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Evo-Stik League Southern League Premier Division

Dorchester Town 0 - 1 Cirencester Town   

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


Cirencester travelled to Dorset to play former Conference side Dorchester Town in their latest league fixture.

Dorchester have had a disappointing season to date although recent results - 3 wins in the last 4 games since the appointment of Mark Jermyn as Player/Manager - suggest they are showing signs of improvement. These results place them 11th in the 6-Match Form Guide whilst Cirencester have dropped to 14th due to their recent results.

The Centurions starting eleven had one change from the midweek team that started against Bristol Rovers Reserves in the County Cup Semi-Final as James Mortimer-Jones took the place of Ben Wells who was on the bench alongside Leigh Henry, Jacob Davidge and Ollie Knight.

The visitors kicked off defending the 'Tesco' end of the ground on a bitterly cold day in heavy pitch conditions that made passing football difficult.

Almost immediately from the kick off Cirencester won a throw-in on the left flank that Ellis Dunton launched into the penalty area but the ball was headed out for Brad Hooper to collect just outside the left front edge of the box and without hesitation he fired a right footed volley narrowly wide of the left post.

In response Dorchester mounted a counter attack down their left flank as Bradley Tarbuck collected a loose ball and struck a weak shot on the turn from just outside of the area, left channel, that Glyn Garner in the visitor’s goal gathered easily.

Unusually the home side then made a substitution in the 6th minute as Matt Oldring replaced Sam Lanahan - presumably due to injury.

In these early stages Tarbuck was prominent as following a break down their right flank the ball was switched to him, as he supported down the left, but once again his resulting shot, from a similar position to his previous effort, was comfortably saved by Garner.

Dorchester were taking the game to Cirencester and the visitor’s defence successfully won the ball deep in their penalty area, on the right, and Matt Liddiard brought it out down the centre of the pitch, played it to the right to Ed Williams who switched it to Brad Hooper on the left. Hooper played it up to Aidan Bennett further down the flank and he cut back on the side edge of the area to the front edge and unleashed a powerful shot over the bar.

Tarbuck then carried the ball down the home sides left before moving right to shoot, from a similar position to his other two, but the result was exactly the same.

With quarter of an hour gone Nathan Walker had a good chance for the Magpies when a cross from the right reached him near the penalty spot but his header was blocked and cleared.

Cirencester had weathered the initial thrust of the home side and were showing signs of getting to grips with the heavy pitch as they began to pass the ball more accurately and a move involving Williams, Hooper and Dunton reached Bennett on the left and his cross to the near post was headed over by Nat Jarvis - the Assistant Referee was flagging for offside so it would not have counted anyway.

Five minutes later Liddiard took a quick throw-in on the left flank to James Mortimer-Jones who played it left to Dunton, forward to Liddiard, on to Hooper, in the left channel, and he fired a shot over the bar from 25 yards.

On the half hour mark Gethin Jones won a tackle in the right back position and moved the ball on to Ed Williams further down the flank who moved inside and after a number of passes the ball reached Bennett on the left side edge of the home penalty area. Bennett cut back onto his right and shot at goal but his effort was deflected high into the air and fortunately for the Magpies dropped into the arms of home ‘keeper Alan Walker-Harris as he struggled to keep his feet in the muddy goalmouth with Williams closing.

The deadlock was finally broken by the Centurions in the 33rd minute as Williams struck a deep corner kick from the left to the back post for Dunton to head back into the centre of the 6 yard box where MATT LIDDIARD had the simple task of heading home from a yard out.  0 – 1. 

A few minutes later Dorchester were awarded a free kick ten yards inside their half, right channel, and Jake Smeeton drove it into the visitor’s penalty area for Ben Watson to get to as Garner rushed out. Watson’s effort was parried by Garner but rebounded to Nathan Walker on the centre front edge of the area and with Garner stranded he shot wide of the left post.

In the final minutes of the half Walker had another chance but headed a cross from the right flank wide of the left post.


Half Time:   0 - 1


Almost immediately after the re-start Cirencester created an opening when Nat Jarvis crossed from the right flank for Bennett but Mark Jermyn was on hand to head back to Walker-Harris to clear the danger.

Player/Manager Jermyn was in the action again five minutes later at the other end of the pitch as Chris Dillon took a long throw from the right flank that reached him 25 yards out, slightly right of centre, and his shot flew over the bar.

This was soon followed by a miss-hit shot at goal from Lewis Morgan - following a long cross from Dan Smith on the right flank.

As the quarter hour point of the half was passed Tarbuck repeated his earlier exploits as he received a ball on the left and drove forward before unleashing a right footed shot from 25 yards, left channel, that Garner turned round his left post at full stretch.

Despite the home side having the better opportunities in this period of the half Cirencester were defending resolutely with Gethin Jones and Mark Pritchett prominent, ably assisted by Ian Herring and Ellis Dunton, and looked dangerous on the counter attack.

Just before the mid-point of the half Dunton stopped Smith in his tracks as he won a tackle on the front corner of his area and proceeded to gallop forward. When he reached the half way line he cut right to avoid a challenge and then worked his way across field before moving the ball on to Mortimer-Jones. The ball was passed around the right and centre of the pitch before finally being won by Dorchester.

The ball was sent down the centre towards Watson and Garner spotting the danger was quick to rush out of his area to knee the ball clear but it fell to Tarbuck who shot wide of the empty goal.  

Ed Williams then had a couple of chances either side of the half hour mark of the half as he cut in from the left and fired a shot at goal from the front edge of the box with his right foot that Walker-Harris parried. This was soon followed by another opening when Liddiard fed the ball to him on the left and he worked his way across the inside edge of the penalty area looking for the perfect opening as he beat three defenders in quick succession with his quick footwork. When he finally did shoot from near the penalty spot it was partially blocked by Smeeton and Walker-Harris dropped on the loose ball.

In the final minute of normal time Tarbuck cut in from the left side edge of the area and his ball towards the 6 yard box was deflected behind the near post by Garner as Walker closed in.

Dorchester had been putting Cirencester under a lot of pressure during the last five minutes or so and controversy was to follow deep into ‘time-added-on’ as they searched for an equaliser.

A free kick from Smeeton on the right flank towards the far side of the penalty area resulted in Garner rushing out to catch, to the right of his penalty spot, and in so doing a home player fell to ground with him. The referee appeared to point at the penalty spot and the worst was anticipated by the visiting Cirencester supporters but to the surprise of the home support and players he awarded a goal kick.

This decision prompted a melee that led to Yellow Cards being awarded to Matt Oldring and Ian Herring.   


Final Score: 0 - 1


This was a hard earned three points for the Centurions on a very heavy, difficult pitch that limited their normal passing game.

During the first half they had produced a number of passing moves despite the conditions but as the game wore on the pitch cut-up preventing cultured football and it became a slog - requiring determination and commitment as the home side put them under enormous pressure in the second half.

As mentioned above the defence was well organised and committed, assisted by the hard working midfield and forwards who chased and harried to put the pressure on their opponents.

Attendance: 404                               

Referee:      Robert Dabbs

 

DORCHESTER TOWN:

1.    Alan Walker-Harris
2.   Sam Lanahan
3.   Bradley Tarbuck
4.   Mark Jermyn             YC-87mins
5.   Jake Smeeton  (C)
6.   Chris Dillon
7.   Lewis Morgan
8.   Jamie Gleeson
9.   Ben Watson
10.  Nathan Walker
11.  Dan Smith

12.  Matt Oldring   (Sam Lanahan-7mins)       YC-90+6mins
14.  Jason Brookes
15.  Ryan Murray    (Dan Smith-68mins)        YC-69mins
16.  Kieron Parrott
17.  Shane Murphy

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Ian Herring               YC-90+6mins                  
3.   Ellis Dunton
4.   Mark Pritchett          (C)
5.   Matt Liddiard
6.   Gethin Jones
7.   Brad Hooper              YC-50mins
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Nat Jarvis                          YC-76mins
10.  Aidan Bennett
11.  Ed Williams

12.  Ben Wells                 (Brad Hooper-90+1mins)
14.  Jacob Davidge           (Nat Jarvis-79mins)
15.  Ollie Knight
16.  Leigh Henry

 

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