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Calor League Division 1 South & West

Yate Town 1 - 3 Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer 

The final scheduled match of the season took the Centurions to Yate Town needing one point to guarantee the South & West Division 1 title.

Earlier in the season Yate defeated Cirencester at the Corinium Stadium and recently they had been on the fringe of the play-off places so another difficult encounter was anticipated.

Cirencester were without both their regular full backs for the match with Shayne Anson awaiting a scan on his injured groin and Ellis Dunton suspended for two games as a result of receiving ten Yellow Cards during the season.

As a result Matt Liddiard continued at right back, Aidan Bennett moved to left back, Joe Shepherd to the central striker role and Ben Wells started his second game of the season in midfield.

Cirencester kicked off on a well presented pitch and won a throw-in on their left flank but it was their hosts who had the first pot at goal when Connor Clifford took on a shot from 35 yards that went wide of the target.

The prolific Lewis Haldane then collected a ball and dribbled it some distance and into the penalty area before Leigh Henry managed to get a toe on it and stop the threat as Haldane neared the right front edge of the 6 yard box.

During the early part of the match Cirencester were hitting long balls behind the home defence and from one into the right corner Joe Shepherd put Clifford under pressure and his clearance fell to Steve Davies who struck a high cross towards the far post but it was easily caught by Martin Horsell in the home goal.

Yate were enjoying plenty of possession, winning most of the second ball, as their visitors appeared very tentative and just after quarter of an hour Jake Cox carried a ball down the right flank before cutting back on to his left foot and crossing into the box for Michael Bryant to produce a header that looked destined for the top left corner until Glyn Garner made a full length dive to his right to catch.

It took a further ten minutes before Cirencester had any possession that produced a shot at goal when James Mortimer-Jones headed the ball to Ben Wells who shot on the turn from just outside the area with his left foot but his effort cleared the bar.

Another move down the home right flank between Jordan Ricketts and Cox provided an opening for Brad Abrahams who shot wide of the left post from 25 yards out.

The highlight of a lack lustre first half from Cirencester was a driving run by Aidan Bennett down the left flank, just after the half hour mark, that took him from inside his own half to the bye line where his first cross was blocked but bounced back to him, his second cross reached Shepherd at the back post and his effort was blocked for Steve Davies to collect - resulting in a right wing corner that was cleared.

The opening goal of the game was scored by Yate in the 37th minute and came as a result of a strong run down the left flank from Mike Byant who fed Haldane on the left side of the penalty area. Haldane cut in and released the ball to Jake Jackson, who was positioned between the penalty spot and the front edge of the 6 yard box, and he produced a side footed glancing shot that entered the net inside the right post.   1-0

During the half Cirencester had looked like a side that was nervous of making a mistake that might lead to a defeat - rather than taking the game to Yate.

Half Time:   1 – 0

Two minutes into the second half Shepherd crossed the ball from the right - following good work from Matt Liddiard who had had a very solid first period - that Billy Fletcher headed behind for a corner. The corner kick reached Liddiard just outside the centre of the 6 yard box but his header was deflected for a left wing corner that came to nothing.

It had looked to be a promising start to the half but Yate soon regained the upper hand and put their visitors under continual pressure for the next ten minutes.

During this period of Yate ascendancy James Harmer fizzed in a 25 yard shot that went wide of the left post.

Manager Brian Hughes had made a change after 53 minutes that would prove inspirational when he replaced Brad Hooper with Shane Bumphrey and moved the energetic Shepherd into midfield.

The natural striker instincts and physical presence of Bumphrey began to cause the home defence some problems and encouraged by his eagerness another member of the successful Development Team was introduced after 65 minutes - Jacob Davidge replacing Ben Wells.

Yate were awarded a free kick, 25 yards out right of centre, that Cox sent into the box but it was deflected for Garner to collect on the half volley.

The lack of fear and forward energy of Bumphrey and Davidge was beginning to rub off on their team mates and as a result more urgency was being shown.

The game changed dramatically in the 69th minute when James Mortimer-Jones scored another one of his spectacular goals at a crucial time in the match. He collected a ball, 30 yards out right of centre, and advanced to his left and gave the appearance of someone looking for an opening. He then unexpectedly unleashed a fierce left footed shot that flew inside the left post with Horsell diving in vain.  1-1

James Mortimer-Jones celebrates afer scoring the equalising goal

Photo by Michael Cunningham

The goal and celebration that followed seemed to release the pressure from the Centurions and it was game on.  

Within a minute Bumphrey collected a ball on the left and drove towards the penalty area where he rode a couple of tackles before firing his shot over the near post.

He was in the action immediately afterwards, in the 72nd minute, when he flicked a header on and over the home defence for Lee Smith, who was already on the move, to reach before the advancing Horsell.  As the ‘keeper came out Smith chipped the ball over him and it dropped under the bar.   1-2

Cirencester were now up and running and looking more like the side that has won the last six games on the bounce to take them to the top of the Division.

The Centurions increased their lead in the 76th minute after Bennett intercepted a ball on the left flank, 10 yards inside his half, and carried the ball for a couple of yards before sending a superb curling pass with the outside of his right foot into the path of Jacob Davidge further down the flank. Davidge took the ball on towards the penalty area, rode a couple of tackles, and a couple of yards from the bye-line fired in a cross-cum-shot that struck Bumphrey on the head – knocking him to the ground. The ball rebounded to Davidge and he calmly placed his shot inside the far post with his right foot.  1-3

With a couple of minutes to go of normal time an injured Joe Shepherd was replaced by Jody Bevan for what may be his final appearance in the red-and-black of Cirencester Town.

Yate continued to search for a goal and had some possession in the final few minutes but the visiting defence showed the resolve that has been evident all season to result in one of the best ‘Goals Against’ records in the division.

Final Score: 1 – 3

This was certainly the proverbial game of two halves with Yate looking like the side that was at the top of the Division for the first hour and Cirencester very tentative and nervous.

Once the changes had been made and the equaliser scored, the game changed and Cirencester looked like the Champions they were destined to become.

Interestingly in the Season 2009/10 the Development Team won its Division in the Hellenic League and the First Team won promotion – the feat has been repeated this season but this time the First Team are promoted as CHAMPIONS.

Ciren celebrate winning the league title 

Photo by Michael Cunningham






Attendance: 312                                          

Referee:      Mr S Gudger


Yate Town:

1.    Martin Horsell
2.    Jake Cox
3.    Connor Clifford
4.    Joe Chandler  
5.    Billy Fletcher
6.    Brad Abrahams    
7.    James Harmer         
8.    Mike Bryant     (C)
9.    Jake Jackson           
10.  Lewis Haldane
11.  Jordan Ricketts 

12.  Mitch Tippins             
14.  Ross Staley
15.  Michael Meaker
16.  Mitch Harrison        
17.  Ryan Dunn

Cirencester Town:

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

12.  Jody Bevan        (Joe Shepherd-88mins)  
14.  Dean Bromley                     
15.  Shayne Bumphrey      (Brad Hooper-53mins)
16.  Jacob Davidge    (Ben Wells-65mins)
17.  Chris Holland   



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