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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Burnham     0 – 1  Cirencester Town  

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Cirencester once again travelled the M4 for their latest League fixture to meet Burnham - a team at the opposite end of the table.

The Centurions squad had a number of players missing for various reasons – Leigh Henry (recent operation), James Mortimer-Jones (other commitment), Kyle Pitts (eye infection), Ben Wells (illness) and Gethin Jones (suspended). As a result Manager Brian Hughes had to shuffle the pack as Ellis Dunton moved to right centre back, Ben Prictor came in at left back, Ian Herring took up the ‘screening’ role usually performed by Jonah and Josh Parsons the role behind central striker Nat Jarvis. Jacob Davidge was the lone occupant of the bench.

Upon arrival at Burnham it was clear this would be a difficult encounter to negotiate due to the pitch condition being a great leveller of respective ability as whilst it was flat it was extremely soft and ‘sticky’ on top.

Cirencester kicked off on a dry, sunny day and played the ball out to Aidan Bennett on the left flank who soon found the sticky conditions made carrying the ball difficult.

Both sides were finding it difficult to keep possession under the conditions and it was the home side that created the first opening after 9 minutes when Victor Osubu received the ball on the right flank and sent a cross into the box from the right corner that Mark Pritchett blocked and cleared.

The Cirencester response was some neat, quick, passing football down the left flank involving several players that resulted in a throw-in in the left corner. Ellis Dunton was called forward to launch one of his long throws into the home penalty area, the ball bobbled around the area before coming out and as the home full back attempted to clear the ball Dunton closed him down and his block resulted in the ball breaking to Nat Jarvis on the left side edge of the 6 yard box. Jarvis turned sharply and fired a powerful shot over the bar from the narrow angle.

Just after quarter of an hour Cirencester once again produced a move that started on the left, moved into the centre and across to the right for Aidan Bennett to shoot over the bar from the front edge of the area.

Two minutes later Bennett was again in the action as a ball from Brad Hooper in the centre circle reached him on the left flank and his shot from the edge of the area once again cleared the bar.

The response from Burnham was immediate as Osubu drove down the right side edge of the area and fired in a fierce shot that Glyn Garner caught comfortably.

Shortly afterwards Ben Prictor fell to the ground, having injured the knee that caused him to leave the field at Merthyr in November, and eventually left the pitch on a stretcher to be replaced by Jacob Davidge.

As a result Aidan Bennett moved to left back.

Nat Jarvis was involved again a few minutes later when he got on the end of a long ball, from the left channel, at the back post and headed back to Mark Pritchett who had his effort from the front edge of the 6 yard box blocked.

At this stage of the game Cirencester were winning plenty of possession and breaking forward, sometimes with neat football and sometimes with long balls into space behind the home defence.

Ian Herring collected a ball on half-way and sent a ball out to Ed Williams on the right flank. Williams flicked the ball on to Josh Parsons who had made a darting run down the right channel and once in the area Parsons went outside the first defender before cutting back in towards the penalty spot but lost his footing on the soft surface.

The home side were relying on scraps and making occasional breaks and Nathan Webb beat the offside line to shoot across the face of the goal and wide of the left post from the right side edge of the penalty area.

This was followed by a break from the busy Osubu down the right but his cross from the corner was cut out and cleared by Dunton.

The final action of the half saw Bennett drive into the box and as the ball came out it was collected by Matt Liddiard who fed Williams on his right. Williams moved down the right to the bye-line and crossed to the back post but the ball was cleared.  

Half Time:   0 - 0

Almost immediately from the re-start Burnham upped the pace and Joshua Webb cut back onto his left foot and sent a dangerous ball into the box from the right flank that required Pritchett to produce a diving header to clear.

Shortly afterwards the referee awarded Burnham a somewhat surprising free kick just outside the right of centre edge of the area after Bennett had reached the ball before his opponent - the attempt at goal was blocked and cleared. 

In the 53rd minute the action was at the other end and Cirencester thought they had opened the scoring when Dunton won a header that Parsons collected and tucked inside the right post but the Assistant Referee had flagged for offside and the ‘goal’ was disallowed. 

Four minutes later Liddiard collected a clearance and sent the ball down the line to Williams who carried it to towards the corner before crossing into the box. Mark Pritchett managed to get on the end of it and his right foot effort, as he was put under pressure near the penalty spot, slid just wide of the right post.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 65th minute when a penalty was awarded following a strong run by Jacob Davidge down the left and a scything tackle on Parsons in the box. JOSH PARSONS picked himself up and calmly tucked the ball inside the right post with home ‘keeper Alex Lynch diving in the opposite direction.   0 – 1.

Midway through the half Williams and Parsons exchanged passes in the right corner before Williams down the right side edge of the 6 yard box – his fierce shot was well parried by Lynch at the near post.

With half an hour of the half gone Glyn Garner took a free kick on the right and sent the ball to Liddiard, in line with the front edge of the penalty area, who moved it on to Parsons, then Williams, back to Liddiard to cross towards the back post but it was deflected behind for a left wing corner.

The last ten minutes of the game produced a couple of moments of excitement for the home supporters as Glyn Garner had to leave his area twice to thwart their efforts.

A through ball led to him making a tackle just outside the edge of his area – the tackle produced a clipped pass to Dunton five yards further forward who took it on his chest and moved it on to Herring – danger over.

The second saw him drawn out of his box to his right flank but the attempted cross to the back post was overhit and once again Cirencester survived the scare.    

Final Score: 0 - 1

This was not a classic in terms of football quality due to the pitch conditions but when Cirencester moved the ball quickly with first time passing they looked dangerous. Any attempt to run with the ball was difficult as the ball would ‘stick’ underfoot enabling the opponent to make a challenge whilst ‘digging’ it out.

Once again a result built on their impressive teamwork and confidence – now unbeaten in their last nine league matches.

Attendance: 107                                

Referee:      David Avent



1.   Alex Lynch
2.   Josh Webb
3.   Garry Jones
4.   Melchi Williamson
5.   Craig Carby
6.   Lewis Fogarty
7.   Joshua Webb
8.   Nathan Webb
9.   Joseph Conrad
10.  Victor Osubu
11.  Tyrell Mitford

12.  Thomas Opoku
14.  Gareth Risbridger    (Joseph Conrad-89mins)  
15.  Matty Day                (Tyrell Mitford-84mins)            
16.  Daniel Gordon 
17.  Brad Hewitt



1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Ian Herring
3.   Ellis Dunton     
4.   Mark Pritchett          (C)
5.   Matt Liddiard
6.   Ben Prictor     
7.   Brad Hooper            
8.   Aidan Bennett
9.   Nat Jarvis               
10.  Josh Parsons
11.  Ed Williams

12.  Jacob Davidge (Ben Prictor-23mins)

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