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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Cirencester Town 3 – 5 Slough Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

In their latest league fixture Cirencester hosted Slough Town who were also promoted to this division at the beginning of the season having won promotion from the Central Division via the play-off system.

In the reverse fixture at Slough the home side opened the scoring within the first minute but Cirencester recovered from the early set-back to come away with a 2-1 victory.

The starting eleven for the Centurions included Brad Hooper and Josh Parsons in place of James Mortimer-Jones and Jacob Davidge respectively. Jacob took a seat on the bench whilst ‘Jonah’ was unavailable. Ian Herring and Gethin Jones switched flanks in the back four.

Cirencester kicked off playing towards the Arena end of the ground on a firm pitch in dry conditions and with a slight breeze behind them and immediately attacked down the left flank as Nat Jarvis took the ball along the side edge of the area and shot across the front of the 6 yard box where ‘keeper Luke Williams managed to parry the ball away to safety.

This was quickly followed by a superb piece of passing football, starting on the left flank, as Matt Liddiard collected a loose pass on the touchline, laid it back to Ben Wells who chipped it up to Nat Jarvis on the edge of the penalty area, back to Josh Parsons near the centre front edge of the area, across to Aidan Bennett to his right, on to Brad Hooper overlapping on the right side edge of the area to the bye-line, pulled back to Bennett who was bundled over as he received the ball on the right front edge of the 6 yard box - Referee Matt Foley ignored the shout for a Penalty kick. 

In the 6th minute the pressure from the home side resulted in a right wing corner that Ben Wells drove to the back post where Gethin Jones headed it back across goal for Ian Herring, on the front edge of the 6 yard box, to head against the underside of the cross-bar, down and then out.

The Centurions had dominated the early stages and were pushing forward to open their account but it was the visitors who struck the first blow in the 12th minute as a ball from a free kick on the right flank was headed into the right channel of the area. Glyn Garner moved to his left to cover his post as a team-mate looked to shepherd it out but the alert SCOTT HARRIS had other ideas and nipped in between them and somehow managed to squeeze the ball from the narrowest of angles inside the far post.   0-1.

A minute later Harris was in the action again as he darted into the right channel of the penalty area and chipped an advancing Garner but Herring had read the danger and was covering his ‘keeper and managed to clear the ball from inside his 6 yard box.

Just after the quarter of an hour mark Cirencester won another corner kick on the right and this time it was Mark Pritchett at the back post who headed it back across goal for Herring once again to reach it. His effort was blocked by Williams and bounced down and up for Herring to have another go from 3 yards but the ball had bounced too high for him to control his attempt and it cleared the bar.

Cirencester were finally rewarded for their effort after 20 minutes when Bennett made a strong driving run down the right side edge of the area and as he neared the bye-line he pulled the ball back towards the edge of the area, right of centre, where JOSH PARSONS calmly side-footed it inside the right post.   1-1.

Two minutes later Slough regained the lead when Jake Parsons, on the right wing, crossed the ball behind the home back four towards the far post. When Glyn Garner came out to catch it CHRIS HENRY darted in to virtually head it out of his hands. The ball dropped into his path and he headed it over the line from 2 yards out.   1-2.

Cirencester responded with a move down the centre as Jarvis passed it out to Herring on the right flank and he cut back and played a left footed cross into the penalty area. The ball was partially cleared and fell to Parsons who struck a fierce shot that was blocked and cleared.   

The visitors were soaking up the pressure from the Centurions and relying on quick counter attacks and this tactic was successful again on the half hour as a long ball from the right found ED SMITH bursting down the centre and beyond the home defence. Smith gathered the ball 30 yards out and took it to the front edge of the area before slipping it past an advancing Garner.   1-3.  

Cirencester were awarded a free kick on half way, right flank, and Wells drove his kick to the back post where Leigh Henry rose to head back across goal for Bennett but his shot was blocked by Williams and cleared.

The home side did get the ball into the back of the net, with ten minutes of the half remaining, following a corner kick from the right that was powerfully headed home at the back post by Jones but the Referee had seen something and blew for a free kick to the visitors.

As the half drew to a close Herring sent a deep ball from the right towards the centre of the goal where a defender headed it into the air and as it dropped near the left side edge of the 6 yard box Bennett, back to goal, struck a right footed volley that just passed the outside of the right post.

Half Time:   1 - 3

Slough had the perfect start to the second half as they added to their goal tally within the first minute. Chris Henry got past his marker on the left touchline and carried the ball to the bye-line before playing it inside to Smith, just outside the side edge of 6 yard box – one yard out, and he turned and fired it into the 6 yard box for SCOTT HARRIS to react the quickest to tuck it inside the near post.   1-4. 

Within a minute Bennett received the ball on the right side edge of the 6 yard box and struck a tremendous drive that looked destined for the top corner but it hit the post and rebounded out for Brad Hooper to collect on the front edge of the penalty area, left of centre, and his effort was pushed wide by Williams at his right post.

Seven minutes into the half Herring struck a low 35 yard pass from the right to Jarvis on the left and he slipped it inside the fullback for Jones to collect but his cross was too high and cleared the bar.

Five minutes later Smith received a ball in the centre and moved it on to Jake Parsons on the right flank and he passed it to Chris Henry, left channel, who played a clever back heel to release Ryan Parsons down the left flank. Parsons charged towards the bye-line but Bennett had covered his run and made a superb block as his opponent tried to cross the ball. Corner kick.

Fourteen minutes into the half Cirencester reduced the deficit as Jarvis won a header in the left channel, 30 yards out, and Liddiard collected the ball and slipped it behind the visitors backline for JOSH PARSONS to dart in, collect and produce a left footed shot from the front edge of the area that entered the net inside the right post.   2-4.       

Cirencester were making a determined effort to improve their score-line and eleven minutes later they reduced the arrears when Wells crossed to the back post where Bennett struck a right footed volley against the underside of the bar but as it came down JOSH PARSONS managed to produce a sideways bicycle kick to acrobatically volley it home to complete a well taken hat-trick.  3-4.

Ed Smith then shot wide of the left post from the edge of the area after a period of head tennis just inside the home penalty area.

Five minutes after scoring their third goal the Centurions nearly levelled the scores when Bennett showed good control before moving the ball on to Liddiard, on to Jarvis, in the right channel of the area, and he shifted it to his left foot, looked up to pick his spot and fired towards the left post. Williams parried the shot and it fell into the path of Jacob Davidge who had dashed into the goal mouth but the ball came at him quickly and was too high for him to apply a controlled finish and his contact cleared the bar from two yards.

Within a couple of minutes Slough scored their fifth goal when Smith crossed the ball from the right side of the penalty area to an unmarked CHRIS HENRY to tap home at the far post.  3-5.    

With ten minutes of normal time remaining a long ball downfield was collected by Harris but he shot over the bar from the centre front edge of the area under pressure from Pritchett.  Another long ball down the centre produced the unusual sight of Garner rushing from his area to head the ball clear from 5 yards outside his penalty area.

As the game drew to a close Slough mounted a further attack as Smith slipped the ball to Jake Parsons and his shot from the right channel was blocked by Jones and came out to James McClurg who had his effort, from the right of centre edge of the area, blocked by Garner’s feet.

On the stroke of full time Bennett hit a powerful left footed shot on the turn from the left side of the 6 yard box that Williams did well to save.

Cirencester were still pushing forward and in added time Ollie Knight broke down the right before crossing towards Jarvis, near the penalty spot, but the cross was headed behind for a corner kick.    

Final Score: 3 - 5

This was certainly an entertaining game for the neutral supporter with plenty of goalmouth action, goals and two different styles of play.

The Centurions defence had a difficult afternoon and did not look as composed as usual whilst Slough looked very sharp going forward and rode their luck at the back with the woodwork coming to their rescue a few times.

Attendance: 144                                

Referee:      Matt Foley



 1.   Glyn Garner
 2.   Ian Herring               YC-27mins            
 3.   Gethin Jones
 4.   Mark Pritchett                   
 5.   Matt Liddiard           
 6.   Leigh Henry     (C)                       
 7.   Brad Hooper             
 8.   Ben Wells
 9.   Nat Jarvis      
10.  Aidan Bennett                   
11.  Josh Parsons

12.  Jordan Ricketts                          
14.  Jacob Davidge (Brad Hooper-67mins)              
15.  Ollie Knight     (Ben Wells-80mins)
16.  Kyle Pitts
17.  Jody Bevan



 1.   Luke Williams                    
 2.   Sean Fraser             
,3.   Ryan Parsons   
,4.   Guy Hollis                            YC-63mins            
 5.   Reece Yorke                                
 6.   Adam Martin              
 7.   Jake Parsons                      
 8.   James McClurg          (C)    
 9.   Scott Harris
10.  Ed Smith                 
11.  Chris Henry               YC-74mins            

12.  Tom Morgan   
14.  Liam Malone     (Scott Harris-81mins)          
15.  George Short
16.  Gurkan Gokmen
17.  Ben Edwards    

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