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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Chesham United  0 – 3  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Cirencester travelled to Buckinghamshire on a cold, damp day for their latest league fixture wondering what conditions would greet them due to the overnight snow and earlier rain – upon arrival the ground-staff had worked hard to provide a good, but soft playing surface and were still ‘forking’ areas of the pitch and it was match on.

The home side were 4th in the ‘6 Match Form Guide’ whilst the Centurions have slipped to 14th due to the disappointing results since the start of the year. In the league table there were two points between the teams with Cirencester in 7th position and Chesham three places below.

The Centurions had a couple of changes to the starting eleven from the mid-week fixture against Paulton Rovers as Gethin Jones (slight calf strain) took a place in the centre of defence alongside Mark Pritchett - Matt Liddiard moving back to midfield with Ben Wells making way for him. Up front Nat Jarvis also returned (hamstring strain) at the expense of Ed Williams.

The visitors kicked off defending the Meadow End of the ground and immediately mounted an attack on the left as Aidan Bennett fed Nat Jarvis who moved the ball on to Matt Liddiard as he galloped down the flank resulting in a corner kick. The kick cleared everyone in the box to go out for a throw on the opposite flank.

Neither side was able to maintain possession of the ball for long during the opening period and twelve minutes into the match Chesham won the ball in the centre circle and broke down their right flank through Ashley Smith and Simon Thomas but the visiting defence held firm.

Shortly after this Mark Pritchett launched the ball out of defence and the result was a corner kick on the left flank.  The corner kick led to a shot from Josh Parsons that was blocked but came out to Ian Herring who played it back to Parsons on the left side edge of the area. Parsons slipped it to Jarvis and darted forward for the return pass to the left of the penalty spot but ran out of space and the ball was taken off his toe finding Jarvis who collected it and shot but his effort was blocked for another corner kick that was cleared.

Midway through the half the home team responded with a break down their left with Toby Little and Luke Allen prominent but the final cross was over-hit for a goal kick.

Cirencester then started a move on their left as Ellis Dunton moved the ball on to Liddiard in the centre and he fed Herring on the right. Herring returned it to Liddiard and on to Jarvis, wide on the right, who crossed. The cross was cleared to Herring who shot from 25 yards, right of centre, but it was deflected for another corner kick.

The pressure was increasing on the home defence as the Centurions were beginning to enjoy better quality possession and they opened the scoring when Bennett played a sharp pass from the left to Jarvis, just inside the front edge of the penalty area – left of centre. Jarvis, with his back to goal, flicked the ball with his left foot to his right and attempted to turn and shoot with his favoured left foot but as he did so he was tackled and knocked to the ground. The referee who was well positioned pointed to the penalty spot much to the annoyance of the home support.  BRAD HOOPER stepped up to drive the kick inside the left post with home ‘keeper Shane Gore guessing correctly but failing to reach it.  0 – 1.

This action was quickly followed by another Hooper snap shot from the centre front edge of the area that Gore saved.

Just after the half hour mark Danny Talbot, in the right channel, played a ball up to Dave Pearce to his left and he slipped it to Little on the overlap. Little’s low shot was saved by Glyn Garner at the near post. 

The ball was quickly played back down the pitch where Jarvis shot narrowly wide of the right post from left of the penalty spot – his left footed shot curling away from the goal.

The visitors increased their lead as a free kick on the right, just inside the home half, was driven by Gethin Jones towards the penalty spot where Gore was drawn to punch it clear. The punch sent the ball out of the immediate danger area to the right front corner of the penalty area (viewed from a Cirencester perspective) where JOSH PARSONS was on hand to produce a sublime lob that cleared all the defenders and dropped just under the bar and inside the far left post.  0 – 2.

The final action of the half came from Chesham’s right as Smith drove into the corner and produced a curling cross that was dropping under the bar and Garner’s punch to defend it came down on the right edge of the 6 yard box where Pritchett put it behind for a corner kick.

Half Time:   0 - 2

Within the first minute of the re-start Ryan Blake made a break down the left that resulted in a corner kick which Gethin Jones carried out of defence before moving it on to Jarvis who slipped it to Parsons and back to Jarvis as he made a run down the left side edge of the area. The resultant shot produced a left wing corner kick.

Chesham then produced a period of pressure that led to both Allen and Talbot shooting over the bar when well placed as they began to play at a quicker pace.

As is often the case when a side pushes forward to find a goal that will get them back into the game they were undone by a counter attack from the visitors who further increased their lead. A ball out of defence was collected by Jarvis and taken down the left side edge of the penalty area – he cut back onto his right and played a ball across the box for an unmarked JOSH PARSONS, who had made a good supporting run into space down the right channel, to collect and calmly finish inside the right post.  0 – 3.   

 Despite this setback the home side continued to push forward and put Cirencester under pressure with Little and Allen exchanging passes as they made ground down the left before Allen shot wide of the left post from 25 yards.

A few minutes later Garner had to be alert as the ball bobbled around the front edge of his 6 yard box with players in the way. Eventually he managed to catch an incoming header on his line. 

The Centurions defensive resolve was severely tested during the next ten minutes as waves of attacks were mounted with Little, Allen and Pearce prominent.

Dave Pearce drove at the Cirencester defence and was awarded a free kick near the left front edge of the area. Danny Talbot took the kick and once again Garner had to be alert as he dived to save low down at his right post to push the ball out. It was immediately sent back in and produced a penalty shout from the home support.

Mark Pritchett then produced two determined blocks in quick succession to thwart the next attack leading to a corner kick on the home left flank.  This led to another period of pressure that was relieved when Allen shot wide of the right post.

Midway through the half Cirencester showed that they were still dangerous as an exchange of passes on the left and then a switch of play to the right created an opening that was defended by numbers.

James Mortimer-Jones, in the centre, supplied the ball to Dunton, to his left, and he sent a low ball forward to the feet of Parsons who turned and shot wide of the right post from 25 yards, left of centre. 

As the half hour mark approached Garner produced two terrific saves to prevent Chesham opening their account as he dived to his left to save Blake’s powerful shot, from the right front edge of the box, and then to save a header from Nick Beasant, from the centre edge of the 6 yard box.

Encouraged by these opportunities Chesham kept coming forward and the Centurions defence were required to put their bodies on the line to block the attempts on goal.

As the game was drawing to a close the home defence had advanced to virtually the half way line and when Parsons collected a ball 12 yards inside his half he released  Bennett, in the right channel. As Bennett latched on to the ball he was blocked by ‘keeper Gore as he tried to round him preventing any further movement. The ‘keeper was awarded a Yellow Card for his action.

Josh Parsons took the kick from 30 yards and sent a dipping strike that Gore pushed wide of the right post from under his bar.

Final Score: 0 - 3

This was certainly a game of the proverbial two halves as Cirencester played some lively football in the first half whilst being strong at the back. They took their goals well and looked dangerous.

In the second half the defensive side of the Centurions' game came to the fore as Chesham pushed forward, enjoying plenty of possession, requiring several courageous blocks – but they were still dangerous on the break.

A good all round display against a useful side.


Attendance: 239                               

Referee:      Simon Pawley



1.   Shane Gore                          YC-82mins
2.   Ashley Smith
3.   Toby Little
4.   Daniel Brathwaite
5.   Nick Beasant
6.   Luke Allen                           YC-79mins
7.   Ryan Towner
8.   Danny Talbot
9.   Ryan Blake
10.  Simon Thomas  (C)
11.  Dave Pearce

12.  Mark Bell                 

14.  Connor Wood   (Ryan Towner-72mins)    
15.  Tom McConway                    
16.  Alex Brown                                            

17.  Shaun Reece


1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Ian Herring
3.   Ellis Dunton                         YC-72mins
4.   Mark Pritchett          (C)
5.   Matt Liddiard
6.   Gethin Jones  
7.   Brad Hooper            
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Nat Jarvis               
10.  Aidan Bennett
11.  Josh Parsons

12.  Ed Williams           (Josh Parsons-90+1mins)
14.  Ben Wells              (Aidan Bennett-89mins)
15.  Kyle Pitts
16.  Ollie Knight           (Brad Hooper-90+2mins)

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