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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Bideford 0 - 2 Cirencester Town   

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


The Centurions made the long journey to Devon for this mid-week league fixture against Bideford who were in 18th position in the league table. In the reverse fixture Cirencester were the victors by 6 goals to 2.

The starting eleven was unchanged from the team that took to the field in the previous match against Corby Town.

Bideford kicked off and 3 minutes into the match had their first pot at goal when Sean Downing cut in from the right flank and his shot from the right side of the penalty area was deflected wide of the left post.

Three minutes later Glyn Garner punted the ball into the left corner for Aidan Bennett but he was stopped by a handball from his marker – the resultant kick into the box was headed clear.

Cirencester were beginning to dominate possession enabling Brad Hooper to carry the ball from the half way line before unleashing a fierce drive from 30 yards, right of centre, that was wide of the right post.

This was quickly followed by a period of passing football down the left flank that involved seven members of the team and culminated in a Gethin Jones shot that Ben Gerring headed behind for a corner kick.

Shortly after this Hooper struck a superb raking pass from right to left for Ben Prictor to collect in the left corner but his cross was cleared.

Bideford were awarded a throw-in on their right flank that Ben Wood launched into the centre of the penalty area and following-up he collected the clearance header on the front edge of the area and fired a shot wide of the right post. 

A throw-in on the right from Jones to Ed Williams was returned to Jones and he produced a clever back heel that released Williams into the corner and his cross resulted in a corner kick on the left.

Midway through the half Bideford were awarded a free kick just outside the visitors' penalty area, left of centre, and Richard Groves powerful low drive went under the wall and struck Garner on the chest. As it rebounded Garner bravely dived on the ball at the feet of his opponents as they rushed in.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 24th minute when Leigh Henry played a ball from halfway into the right corner, behind the home defence, for Bennett to chase. Bennett reached the ball and from the bye-line sent a low cross into the 6 yard box that an alert NAT JARVIS darted in to convert high into the net at the back post.  0 – 1.  

Cirencester were dominating possession and territory with Bideford mounting the occasional breakaway and Downing managed to break down the home sides left and get into the penalty area before crossing towards a supporting team-mate at the far post but too close to Garner who gathered easily.

Seven minutes before the break Nick Barker won a header and the ball was picked up by Wood who sped down the left wing. His deep cross to Craig Veal was cleared in a heading duel with Mark Pritchett at the back post.

A feature of the half had been the advanced position of Garner who had spent most of it 10-15 yards outside his area and the final action of the half involved a foot race between Garner and Veal. Garner won the race and drove the ball into the stand.


Half Time:   1 - 0


The second half began with Cirencester pushing forward and after Matt Liddiard blocked an attempted clearance in the right corner - he held the ball well before passing to a supporting Williams who took it deep into the corner before cutting back between two defenders and being awarded a free kick as they both tackled him at the same time.

Six minutes into the half Bennett and Prictor exchanged passes for Bennett to send a deep cross to Jarvis at the back post, edge of the 6 yard box, but Bideford survived.    

Two minutes later the Centurions increased their lead when Williams ran down the pitch, right of centre, and from just inside his half under pressure he toe-poked a pass to Bennett who took the ball to the right side of the penalty area, drawing ‘keeper Grant Fisher towards him - instead of shooting he unselfishly squared the ball to an unmarked NAT JARVIS for another tap-in at the far post, inside the 6 yard box. 0 – 2.

Bennett and Jarvis were in the action again soon after when once again Bennett slipped the ball through to Jarvis, this time in the centre circle, and continued his run to receive a return pass on the left of the box. He was forced wide by Fisher who managed to dive on the ball.

Another break when Liddiard won the ball and fed Bennett, to Hooper, to Liddiard resulted in a left wing corner that Pritchett headed over the bar at the back post.

Bideford mounted an attack of their own 16 minutes in when Stephen Reed exchanged passes with Veal on the left side of the penalty area. Veal burst through to collect a return pass but shot into the side netting.

Cirencester responded with another Bennett/Jarvis combination as Jarvis carried the ball before feeding it to Bennett on the burst from half way. Bennett had the chance to shoot with his left foot but elected to try and return it to Jarvis on the right side of the area with the outside of his right foot. The cross was blocked and the danger cleared. 

Twenty minutes into the half Downing latched onto a loose ball just outside the right front edge of the Cirencester penalty area and played a clever volley-pass in behind the visiting defence, to the left of the box. Gethin Jones spotted the danger and turned quickly to cut out the pass.

Bideford began to obtain more of the ball and mounted a number of spirited attacks only to be repelled by the Centurion's well organised and resolute defence.

A quickly taken free kick found the head of Downing but he headed wide of the right post from just outside the centre of the 6 yard box. This was followed by a header from Groves that was safely gather by Garner and a 30 yard shot, left of centre, from Groves that was also comfortably collected by Garner. 

On the half hour of the second half a long ball from Matt Villis released Ben Watson down the left of the penalty area and Henry’s cover tackle resulted in a left wing corner that Garner caught.

The final action of the game, in the last minute, was a heading duel between Kevin Squire and Pritchett that the defender won.  


Final Score: 0 - 2


A deserved victory for the Centurions who dominated the first half in terms of possession and territory with good pace and movement.

Bideford threw caution to the wind in the second half as they tried to get a foot-hold in the game but they found the Cirencester defence in determined mood.

A solid performance from everyone after a long journey. 

Attendance: 163                                

Referee:      Andrew Bennett


BIDEFORD:

1.   Grant Fisher
2.   Nick Milton
3.   Nick Barker
4.   Sean Downing
5.   Ben Gerring
6.   Matt Villis    
7.   Richard Groves   (C)          
8.   Stephen Reed
9.   Ben Watson              
10.  Craig Veal
11.  Ben Wood 

12.  Kevin Squire             (Craig Veal-67mins)
14.  Ian Sampson          
15.  Graeme Mercica        (Ben Watson-82mins)
16.  Adam Copp   

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Gethin Jones
3.   Ben Prictor
4.   Mark Pritchett
5.   Matt Liddiard
6.   Leigh Henry     (C)    
7.   Brad Hooper            
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Nat Jarvis               
10.  Aidan Bennett
11.  Ed Williams

12.  Ellis Dunton     
14.  Jacob Davidge
15.  Max Lloyd      

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