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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Cirencester Town 1 – 1 Arlesey Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer 

Arlesey Town were the visitors to the Corinium Stadium for a league match that was chosen to mark the 125th Anniversary of their host’s formation. To celebrate the occasion more than 200 former players had been invited to attend to meet up with team-mates and reminisce about their exploits in Cirencester colours. There were photographs of teams on display together with various items of memorabilia for examination.

The match itself was expected to be a tight affair, based on the 6-match current form guide, as the teams were only two places apart (Ciren – 14th, Arlesey – 16th) even though their league positions are 8th and 21st respectively. Arlesey are battling to stay in the Premier Division and changed their management in February.

There was one change to the Centurions starting eleven of last week with James Mortimer-Jones replacing the unavailable Ben Wells in midfield. As the Development Team had no match Robbie James and Danny Gudger took seats on the bench alongside Jacob Davidge, Jordan Ricketts and Kyle Pitts. 

The home side kicked off playing towards the Shed End of the ground in front of a larger than usual crowd in blustery conditions and on a soft, slippery pitch due to the rain that had stopped just before the kick-off.

It was the visitors who had the first attempt at goal in the 1st minute when the tall Inih Effiong managed to get his head to a ball to the right of the penalty spot but he was unable to generate sufficient power to trouble Glyn Garner in the home goal who easily caught the ball.

Five minutes later a clearance from the visitors defence was collected by James Mortimer-Jones 35 yards out, left of centre, and he took on the shot at goal but his effort was deflected for a left wing corner kick.

A neat move on the right flank started when Ian Herring fed the ball to Josh Parsons, near the right side edge of the penalty area, and he back-heeled it to Aidan Bennett who drove into the box down the right channel and fired a fierce shot goal-wards. His effort was blocked and the attempted clearance dropped to Mortimer-Jones, 5 yards outside the box – left of centre, and he struck a powerful left footed volley that was deflected behind for a left wing corner kick that was headed out for a throw on the right flank.

Cirencester were warming to the game and beginning to increase the pressure on the visitors but came unstuck in the 11th minute when a huge downfield clearance landed behind an advanced home defence. As Mark Pritchett turned, 10 yards inside his half, ZACK REYNOLDS made a determined run down the centre and was closing in on the ball. Glyn Garner spotting the danger had begun to dash from his line but hesitated momentarily as he came out of the area and this enabled Reynolds to get there first - rounding the ‘keeper 10 yards outside his box before planting it into the vacant net.  0 – 1.     

Ian Herring carried the ball forward three minutes later, stepped inside a challenge on the right flank and moved the ball on to Bennett on the front edge of the penalty area, right channel, and he struck a left footed shot that was partially blocked by the home defence and then cleared before Parsons and Matt Liddiard could take advantage on the left front edge of the area.

Shortly afterwards some neat passing between Mortimer-Jones, Gethin Jones and Liddiard on the left created space in the centre for Parsons to feed the ball out to Bennett on the right but his cross was wide of the target.

Aidan Bennett was soon in action again as his strength took him past a couple of challenges in the right corner before he crossed the ball low and hard from the bye-line. The ball ‘fizzed’ through the 6 yard box without contact.

Twenty minutes into the match Parsons received the ball on the left and was ushered towards the left corner flag, he rode a couple of challenges before moving it back along the touchline to a supporting Brad Hooper who played it further back to Gethin Jones who drove the ball towards the front edge of the penalty area where Nat Jarvis ‘chested’ it into the path of Parsons and his shot, from the left front edge of the area, whistled past the right post.

The Centurions were now dominating possession with Arlesey getting men behind the ball to thwart their hosts.

Shortly after the mid-point of the half another period of possession led to Mortimer-Jones feeding Herring on the right. Herring cut in and fired a solid left footed shot over the bar from 25 yards, right of centre.

Within a few minutes the right back was called to the left flank to produce a long throw into the box that was deflected behind for a throw in the right corner which he also took but it was eventually cleared by the stubborn Arlesey defence.

As the game entered the last ten minutes of the half the ball broke loose just inside the centre front edge of the area and as it neared the penalty spot Effiong chased after it but Garner was quick to dash out and bravely dived at his feet to smother his attempted ‘chip’ but the Assistant Referee had flagged for ‘Offside’ anyway.

Matt Liddiard played the ball up to Parsons, 15 yards inside the visitors half, and with his back to goal he ‘flicked’ the ball into the path of Hooper as he charged down the left channel. The midfielder took the ball in his stride and made his way to the penalty area for a ‘one-on-one’ with ‘keeper Nick Thompson who managed a partial block as Hooper attempted to slip the ball past him. A recovering defender cleared the loose ball.  

In the 43rd minute Cirencester finally levelled the score. Gethin Jones made a determined run into the left corner, riding a couple of tackles on his way before the ball was knocked into touch by a defender. Ian Herring was again called to the left flank to produce a long throw into the visitor’s penalty area and when it was cleared back to him he clipped a superb ball towards the back post. NAT JARVIS leapt high to meet the cross, 2 yards out - right of centre, and headed the ball down and it bounced up into the roof of the net.  1 – 1.  


Half Time:   1 - 1


Within two minutes of the re-start Arlesey mounted a challenge on goal as a cluster of players, to the right of the goal, hacked at the ball resulting in a corner kick.  Gethin Jones intercepted the kick and brought the ball out of the area, avoiding several tackles in the process, and then switched play to Ian Herring on the right flank.

In the 13th minute Arlesey began a move on half way as Effiong slipped the ball inside to Reynolds who moved it left to Jack Vassey and he in turn slipped it left to Sam Willett who shot over the bar from the left front corner of the penalty area.

On the quarter hour mark of the half Hooper, on the left flank, moved the ball to Parsons further forward, left of centre, right to Liddiard and out to Herring on the right flank. Herring cut back and sent a long ball towards the back post that Jarvis headed wide of the left post at full stretch.

Just before the mid-point of the half a break down the right flank ended with a Bennett shot that just cleared the bar.

Cirencester were once again enjoying plenty of possession as they tried to break down the stubborn Arlesey defence and during this period Parsons brought the ball across the front edge of the area avoiding several challenges as he looked for an opening.

In the 71st minute Garner had to produce another brave save, this time at the feet of Vassey, as he darted into the box to get on the end of a cross from the right. The Arlesey player required treatment following the resultant collision.

As the game entered the last quarter hour Arlesey created a couple of moments that could have resulted in goals as several players quickly burst forward on the counter-attack and when the ball reached Effiong, on the front centre edge of the area, he shot wide of the target.

This action was almost immediately followed by Jevani Brown carrying the ball downfield, avoiding several challenges, and when he entered the right channel of the area he struck a left footed shot that Garner saved at the near post.

The Centurions continued to push forward searching for a winner and Herring drove a free kick from the left flank that was curling towards the top right corner of the goal where Thompson managed to punch it clear.

A few minutes later Parsons managed to keep the ball under pressure on the right front edge of the penalty area and when he played it back to Herring on the right flank the fullback struck a shot with the outside of his right foot that was curling towards the inside of the far post but Thompson did well to catch the ball as Jarvis closed in.

In time added on Cirencester thought they had scored the ‘winner’ when a Parsons shot was blocked and fell into the path of Jordan Ricketts who tucked it inside the right post but the Assistant Referee flagged for ‘Offside’ to the frustration of the home support.

Within seconds the final whistle was blown to end the contest.


Final Score: 1 - 1


As expected this was a difficult match against determined opponents fighting for survival who dropped back to guard their goal lead with everything they possessed, mounting quick counter attacks when possible.

The Centurions had plenty of possession but found it difficult to create clear openings against the stubborn defence of their opponents. 

Attendance: 321                       .        

Referee: Andrew Humphries

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Ian Herring                                 
3.   Gethin Jones
4.   Mark Pritchett                   
5.   Matt Liddiard           
6.   Leigh Henry     (C)                       
7.   Brad Hooper             
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Nat Jarvis      
10.  Aidan Bennett                   
11.   Josh Parsons            43

12.  Jacob Davidge         (Aidan Bennett-71mins)                      
14.  Jordan Ricketts        (Brad Hooper-71mins)               
15.  Kyle Pitts                (Matt Liddiard-67mins)
16.  Robbie James
17.  Danny Gudger

 

SLOUGH TOWN:

1.    Nick Thompson                            
2.   Martel Powell            
3.   Luke Abraham 
4.   Jevani Brown                                         
5.   Andre Maltay   (C)                                 
6.   James Sage                
7.   Sam Willett                       
8.   Ben Farrell    
9.   Inih Effiong
10.  Jack Vassey             
11.  Zack Reynolds            11               

12.  Harry Carr     
14.  Saul Williams             (Jack Vassey-87mins)          
15.  Christian Tavernier      (Sam Willett-63mins)
16.  Zema Abbey
17.  Dan St Louis-Hamilton        

 

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