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Gloucestershire Senior Challenge Trophy – Quarter Final

Cirencester Town 1  - 1 Bristol City U21’s   

(Cirencester won 4 - 3 on Penalties)

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


Cirencester hosted the youngsters of League Division 1 title challengers Bristol City on a cold, wet evening for this County Cup Quarter Final match.

Following the recent run of defeats Manager Brian Hughes took the opportunity to experiment with a different formation to his team in an effort to stem the goals conceded in recent matches. The formation was 3-4-1-2 - wing backs and a supporting striker sitting behind the front two.  

Bristol City kicked off playing towards the Arena end of the ground and started very positively with quick short passing football and seven minutes in Tom Fry slipped a ball through for Connor Lemonleigh-Evans to collect in the left corner and his resultant cross was cleared at the near post.

Cirencester countered with a break down the right flank when Kyle Pitts sent a ball into the corner for Matt Liddiard to latch onto and this led to a corner that was quickly followed by a move down the left when Ellis Dunton took a quick throw to Liddiard who returned it for Dunton to exchange passes with Aidan Bennett as he made ground into the corner and along the bye-line before firing a low drive that visiting ‘keeper JoJo Wollacott saved at the near post.

Both sides were playing fast, short passing football on the slick surface and as a result the game was end-to-end and exciting to watch.

Connor Lemonleigh-Evans was again in the forefront of the action as he made a break down the left channel that took him into the penalty area but he fell to ground easily under challenge. Shortly afterwards he collected a long ball over the home defence on the left – whilst the defenders appealed for an offside decision that went unheeded – and charged forward but excitedly shot over the bar as he went for power.   

The Centurions created an opening after twenty minutes when Bennett received a ball from the left, on the centre front edge of the penalty area, and laid the ball back to a supporting Brad Hooper who took it past two defenders before firing a left footed shot over the bar from the left channel of the area.  

A couple of minutes later Cirencester suffered a setback as Mark Pritchett had to leave the field with an ankle injury. He was replaced by Jacob Davidge who took over the left wing back role as Ellis Dunton moved to left centre back.

Cirencester were beginning to dominate proceedings and Josh Parsons was prominent on a couple of occasions as he collected the ball outside the area, slipped it to Bennett who was closed down and couldn’t get his shot away as he was surrounded. Parsons then collected another ball on the centre edge of the area and drove a left footed shot that struck the inside of the left post and rebounded across the goalmouth before being put behind for a corner kick on the right. Matt Liddiard, on the centre front edge of the 6 yard box, headed the incoming kick but Wollacott saved his effort low down to his left.

In between these two efforts Bristol had mounted an attack down their right flank that Dunton initially held off, but as he turned he lost his footing enabling Lemonleigh-Evans to regain the ball and shoot over from a narrow angle.

It was then the turn of Nat Jarvis to get into the action as he received a ball from Davidge in the left channel of the penalty area and struck a fierce left footed shot that Wollacott did well to parry out of danger. Jarvis then won the ball off Jack Batten in the right channel of the area and moved towards goal – his shot towards the far post was deflected by Wollacott onto the left post and once again rebounded across the goalmouth to be cleared.

With eight minutes of the half remaining Davidge collected a ball on the left and made a strong run down the left flank to the byeline and his cross to the back post just evaded the incoming Bennett.

The deadlock was finally broken, four minutes before the scheduled interval, in rather fortuitous circumstances - given the narrow escapes previously witnessed, as JOSH PARSONS collected a clearance 30 yards out, centrally, and decided to have a pot at goal as he was closed down. The ball struck the incoming defender and looped high and over the back-peddling Wollacott to drop under the crossbar in the top right corner.  1 – 0.


Half Time:   1 - 0


The Bristol youngsters were the first to have a shot at goal in the second half as the busy Shakeel Hunter was on the end of a corner kick and fired over the bar.

Almost immediately Gethin Jones sent a precision 25 yard pass from near the centre circle to Davidge on the left edge of the penalty area, he fell to ground under tackle, recovered, drove to the bye-line, and crossed for Wollacott to cut out on the front edge of the 6 yard box.

This action was soon followed by Jarvis receiving the ball in the left corner where he beat his opponent and zipped a cross along the front edge of the 6 yard box with no contact from anyone.  

The visitors were making occasional breaks as Cirencester began to enjoy plenty of possession and Lemonleigh-Evans shot over the bar again when under pressure on the right front edge of the area.

Following good work by Bennett and Jarvis on the edge of the area Davidge received the ball on the left and laid it back to a supporting Hooper who struck a superb curling shot that looked destined for the top right corner of the goal  but hit the top of the bar.

Cirencester were producing some neat inter-passing across the front edge of the penalty area with Parsons and Jarvis exchanging passes to create an opening for Jarvis who saw his shot saved at full stretch inside the left post.

Jacob Davidge was heavily involved in the action for Cirencester as he made several charging runs down the left but he nearly scored when a deep cross from Ian Herring on the right flank reached him at the back post and as he headed it back over Wollacott towards the right post the ‘keeper managed to get his finger tips to it to deflect it wide.

The Herring and Davidge combination was evident again a couple of minutes later and when Davidge had his shot parried Jarvis was on hand to fire into the back of the net but he was ruled to be offside.

Despite limited possession Bristol were still dangerous on the break and Lemonleigh-Evans found himself through in a one-on-one with home ‘keeper Glyn Garner in the right channel of the area. As he advanced and looked to pick his spot Garner dived at his feet to smother the effort and turn it behind for a corner kick that substitute Jake Andrews fired over the bar.

As the game was drawing to a close Cirencester showed some naivety four minutes into ‘time added-on’ as they continued to search for a second goal to ‘kill the game off’ instead of running the clock down and as is often the case when defending a one goal lead at this stage came unstuck when they lost the ball 15 yards inside the Bristol half.  Bristol immediately moved the ball forward down the left flank and JAMIE HORGAN struck a terrific shot from the left side of the penalty area inside the far post to level the scores. 1 – 1. 

Cirencester were awarded a free kick a minute later, just outside the penalty area, and Parsons kick was blocked and immediately sent back into the box where Shane Bumphrey fired it into the roof of the net but was ruled offside.      


Final Score – 90 minutes: 1 – 1


This competition is decided by an immediate penalty shoot-out as opposed to extra time first and then a shoot-out so the two teams went into huddles as decisions were made as to who was willing to take responsibility for these kicks.

Would Cirencester regret hitting the woodwork three times and not closing the game out?

Bristol elected to go first and the first three kicks – Jamie Horgan and Lewis Hall for Bristol, Jacob Davidge for Cirencester were all saved by the opposing ‘keeper.

The remaining kicks from Lemonleigh-Evans, Jake Andrews and Billy Murphy for Bristol and Shane Bumphrey, Brad Hooper, Josh Parsons and Ellis Dunton for Cirencester were all converted resulting in a 4 – 3 win for Cirencester.


Final Score - after penalties:    5 – 4


An entertaining game for the neutral with lots of free flowing football on display.

Bristol showed, given space and time, they could move the ball about with accuracy but Cirencester closed them down quickly to prevent this and played fluid football themselves.

Cirencester will now host Bristol Rovers in the semi-final.

 

Attendance: 54                                                     

Referee:      Rob Cockle


CIRENCESTER TOWN:

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

12.   Shane Bumphrey       (Nat Jarvis-78mins)
14.   Jacob Davidge          (Mark Pritchett-25mins)
15.   Danny Gudger
16.   Robbie James           (Matt Liddiard-78mins)
17.   Max Lloyd

 

BRISTOL CITY U21’s:

 1.   JoJo Wollacott
 2.   Ben Withey
 3.   Jamie Horgan
 4.   Jack Batten
 5.   Zak Vyner
 6.   Billy Murphy    (C)
 7.   Tom Fry
 8.   Joe Morrell
 9.   Connor Lemonleigh-Evans
10.   Shakeel Hunter
11.   Lewis Hall

12.   Lewis Gilabert
14.   Max O’Leary            (Joe Morrell-89mins)
15.   Jake Andrews          (Tom Fry-77mins)
16.   James Difford          (Shakeel Hunter-70mins)
17.   Matthew Long

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