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Calor League Championship Match

Cirencester Town 0 - 1 Dunstable Town 

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Following the euphoria of the win at Yate resulting in the South & West Division Championship it was back to business for the Centurions with a game against fellow champions Dunstable Town from the Central Division. A superb Champion of Champions Cup was at stake and possible bragging rights when they meet for real in the Premier Division next season.

The home side line-up once again had a different look about it with perennial substitute Dean Bromley in midfield, in place of James Mortimer-Jones, and Shane Bumphrey starting in the central striker role due to Aidan Bennett continuing to deputise for the suspended Ellis Dunton.

Cirencester kicked off in bright sunshine on a firm pitch playing towards the Shed End but it was their visitors who had the first shot at goal following a break down their left flank that reached Chris Marsh. He shot from the left edge of the penalty area but it was easily gathered by Glyn Garner in the home goal.

Within minutes Cirencester responded with a break down their left flank to the centre edge of the penalty area for Lee Smith to head into the path of Steve Davies who blasted the ball over the bar from the right of centre front edge of the area.

Just after a quarter of an hour Cirencester were on the receiving end of a free kick from their left flank that Dean Bromley cleared to Smith. Smith spotted Davies on a cross-field run, right to left, and sent a long pass from the centre of the pitch towards the left flank for Davies to collect on the left side of the penalty area. Davies took the ball to the bye-line and then crossed towards the penalty spot for the supporting Shane Bumphrey but his cross was intercepted and the danger cleared.

In the 20th minute Cirencester were awarded a free kick on the right, 35 yards out, and Ben Wells fired the kick towards the left post for Mark Pritchett to head towards goal. The attempted clearance went back to Pritchett and he immediately lobbed the ball to the back post with his right foot where this time it was successfully cleared. 

Both sides were enjoying periods of possession but were finding the opposing defences difficult to break down resulting in snap shots from distance. Marsh shot over the bar for Dunstable from the left of centre edge of the area and Bumphrey wide of the right post from a similar position on the right.

Dunstable finally broke the deadlock in the 37th minute when a ball over and behind the home back four, from Terry Dixon on the left, reached Ryan Plowright bursting through the middle. Plowright collected the ball, right of centre – 25 yards out - and noticing that Garner was advancing off his line attempted an early lob-cum-shot towards the top right corner of the goal. Garner produced a high dive to his left and managed to get his left hand to the ball but not enough to stop it crossing the line inside the right post.   0-1

Half Time:   0 - 1  

Dunstable made a couple of substitutions at half time with Tony Fontanelle and Damen Pickering replacing Nathan Frater and Leon Cashman.

Two minutes after the re-start Fontanelle was in the action as he latched on to a ‘scooped’ pass from Lee Roache – after a couple of audacious ‘step-overs’ on the right touchline – but his cross from the right side of the 6 yard box cleared the bar.

Cirencester nearly equalised three minutes later when Ben Wells took a free kick from 25 yards – left of the centre edge of the penalty area – and curled his effort round the defensive wall towards the bottom right corner. Jamie Head in the visitor’s goal dived full length to push it round the post for a corner. Superb save. The resultant corner was bundled over the line by Bumphrey from inside the 6 yard box but was disallowed for a push in the build-up.      

Shortly afterwards the Centurions made their three substitutions with Jody Bevan (in the final competitive game of his illustrious career), Jacob Davidge and James Mortimer-Jones replacing Ben Wells, Dean Bromley and Lee Smith.

Seven minutes after joining the action Bevan had the chance for a ‘fairy-tale ending’ to his career when Aidan Bennett cut in from the left edge of the area and shot. The attempt was blocked and fell to Bevan but his shot was smothered by a couple of closing defenders.

A minute later a break down the right flank reached Bumphrey who released Davies for a quick spurt to the bye-line and a cross that resulted in a corner. When the corner kick came in it was that man Bevan on the end of it (was he destined to score?) – unfortunately not as he missed his kick.

Cirencester were looking more dangerous in this period and had yet another opportunity to score when a free kick from the right reached the head of Pritchett but his attempt cleared the bar.

This was quickly followed by some neat play on the right between James Mortimer-Jones and Davies that released Bevan who carried the ball to the bye-line before crossing. His cross shot was parried by Head for a corner on the left which Head caught comfortably near the penalty spot.

The final five minutes produced a couple of good opportunities for an equaliser but it was not to be as Jacob Davidge sent Bennett scurrying down the left on an overlap that produced a corner. The quickly taken kick by Davies enabled Bennett to cross to the far post but Pritchett’s header was once again wide of the target. 

With two minutes of normal time remaining a cross from the right found the head of Mortimer-Jones who directed it towards Davidge near the penalty spot. Davidge shot on the turn with his right foot and it took a terrific, agile save from Head to stop the ball entering his net inside his left post.  

Final Score: 0 - 1

This game had the air of a pre-season friendly about it with both sides producing patches of neat football but unable to break down their opponents defence. It was played at a reasonable pace but it never got to the highly competitive level that will undoubtedly be the case next year when they meet in the Premier Division.

Attendance: 107                                         

Referee:    Lee Sheridan

Cirencester Town:

1.    Glyn Garner
2.    Brad Hooper      
3.    Aidan Bennett
4.    Mark Pritchett
5.    Matt Liddiard
6.    Leigh Henry     (C)
7.    Ben Wells
8.    Dean Bromley
9.    Shane Bumphrey
10.  Steve Davies  
11.   Lee Smith                

12.  Jody Bevan                (Ben Wells-53mins)        
14.  Jacob Davidge          (Lee Smith-53mins)                                
15.  James Mortimer-Jones       (Dean Bromley-53mins)   
16.  Shayne Anson
17.  Joe Shepherd


Dunstable Town: 

1.    Jamie Head
2.    Jerome Jibodu
3.    Leon Cashman
4.    Kyle Anthony   
5.    Joseph Bruce
6.    Moses Olaleye  (C)    
7.    Ryan Plowright
8.    Nathan Frater
9.    Lee Roache
10.  Terry Dixon
11.   Christopher Marsh 

12.  Tony Fontanelle                   (Leon Cashman-46mins)                      
14.  Damen Pickering                 (Nathan Frater-46mins)
15.  Danny Murphy 
16.  Marc Leach
17.  Taishan Griffith                 (Christopher Marsh-55mins)         



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