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Evo-Stik Leauge Southern Premier Division

Cirencester Town 1 - 1 Hungerford Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


The visitors to the Corinium Stadium for this penultimate league fixture of the season were Hungerford Town who were unbeaten in their last 5 games and in a ‘play-off’ position (4th) in the table. In the 6-match form guide this run of results places them 7th with 11 points from the 18 available whilst Cirencester are 12th with 8 points.

In the reverse fixture at Bulpit Lane the Centurions were pegged back when former striker Lee Smith equalised with four minutes of normal time remaining.

The Centurions starting eleven was as the previous match at Histon but the formation was different in that Aidan Bennett took a position at left back enabling Mark Pritchett to return to his usual centre back berth and Matt Liddiard to midfield.

The home side kicked off playing down the slope towards the Arena end of the ground on a very firm pitch in perfect conditions and within the first minute Jordan Ricketts crossed from the right flank for Matt Liddiard to head over and wide of the target from a position to the right of the penalty spot.

The home side had started with similar urgency to that of the match against Poole Town and produced a series of passes on the left - Brad Hooper slipped the ball back to Aidan Bennett, up to Liddiard in the left corner, back to Hooper, inside to James Mortimer-Jones in the centre, up to Josh Parsons on the centre front edge of the area – that resulted in a quick turn and shot from Parsons that was blocked.

The Crusaders response two minutes later was an enormous long throw from James Rusby, on the left flank, that bounced high near the centre of the 6 yard box where Glyn Garner caught it with Mark Draycott and James Clark lurking.

Cirencester then played some neat football on the edge of the visitors penalty area that led to a corner kick on the right and when the kick came in Mark Pritchett headed back across the goal and the ball eventually fell to Parsons who struck an instant left footed half volley that fizzed past the left post from the right side of the penalty area.

Around the quarter hour mark Hungerford had a couple of chances – the first when Rusby launched another long throw (it was to become a feature of the match) into the box from the left that reached Draycott who scuffed his shot at the back post for Garner to catch easily, this was followed by a long ball out of defence that the hard working Clark chased after to collect on the left side of the area. Once there he turned inside to take on Gethin Jones and the ball broke loose to a supporting Alan O’Brien who shot wide of the left post.

The action was quickly moved to the other end of the pitch as Ian Herring sent a 25 yard pass from the right flank to Parsons, in the centre, who turned to drive at the Crusaders high back line but noticing Nat Jarvis free on his left he slipped the ball in behind the visitors defence for Jarvis to collect down the left channel. Jarvis advanced towards the penalty area in plenty of space and delayed his shot until he was level with the penalty spot enabling Paul Strudley in the Crusaders goal to close him down and make a block for a recovering defender to complete the clearance.

Three minutes later Gary Horgan collected a Cirencester clearance kick on half way, right of centre, and drove the ball out to O’Brien in the left corner but his cross was blocked for a throw on the flank. Once again Rusby sent the ball into the area but it was cleared.

Just before the mid-point of the half James Pilling, under pressure, played a pass down the centre of the pitch to Clark, centre front edge of the penalty area, but he lost control when in space and through on goal enabling Garner to gather. The Referee called play back to the point that Pilling was tackled and awarded a free kick that was dealt with comfortably by the home defence.

Shortly afterwards Nat Jarvis chased after a ball in the right corner, cut back to his left and crossed towards goal where the attempted clearance by Rusby was sliced for a corner kick. Former Hungerford player Josh Parsons took the kick and drove it towards the front post where another former Crusader, IAN HERRING, darted forward to head goalwards. Gary Horgan, on the line – slightly left of centre, made a desperate attempt to keep the ball out but could only deflect it into the roof of the net.   1-0.        

When the game was re-started the ball was played up to Draycott, near the centre front edge of the area, and as he moved forward there was a shout for handball from the home defence that was ignored and he was allowed to continue. The appeal had enabled Draycott to break through the line but he delayed his shot allowing Herring to get across and block his shot when he did decide to pull the trigger resulting in a corner kick that Garner punched clear.

With ten minutes of the half remaining Cirencester were awarded a free kick just outside the front edge of the area, left of centre, that Parsons fired just wide of the right post with Strudley beaten by its pace.   

As the half was drawing to a close Gethin Jones collected the ball on the right touchline and charged forward for 20 yards before slipping the ball inside to Jarvis who struck a fierce left footed shot at goal but it was deflected for a right wing corner kick that was cleared.

In the final moments of the half a long ball from Diak John, on the left flank, reached Pilling at the back post but his header was blocked by a team-mate for a goal kick.


Half Time:   1 - 0


With the advantage of the slope Hungerford mounted an attack down their left flank as Clark laid the ball inside to O’Brien who carried along the side edge of the area before crossing towards the front edge of the 6 yard box. Mark Pritchett decided to let the ball run as an attempt to clear could prove more difficult and as it emerged on the far side of the 6 yard box the alert and covering James Mortimer-Jones managed to get to it before an incoming Dean Stow and clear the danger.

Nine minutes into the half a long ball from defence was collected by Jordan Ricketts on the right front edge of the area and he laid it back to Herring who crossed towards the left post where Strudley came out to catch.

Shortly after another long throw from Rusby eventually found Draycott at the back post but he had to stretch to reach the ball and as a result could not control his effort and it cleared the bar.  

The action immediately went down to the other end of the pitch as Jarvis received a ball in space on the front edge of the area and advanced to the left of the penalty spot, but once again he delayed taking the shot enabling it to be blocked and cleared.

Thirty minutes into the half Hungerford launched the ball downfield and as it came down Charlie Mpi challenged Bennett and it broke to Draycott on the front edge of the area, right of centre, and without hesitation he struck a strong shot towards the inside of the right post. Glyn Garner dived to his left to pull off a superb save, pushing the ball wide and out.

Four minutes later Liddiard sent a 25 yard pass from left to right for Ricketts to collect just inside the area, right of centre, and as he turned he was bundled by John but managed to ride the challenge and as he recovered his balance he tried to go round Strudley but the ‘keeper collected the ball off his toe.             

As the half was drawing to a close Hungerford were increasing the pressure on the home defence and following a right wing corner Harry Goodger headed the ball down to Gary Horgan, on the right of the area, and Garner pulled off another great save to thwart the defender. 

The last few minutes of the half were frenetic as Hungerford searched for an equaliser and with four minutes of normal time remaining Draycott latched on to a loose ball on the right front edge of the area and shot over the bar.

Two minutes later Jacob Davidge chased a ball into the right corner that required Strudley to leave his box to clear. His kick downfield dropped to Brad Hooper just inside the visitors half and he immediately struck a right footed half volley towards goal that sent the ball high into the air and curling across the pitch - eventually dropping just wide of the left post.

On the stroke of normal time being completed Hungerford broke down the left side of the area for Isaac Osei-Tutu to collect and when Herring made a tackle that won the ball with his left leg his momentum meant that his trailing right leg knocked Osei-Tutu to the ground – PENALTY.

In the remonstrations that followed the penalty award Jacob Davidge received a Red Card and Ian Herring a Yellow.

The prolific Draycott stepped up to take the spot kick and fired his shot towards the bottom left corner where Glyn Garner had anticipated and dived to his right to stop and the ball bounced up off him and then back down into his arms.

Hungerford were not done yet and two minutes into added time a ball into the box became a scramble in the goalmouth before breaking to ISAAC OSEI-TUTU near the left post and he had a tap-in that went under Garner as he desperately tried to cover his post.  


Final Score: 1 - 1


Cirencester started the game in determined fashion and took the game to their opponents, closing them down quickly and playing some neat passing football in the early stages but Hungerford worked their way into the game and looked dangerous on the break.

The visitors had a number of efforts in the second half but Glyn Garner was in good form to pull off some excellent saves when they did get through the determined home back line.

The Centurions should have had a three goal cushion before Hungerford scored their equaliser and the draw, whilst a fair result, felt like a defeat given how late the equaliser was scored.

Attendance: 182                       .        

Referee:      Adam Crysell

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Ian Herring               25mins                   YC-89mins                               
3.   Jordan Ricketts
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.  Jacob Davidge          (Nat Jarvis-82mins)        RC-89mins                               
14.  Ollie Knight              (Jordan Ricketts-87mins)
15.  Kyle Pitts
16.  Ben Wells
17.  Danny Gudger           

 

HUNGERFORD TOWN:

1.    Paul Strudley                     
2.   Gary Horgan             
3.   Diak John                                     YC-60mins  
4.   James Rusby                                         
5.   Matt Day                                    
6.   James Pilling              
7.   Dean Stow                         
8.   Matt Collins    
9.   James Clark
10.  Mark Draycott          (C)              
11.  Alan O’Brien

12.  Harry Goodger           (Dean Stow-61mins)
14.  Jon Boardman                     
15.  Scott Rees
16.  Charlie Mpi                         (James Pilling-61mins)          
17.  Isaac Osei-Tutu                  (Alan O’Brien-69mins)               YC-84mins   90+2

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