Smith on the right who passed the ball on to Davies further down the flank. Davies took it to the corner and then fired in a low cross that zipped across the front edge of the 6 yard box but out of reach of the supporting Hooper and Smith.

The last five minutes or so of normal time became frantic for the Centurions as Mangotsfield threw caution to the wind and pushed forward. There were a number of desperate clearances as the visitors went deeper and deeper to defend their goal.

The pressure finally told in the 89th minute when a cross from Reeko Best on the left edge of the area was cleared off the line by Dunton but fell to Lewis Sommers inside the 6 yard box and he successfully scooped the ball into the roof of the net.    2-3


Final Score: 2 – 3


As expected this was a tough encounter with both sides having periods of possession and for Cirencester it was a good all round team performance, although Mangotsfield did put the visitors under considerable pressure in the final minutes of the game.

The defence was in determined mood and the midfield constantly foraging to supply ball to the dangerous frontline.

A valuable 3 points especially when the news came through that Merthyr had lost at Swindon Supermarine.

Next up Shortwood United on Bank Holiday Monday who will undoubtedly be looking for revenge following their defeat at the hands of the Centurions a couple of weeks ago. They would also be seeking to consolidate their play-off position with a victory at the Corinium Stadium.

Attendance: 156                                                   

Referee:      Mark Lawrence

 

Mangotsfield United:

1.    Kevin Sawyer
2.    Neil Arndale    (C)
3.    Tom Parrinello
4.    Alex Kite        
5.    Matt Sysum
6.    Jamie Reid    
7.    Ibrahima Diallo                  
8.    Ashley Williams
9.    Darren Edwards                 
10.   Lewis Powell
11.   Clayton Fortune 

12.  Lewis Sommers         (Lewis Powell-66mins)       
14.  Josh Egan
15.  Toby Osman    (Ibrahima Diallo-71mins)
16.  Aron Robbins  
17.  Reeko Best               (Darren Edwards-83mins)

 

Cirencester Town:

1.    Glyn Garner
2.    Brad Hooper     
3.    Ellis Dunton 
4.    Ben Wells 
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      (Ben Wells-69mins)        
14.  Dean Bromley                     
15.  Shayne Anson  

 

 

 


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