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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Cirencester Town 3 - 2 Poole Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

High-flying Poole Town were the visitors for this mid-week league fixture.

The Dolphins have been at the top end of the league table all season but like their hosts have suffered a loss of form in recent matches. The six match form guide reveals that The Dolphins are placed 9th with 9 points from the 18 available whilst The Centurions are 14th with 7 points.

This fixture was their third away match on the bounce and they had lost the previous two over the Easter weekend, against Chippenham and Dorchester, so they would undoubtedly be looking to get back on track.

The Centurions had only managed to obtain one point in their last three matches against teams in the bottom half of the table so a difficult match was anticipated.

On the team front Ian Herring was serving the second of his two match suspension and as a result Matt Liddiard moved to right back to cover his absence and Jordan Ricketts stepped up for his first start of the campaign.

The Dolphins kicked off playing towards the Arena end of the ground in dry conditions on a firm pitch and almost immediately Richard Gillespie had a pot at goal as a defensive header dropped to him on the centre front edge of the area but he missed the target.

Play then switched to the other end of the pitch as Nat Jarvis crossed from the left flank for visiting ‘keeper Nick Hutchings to catch on the edge of his 6 yard box.

The game had started at a good pace and in the third minute Brad Hooper fed Jordan Ricketts near the right corner and he cut in and sent a low right footed cross into the penalty area where Josh Parsons, dashing in at pace, shot wide of the exposed goal with his left foot from left of the penalty spot – his effort passing the outside of the right post.

The next goalmouth action was at the Cirencester end where Luke Roberts was thwarted by a superb block tackle by Leigh Henry in the right channel of the area.

The home side then enjoyed a period of possession as they worked the ball forward with several players involved culminating in a Hooper cross to the back post from the right that was headed clear.

Within minutes a break down the Cirencester left flank reached Jarvis who shot from the left side edge of the penalty area but it was deflected for a left wing corner kick. When the kick came in it was defended at the back post resulting in a corner kick from the right which was cleared.

Cirencester were pushing forward at every opportunity and after fifteen minutes Jarvis laid the ball off to James Mortimer-Jones on the left flank who sent a deep cross towards goal and from the viewpoint of spectators at the Arena end of the ground it looked like it had dropped into the back of the net but it had in fact just cleared the bar for a goal-kick.

A few minutes later Mortimer-Jones fed Jarvis in the left channel of the area and the ball was cleared out to Aidan Bennett on the left who drove to the bye-line before crossing. The incoming ball was taken out of the hands of Hutchings by Jamie Whisken to produce another corner from the left.  

The Dolphins were awarded their first corner kick after half an hour as Matt Butcher drove down the left and struck a deep cross to the back post where Luke Burbidge was closing but Mark Pritchett managed to head the ball behind for a corner kick on the right that was cleared. 

The deadlock was finally broken with eight minutes of the half remaining when NAT JARVIS collected a loose ball in the left channel, turned and struck a fierce, low, left footed shot from 25 yards that flew inside the right post.  1-0.

The reaction from Poole was immediate as Keith Emmerson drove down the left and crossed to the front edge of the area where Gillespie, on the run, could only strike his shot wide of the left post as the ball came at him quickly.

As the half drew to a close Cirencester enjoyed another period of possession with several players involved and the final goal mouth action of the half came after Ricketts carried the ball across the front edge of the area, avoiding tackles en-route, before moving the ball on to Bennett on the left. Bennett flicked the ball over his marker and drove down the side edge of the area before shooting over the bar.

Half Time:   1 - 0

Before the re-start Poole replaced Luke Roberts with Billy Lowes.

Cirencester started the second half as they had finished the first with Hooper winning the ball in the centre and after several passes the ball reached Parsons who darted into the penalty area, left channel, but the ball got away from him before he could shoot.

The home side won a corner kick on the left which produced a corner kick on the right and when the kick came in the diminutive Parsons headed over the bar from near the penalty spot.

The Centurions had started the half well and neat play in the left corner following a throw from Pritchett led to an exchange of passes between Bennett and Parsons leading to a curling right footed effort from Bennett being blocked as he cut inside a defender.

On the hour mark of the match Pritchett sent a curling right footed cross towards the back post where NAT JARVIS leapt the highest to head inside the right post.  2-0.

The euphoria of the two goal lead was short-lived as within a minute the visitors were awarded a penalty when Gillespie drove down the right channel of the area inducing a challenge from Jones that caused him to fall to ground. Jones was awarded a Yellow Card for the tackle.

RICHARD GILLESPIE stepped up to take the kick himself and drove his kick down the centre and whilst Glyn Garner got his hand to it as he dived to his right he could not prevent it entering the net.  2-1.   

Game on.  Encouraged by this Poole pushed forward but suffered a setback when Ricketts received a ball on the right front edge of the area and shot towards the far left post. The Poole ‘keeper dived to his right to keep the ball out and it was loose for a moment – enough time for the alert JOSH PARSONS to latch onto it and drive home.  3-1. 

A few minutes later Gillespie made a jinking run on the front edge of the area before moving the ball on to Whisken who struck a firm left footed shot that Garner stopped then gathered on his line.  

Poole had increased the tempo of their game and Emmerson in the right corner crossed to the back post where Joe Quigley was unmarked but he headed over the bar.

With half an hour of the half gone Poole reduced the arrears as Quigley made a run down the right flank towards the corner and slipped the ball inside to RICHARD GILLESPIE to the right of the penalty spot and he struck a curling right footed shot inside the left post.  3-2.

The Cirencester reaction was another fine run from Ricketts into the box, back to Parsons, on to Bennett – down to the bye-line on the left, pulled back across goal and cleared at the second attempt.

The last ten minutes were very tense with Poole driving forward and Cirencester defending with determination and resolve. During this period Butcher struck a left footed volley, from 25 yards – left of centre, high over the bar and then with four minutes of normal time remaining his free kick from the right was headed against the bar at the back post.

Final Score: 3 - 2

This was a much improved performance from The Centurions with everyone playing their part.

The effort and urgency was evident, particularly in the first half, as they closed down Poole very quickly limiting the time and space for them to get into their stride. The last quarter required resilience and determination as Poole pushed forward in an effort to get a favourable result.   

The formation of the team was slightly different as Gethin Jones returned to centre back (left side) and Mark Pritchett moved to left back. Josh Parsons took a position just behind Nat Jarvis in the centre and Jordan Ricketts and Aidan Bennett positions on the flanks.

Brad Hooper was extremely busy throughout - prompting and challenging in midfield, whilst his partner James Mortimer-Jones was his usual tidy self - spotting danger and clearing up to good effect.

There were signs of an understanding developing between Nat Jarvis and Josh Parsons who both worked very hard for the team.

An entertaining game for the neutral and based on the ‘Twitter’ comments a match of great interest to non-attending Poole and numerous Corby supporters as the season draws to a close and a final shoot-out between Poole and Corby on the last day of the season which may decide the destination of the title.

Attendance: 194                       .        

Referee:      Paul Cooper



  1.   Glyn Garner
  2.   Gethin Jones                      YC-61mins                               
  3.   Jordan Ricketts
  4.   Mark Pritchett                   
  5.   Matt Liddiard           
  6.   Leigh Henry     (C)                       
  7.   Brad Hooper             
  8.   James Mortimer-Jones
  9.   Nat Jarvis                          37, 60
 10.  Aidan Bennett                              YC-78mins
 11.  Josh Parsons            65

12.  Jacob Davidge                             
14.  Kyle Pitts                 
15.  Danny Gudger            (Jordan Ricketts-90+1mins)



 1.  Nick Hutchings                           
 2.  Lewis Tallack            
 3.  Will Spetch    
 4.  Keith Emmerson                                              
 5.  Jamie Whisken          (C)                                 
 6.  Carl Pettifer              
 7.  Luke Burbidge                    
 8.  Matt Butcher     
 9.  Luke Roberts
10  Richard Gillespie                 61, 76         
11  Harrison Gilkes

12  Joe Quigley               (Harrison Gilkes-60mins)
14. Billy Lowes                          (Luke Roberts-46mins)          
15. Jack Dickson

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