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Southern League – Premier Division

Cambridge City 1 – 3 Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

The Centurions made the long journey to Histon for a league match against ground-sharing Cambridge City who are three places above them in the league but are in a run of poor results having lost their last three games.

There was only one change to the starting eleven from the team that took the field against Dorchester Town in mid-week with Aidan Bennett returning, after his brief holiday, to replace the suspended Nat Jarvis. Shayne Anson and Mark Pritchett were also suspended for this match.

Cirencester kicked off in pouring rain and immediately took the game to the home side as Cambridge barely left their half for the first quarter of an hour. During this period Cirencester were awarded a corner on the right which the home side managed to clear.

Shortly afterwards good closing down in the right corner by Ed Williams led to a shot from Jacob Davidge that was deflected behind for a corner that found Jamie Reid, at the back of the penalty area, but his shot was wide of the left post.

Gradually Cambridge were getting into the game with Josh Beech prominent as he collected balls across the centre strip of the pitch and searched to release his team-mates. In the 23rd minute he made a strong run down the right flank before crossing into the box but the ball was behind the darting Chris Bacon and as a result he could only get his heel to it on the edge of the 6 yard box and the chance was gone.

Cirencester responded with a break down their left flank by Davidge and his cross was gathered in well by ‘keeper Richard Knight as Williams closed in.

This was closely followed by a shot from Williams, 25 yards out – centre left, that Knight did well to tip over the bar for a left wing corner that Matt Liddiard eventually fired wide of the right post.

Cambridge hit back with a break that Leigh Henry headed clear for Jamie Reid to collect and charge forward before sending a speculative shot wide of the right post from some 30 yards.

There was a moment of excitement for the home fans on the half hour as Ellis Dunton and Glyn Garner exchanged a number of passes on the right edge of the penalty area that looked decidedly tight before the ball was punted up the field by Garner.

With ten minutes of the half remaining Cambridge mounted a couple of strong attacks down the left flank – the first started with an interchange between Leech and Danny Kelly that released Buster Harradine who fizzed a cross into the box that was cleared, and the second also involved Harradine who fired in another cross that Bacon was just unable to reach at the back post.

The deadlock was finally broken with a minute of normal time remaining when Gethin Jones powerfully headed the ball forward to Reid who made ground down the right channel before slipping it inside to Aidan Bennett. Bennett cut left and from 23 yards, left of centre, struck a controlled left footed drive inside the bottom right post.  0 - 1  

Almost immediately Cambridge levelled the score when a ball into the box could only be headed up into the air and as it fell, Chris Bacon, with his back to goal on the edge of the 6 yard box, produced an overhead kick that dropped under the bar on the right side of the goal.   1 - 1


Half Time:   1 - 1


Within minutes of the re-start Bennett laid a ball off to Williams who shot from the edge of the area but it was blocked.

A couple of minutes later Harradine drove the ball low and hard from the left corner of the penalty area and Garner had to be alert to save inside his left post.

The game was much more open at this point and Gethin Jones made a surging run down the right before sending a left footed cross to the back post towards Davidge who was buried under the home ‘keeper as he caught the ball.

Cambridge nearly took the lead after fourteen minutes of the second half when a cross from the left reached Bacon in space on the right side of the area. Bacon controlled the ball and picked his spot before striking a powerful shot past the re-positioning Garner towards the left post. Dunton had read the play and was covering at pace and managed to clear the ball with his right foot whilst facing his own goal.

Shortly after this the rain stopped and the sun came out - Kelly celebrated with a shot from 25 yards that Garner again gathered low to his left.

Gethin Jones then made a run down the right and using Bennett as a decoy cut back onto his left before striking a left footed shot from the edge of the area that Knight saved comfortably.

A couple of minutes later Cirencester were awarded a free kick 22 yards out, left of centre, that Ben Prictor struck low towards the right post but his effort was pushed wide at full stretch by Knight.  

Thirty minutes into the half Williams drove a left wing corner to the back of the area where Reid crossed it back in. Williams collected the deflection and shot at goal – to see it deflected for a right wing corner. The corner kick resulted in yet another shot and corner before the danger was finally cleared.

As the half entered the final ten minutes Cambridge had a couple of efforts when Bacon made a break down the right that came to nothing as the pass was behind his colleague. This was then followed by a surging run down the left from Charlie Day and a cross that Lee Chaffey headed powerfully over the bar from near the penalty spot.

In the final moments of the game everything changed as Beech lost the ball in the centre circle and Williams advanced down the middle with Reid to his left and Bennett to his right. The youngster chose Aidan Bennett and played a perfectly weighted pass into his path. Bennett took a touch, picked his spot and calmly stroked the ball inside the far post with his right foot. 1 - 2  

In time added on Cambridge again lost the ball, this time on their right flank, and it was fed to Aidan Bennett in the centre, 30 yards out. Bennett turned, advanced a few yards, and from just outside the penalty area struck his shot inside the right post to complete a well deserved hat-trick.  1 - 3

Final Score: 1 - 3

The early period of the game was controlled by Cirencester but after the mid-point Cambridge looked dangerous on the break. The final ten minutes of the half was evenly balanced.

Both sides had struggled to keep their feet in the slippery conditions due to the incessant rain.

The second half was a more balanced affair but Cirencester always looked in control at the back and dangerous up front. The midfield ensured plenty of ball with James Mortimer-Jones tidying-up any potential danger.

A good team effort and a valuable three points moving the team to 10th in the League Table.

Attendance: 251                                

Referee:      Alan Dale

Cambridge City:

1.   Richard Knight
2.   Harry Hickford
3.   Charlie Day
4.   Claudiu Vilcu
5.   Lee Chaffey     (C)
6.   Josh Beech    
7.   Ieuan Lewis             
8.   Heidar Juliusson
9.   Danny Kelly               
10.  Chris Bacon
11.  Buster Harradine

12.  Andrew Phillips
14.  Josh Dawkin   (Buster Harradine-80mins)
15.  Michael King   (Iuean Lewis-68mins)
17.  Charlie Burns

Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Gethin Jones
3.   Ben Prictor
4.   Ellis Dunton
5.   Matt Liddiard
6.   Leigh Henry     (C)    
7.   Jamie Reid              
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Aidan Bennett          
10.  Jacob Davidge
11.  Ed Williams

12.  Ben Wells
14.  Brad Hooper       
15.  Ryan Elliott
16.  Jamie Edge

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