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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Cirencester Town 2 - 0 Histon

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

The latest visitors to the Corinium Stadium were Histon who were relegated from the Football Conference – North Division at the end of last season. As a result they are focussing on developing young players and are 17th in the Premier Division table - but 8th on current form, based on the 6 Match Form Guide, having won 10 points from the 18 available.

The Cirencester starting eleven was unchanged from the mid-week victory at Slough Town but the bench included Ben Wells and Leigh Henry (expected to have some game time for the Development Team earlier in the day).  

The Centurions kicked off, playing towards the Arena end of the ground, in bright sunshine but cold conditions and immediately took the game to Histon as Ed Williams sent a cross-field ball from the right flank, just inside the Histon half, to Aidan Bennett in space on the left flank. Bennett collected the pass and drove down the flank, into the penalty area and on to the bye-line where he sent a low cross along the front edge of the 6 yard box. Such was the speed of the attack that the ball passed through the area without any contact from a supporting team-mate but it was turned behind for a right wing corner kick.

The confidence of the home side, due to their run of good results in recent weeks, was evident five minutes into the game as they mounted a well constructed move down the left flank that involved at least five players but the visitors stood firm.

Two minutes later Ian Herring took a pot at goal from 30 yards, centre line of the pitch, that whistled wide of the right post.

This was quickly followed by a right footed curler from Bennett on the left front edge of the penalty area (as a result of a clever back heel from Nat Jarvis) that looked destined for the top right corner until visiting ‘keeper Denzil Gerrar intervened.  

The pressure on the visiting defence continued as Jarvis turned and shot in one move from the right flank and his effort was just wide of the far post with Gerrar stranded.

The first attack of note from Histon came in the 14th minute as Mateusz Kuzimski made a break down the centre of the pitch but he miss-hit his shot and it was easily collected by Glyn Garner in the home goal.

James Mortimer-Jones collected a ball in midfield and sent it towards the right corner for Williams to chase and Gerrar managed to gather his effort at the second attempt.

The pressure had been unrelenting and it was no surprise when Cirencester finally opened the scoring after 17 minutes following a left wing corner. The ball was initially parried but came out to Gethin Jones on the right front edge of the 6 yard box who fired it back towards goal where MARK PRITCHETT diverted it into the net from inside the box.   1 – 0.      

A few minutes later Bennett played a ball down the left flank that Jarvis chased into the corner where he won a throw-in. Ellis Dunton took the throw and the ball was headed out to Brad Hooper just outside the penalty area who immediately played it back to Dunton who sent a left footed cross towards the back post. Gethin Jones made a strong bid to get on the end of the cross and in so doing clashed heads with Matt Lowe resulting in both players requiring attention and the game being delayed for a few minutes.

Just after the half hour mark Gerrar left his area to clear a ball in the corner, on his left flank, but his kick landed at the feet of Herring 25 yards further down the flank and without hesitation Herring half volleyed the ball towards goal. His effort did not quite have enough on it and Gerrar was able to dash back and collect near his goal line.

Encouraged by this good fortune Histon worked their way towards the left front edge of the home penalty area and retained possession for a minute or so before Cirencester won it back.

With three minutes of normal time remaining Dunton played the ball down the left for Jarvis to collect in the corner and he crossed the ball to the back post where Bennett was rapidly closing but too late to prevent it being cleared.

In the closing minutes of the half Histon mounted two breaks – the first down the left ended with a cross from James Akintunde that hit the back stanchion of the right post and the second ended when Nick Freeman was adjudged to be offside following a through ball from Tye Philips down the centre of the pitch.

Half Time:   1 - 0

Two minutes into the second half Bennett exchanged passes with Jarvis in the left corner before crossing towards the near post where it was back headed by Hooper and cleared by the visiting defence. 

Histon were awarded a free kick on the right flank that Freeman sent into the area for Stuart Wall to head over the bar from near the penalty spot.

This was immediately followed by another snapshot from Herring, on the left side of the penalty area, that cleared the bar following good work by Jarvis.

Aidan Bennett collected a loose ball 35 yards out, right channel, turned and fired a low drive towards the left post forcing Gerrar to dive to his right to push round the post for a corner kick.

The mobility of the Cirencester front three had been causing problems all match and when Matt Liddiard fed Jarvis further down the right flank Jarvis showed his awareness when with back to goal he spun and sent a terrific left footed pass to Bennett on the left flank. Bennett made ground into the penalty area but his cross to the back post was caught by Gerrar.

Midway through the half Cirencester were awarded a free kick 30 yards out, slightly left of centre, that Mark Pritchett took. His left footed strike went just wide of the left post.

Josh Parsons replaced Nat Jarvis soon after and was almost immediately involved as he played a one-two with Hooper in the right channel of the penalty area that released Hooper. Gerrar was alert to the danger and dashed out to smother the midfielder’s effort on the edge of his 6 yard box.

Within minutes Parsons was exchanging passes with Williams in the right corner and then he shimmied his way past a couple of challengers on the edge of the penalty area to create space for a shot but his effort was blocked.

Cirencester had been ‘huffing-and-puffing’ and enjoying loads of possession but could not break through the resolute defending from the visitors to get the goal that would hopefully put the game to bed until a goal of simplicity produced the breakthrough.

Ellis Dunton collected the ball on the left side of the centre circle with space in front of him and encouraged by Manager Brain Hughes he set off on a diagonal run towards the right corner. As he reached the line of the right side edge of the penalty area he slipped a perfectly weighted ball between left back and centre back towards the byeline. Bennett had read the play and dashed round the outside of the fullback to collect. Without pausing Bennett drove a low cross along the front edge of the 6 yard box that was met by an incoming ED WILLIAMS who smashed it into the net from two yards, inside the far post.   2 – 0.        

Despite this setback Histon pushed forward and a cross from the right across the home 6 yard box nearly brought them a reward but Pritchett managed to toe the ball away to safety as a visiting player closed in.

Brad Hooper, who had been very busy throughout the match, then struck a terrific 50 yard pass from the left touchline to Bennett on the right. Bennett drove forward down the right channel to the edge of the penalty area, cut back and fired in a left footed shot that Gerrar saved comfortably.

The last action of note came from Histon as two substitutes combined with Luis McCoy sending a free kick from the right into the area where Joe Peacock volleyed over the bar.  

Final Score: 2 - 0

A strong, fluid performance from a confident Centurions side - revealing the all-round team work shown in away matches to the home supporters at the Corinium Stadium.

As in previous matches this season the emphasis is on team-work with a number of fine performances. Gethin Jones in his last match for a while (he is banned for the next three following his Red Card against Biggleswade) was solid in the centre of defence alongside ‘thou shalt not pass’ Mark Pritchett. Brad Hooper was everywhere ably assisted by Ian Herring and the front three – Aidan Bennett, Nat Jarvis and Ed Williams - were a constant threat.

The fullbacks – Matt Liddiard and Ellis Dunton were encouraged by Glyn Garner to push on knowing that James Mortimer-Jones would fill any gaps.

Attendance: 155                                

Referee:      Adam Matthews



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

12.  Josh Parsons   (Nat Jarvis-67mins)
14.  Ben Prictor      (Ed Williams-81mins)
15.  Kyle Pitts                  (Ian Herring-88mins)
16.  Leigh Henry
17.  Ben Wells



1.   Denzil Gerrar
2.   Jack North
3.   Ashley White 
4.   Stuart Wall     (C)
5.   Danny Rumens 
6.   Matt Lowe       
7.   James Akintunde
8.   Curtis Fulcher    
9.   Tye Philips        
10.  Nick Freeman
11.  Mateusz Kuzimski

12.  Lewis McDonald        
14.  Joe Peacock    (Mateusz Kuzimski-73mins)          
15.  Salim Relizani 
16.  Luis McCoy      (Curtis Fulcher-83mins)
17.  Christian Le     (Tye Philips-83mins)                    

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