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Gloucestershire FA Senior Challenge Cup Final

Shortwood United 0 - 2 Cirencester Town

At GFA Headquarters, Oaklands Park, Almondsbury 

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

 
Cirencester travelled to Almondsbury in mid-week to play the last match of their 2014-15 Season at the Headquarters of the Gloucestershire F. A. where they met their local arch-rivals Shortwood United in the Final of the Senior Challenge Trophy.

The two teams have met before this season – in the FA Cup and the League Cup - with Shortwood the victors in both competitions so a difficult match was anticipated on the 3G pitch at HQ.

There was only one change to the Centurions starting eleven from the previous match as Danny Gudger was promoted from the Development Team to replace the cup-tied Jordan Ricketts on the right wing. Development Team regular Robbie James was also added to the squad and took a seat on the bench.  

Cirencester kicked off and spent the first couple of minutes around the front edge of the Shortwood penalty area as they searched for an opening until their opponents won the ball and counter attacked down the left flank as Nick Humphries carried the ball some 50 yards before sending in a low cross that passed through the area and out the other side untouched.

The Centurions continued to push forward and seven minutes into the game Glyn Garner had to be alert to dash out of his area to head the ball clear as Ross Langworthy looked to latch onto a long ball down the centre.

In the 13th minute Cirencester were awarded the first corner kick of the match, on the left, and Josh Parsons sent the ball into the centre of the 6 yard box where GETHIN JONES rose to head home.  1 – 0.

Four minutes later the ball reached Matt Liddiard in the left channel – 20 yards out – and his shot was deflected for another left wing corner kick. This time Shortwood cleared the ball but it fell to Aidan Bennett, near the left front corner of the penalty area, and without hesitation he fired a superb low right footed volley that Tom King did well to push away near his left post.

At the mid-point of the half James Mortimer-Jones started a move down the right as he played the ball up to Danny Gudger who slipped it inside to Parsons, on to Nat Jarvis and out to Gudger on a charge down the flank to the corner. His cross from the bye-line zipped through the 6 yard box.

A minute later a Shortwood defender, just inside the side edge of the 6 yard box, sliced another cross from Gudger into the arms of King at the near post.

Cirencester were dominating proceedings at this point and Jarvis laid a ball back to Bennett, left channel – 25 yards out, and he struck a powerful right footed shot over the bar.

Shortwood were struggling to keep the ball and a driving run down the centre by Langworthy was stopped in its tracks as Ian Herring produced a superbly timed tackle to win the ball on the Cirencester edge of the centre circle.

As the game entered the final ten minutes of the half Shortwood won the ball 15 yards inside their half and quickly counter attacked as they moved the ball up to Josh Klein-Davis but Jones was on hand to win the ball back for Cirencester on the front edge of the area.

A couple of minutes later Shortwood won a corner on the right when a Langworthy shot was deflected wide and as the resultant kick came in under the crossbar Garner had to tip it over the bar for a corner kick on the left. This time Garner managed to palm it out for Bennett to complete the clearance.

It was then the turn of Cirencester to mount a couple of attacks as Parsons made a jinking run down the centre, avoiding several attempted tackles on his way, but his shot from the front edge of the area (right of centre) was wide of the right post. Parsons was in the action soon after as he slipped the ball to Brad Hooper who fed it to Gudger on the right flank.  Gudger made ground to the corner and sent a terrific cross towards the near post where Jarvis had made a darting run and played a clever flick volley with the inside of his right heel that was just wide of the right post.

As the half was drawing to a close Shortwood made a series of passes that took them down their left flank and Langworthy chased the ball to the byeline and laid it back to Adam Price on the left front edge of the area. Price’s shot was blocked but the ball came out to Josh Egan on the right flank and he struck a ferocious low drive that Garner did well to save and hold inside his left post.

Within a minute Garner was called into action again when he managed to palm a shot from the right flank to his right where Jones was on hand to clear from inside the 6 yard box to Herring who dribbled the ball out of the area and started a counter attack. 

There had been a number of stoppages during the half due to injuries and Referee Tim Wood finally brought the half to a close after 52 minutes but the action did not stop there as he awarded a Red Card to Mark Pritchett who had an altercation with a spectator as the players started to leave the pitch.

 

Half Time:   1 - 0

 

When the game was re-started Gethin Jones had taken the Captain’s Armband for Cirencester and inevitably Shortwood dominated the first 5 minutes as Cirencester sorted themselves out with only 10 players on the pitch.  Matt Liddiard had moved into the back four alongside Jones and Josh Parsons into a deeper role with Jarvis ploughing a lone furrow up front.

Ten minutes into the half Manager Brian Hughes and his Team made a tactical substitution as he replaced the speedy Gudger with the experienced Ben Wells to stiffen up the midfield as opposed to relying on quick breaks. This enabled Parsons to push forward to support Jarvis.

In response Shortwood replaced the head bandaged Josh Egan with the lively Marley Thomas on the right wing.

Just short of the hour mark a good move on the right created an opportunity for Hooper to shoot from the left front edge of the area and his effort was pushed out by King for a corner kick.

Within a minute Wells was trying to control a high bouncing ball on the front edge of the area with Parsons to his left in space desperately calling for the pass but it refused to come down and the defenders managed to clear the danger.

The action then went up to the other end and Garner produced a fantastic save with legs as he dived to his left when Langworthy broke through the defensive back line and shot from the front edge of the area, left of centre, the ball rebounded to Price who was following up but his effort cleared the bar.   

At the mid-point of the half Price broke through, down the right channel, but this time his effort from 20 yards was wide of the left post.

The change of formation for Cirencester was working well as Jarvis and Parsons worked very hard to close down their opponents and were linking well and when Parsons collected a ball in midfield he fed it out to Jarvis, to the right, who turned and shot. The ball came back to Parsons who had his shot deflected wide of the target. This was quickly followed by another Parsons pass to Jarvis who had his shot parried and cleared before Parsons could latch on to the loose ball.

On the half hour point of the half Jarvis struck a snap shot – a left footed volley from the right front corner of the area – that fizzed wide of the left post.

It was then the turn of Parsons who sent a shot over the bar from the right front edge of the area.

Cirencester were now playing some neat, quick accurate passing football from back to front and dealing with any counter attacks from Shortwood and ten minutes from full time a quick throw on the right and neat play from Herring enabled him to switch play from right to left where Jarvis won a corner kick.

With five minutes of normal time remaining Robbie James replaced the hard working Hooper who was suffering from cramp and his first touch nearly produced a goal as Jarvis held the ball in the corner before laying it back to James who had his shot tipped over the bar by King.

A couple of minutes later Shortwood’s James Singh broke through the Cirencester backline, in the right channel, and shot at goal from the front edge of the area but he was unable to beat Garner who pulled off another good save.  

Cirencester were then awarded a free kick - 25 yards out down the centre of the pitch – and JOSH PARSONS stepped up and struck the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.  2 – 0.    

The final whistle was blown five minutes later.


Final Score: 2 - 0


This was a determined performance from Cirencester with everyone playing their part.

 In the first half Cirencester enjoyed plenty of possession for the first half hour but they had to defend resolutely in the last quarter of an hour. When they were reduced to ten men they really had to ‘dig-in’ for the first quarter hour but the change in formation paid dividends with Nat Jarvis and Josh Parsons producing a committed performance to take some of the pressure off their defence.

The defence was magnificent with Gethin Jones particularly dominant – very ably assisted by Ian Herring and Aidan Bennett.

The midfield of Brad Hooper, James Mortimer-Jones and the versatile Matt Liddiard worked tirelessly and all the substitutes contributed to the final result.


CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved – a fitting end to a terrific season.

Attendance: 125                                          

Referee:      Tim Wood

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN: 

1.   Glyn Garner
2.   Ian Herring                                   YC-79mins                               
3.   Danny Gudger
4.   Mark Pritchett          (C)                        RC-45mins  
5.   Matt Liddiard           
6.   Gethin Jones             13mins        
7.   Brad Hooper                                 YC-67mins            
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Nat Jarvis                         
10.  Aidan Bennett                                                                   
11.   Josh Parsons            88mins                  

12.  Kyle Pitts                                                                  
14.  Ollie Knight              (Nat Jarvis-90mins)
15.  Jacob Davidge         
16.  Ben Wells                 (Danny Gudger-55mins)
17.  Robbie James           (Brad Hooper-85mins)               


SHORTWOOD UNITED:

1.   Tom King                   
2.   Joe White               
3.   Matt Bennett  (C)    
4.   Jake Lee                                               
5.   Tim Haddock                               
6.  Nick Hancock                                 YC-65mins            
7.   Josh Egan                          
8.   Adam Price    
9.   Ross Langworthy
10.  Josh Klein-Davis                
11.  Nick Humphries 

12.  Marley Thomas           (Josh Egan-57mins)
14.  James Singh              (Joe White-80mins)       
15.  Liam Meredith            (Adam Price-74mins)
16.  Lewis Sommers
17.  Alex Sykes 


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