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Pre-Season Friendly

Cirencester Town   0  -  7   Bristol Rovers

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


Bristol Rovers, who were promoted back to Football League Division 2 via the play-offs at the end of last season, visited the Corinium Stadium for the latest pre-season friendly. 

The starting eleven for the home side had a familiar look about it with seven regulars from last season, three recent recruits in Ben Brown, Ross Langworthy and Charlie Griffin and former Cirencester Academy goalkeeper Josh Langley.

‘The Gas’ kicked off playing towards the Arena end of the ground on a warm evening in damp pitch conditions due to the light rain but it was the Centurions who had the first pot at goal when Gethin Jones controlled the ball with his chest, near the centre circle, before feeding Josh Parsons further down the pitch in the left channel.  Parsons slipped the ball out to Aidan Bennett on the left flank who made ground before cutting back to his right, on the left side edge of the penalty area, and firing a shot over the bar.

The response from the visitors was immediate as they began to produce some fast, accurate passing moves and with seven minutes on the clock they opened their account through BILLY BODIN. Jamie Lucas received a ball on the left flank and sent a raking pass out to the right wing where Ryan Broom collected it, cut back, and sent a cross towards the back post where Bodin was on hand to head inside the right post.  0 – 1.

Four minutes later the ball was being worked down the left flank by the Centurions and when Ross Langworthy made a darting run towards the left side edge of the area the ball was fed up to him but Rovers cut off his progress and their clearance was collected by Ellis Dunton near the touchline, 15 yards inside the visitors half, and he launched the ball towards the far post where Charlie Griffin met it with his head but his effort was comfortably caught by Steve Mildenhall.

With 16 minutes gone Rovers increased their lead when a clever reverse pass by Jake Gosling found the alert BILLY BODIN darting in behind the home defence to collect, in the right channel of the area, and as Josh Langley advanced to close him down he produce a ‘scooped chip’ over the ‘keeper and into the net.  0 – 2.

The visitors were now well in their stride as they closed down Cirencester very quickly to recover the ball and once won their forward movement was sharp and their passing accurate. 

A couple of minutes later Josh Langley found himself in a 1 v 1 situation with Broom as the Rovers player burst through but the ‘keeper did well to deflect the shot wide of his left post to concede a corner kick.

Cirencester had a chance of their own shortly afterwards as Bennett sent a cross from the left flank towards the far post where Griffin attempted a right footed volley that flew high over the target.

Just after the mid-point of the half Bodin slipped a ball inside from the left flank to Gosling and as he advanced along the left side of the area he struck a left footed shot goalwards that Langley saved with his legs. As the ball ran loose a Bristol player attempted to latch onto it but he was adjudged to have come from an offside position and a free kick was awarded to the home side.

On the half hour the home support were treated to a glimpse of the passing football Cirencester are capable of when several players were involved in a period of possession as the ball was worked from their defensive left corner to Langworthy on the right flank but as he cut in from the flank his pass was just behind a charging Parsons and possession was won by the visitors.

The visitors increased their lead further when a ball was once again played in behind the back four and the initial shot was parried by Langley but the second attempt was adjudged to have been handled and a penalty kick was awarded. JAMIE LUCAS stepped up to drive the ball inside the right post.  0 – 3.

With the end of the first period rapidly approaching Cirencester enjoyed another period of possession as more than 10 passes were completed before they lost possession enabling Rovers to break down their left flank and when the ball was moved to the centre front edge of the home penalty area BILLY BODIN latched onto it and struck a fierce left footed shot into the top left corner to complete a first half hat trick.  0 – 4.

The final goalmouth action came from the home side as a left wing corner kick reached Dunton at the back post and his downward header struck the legs of Mildenhall enabling him to drop on the ball.

Half Time:       0 - 4

Despite the deficit Cirencester came out for the second half in determined mood and within the first five minutes had a couple of opportunities as Brad Hooper struck a shot wide of the right post from the left front edge of the area following a move down the left flank and then Parsons and Langworthy combined to provide a cross towards Griffin but the ball was just too high enabling Tyler Lyttle to head back to his ‘keeper.

Bristol responded with a driving run from Stuart Sinclair that took the midfielder across the pitch from right to left before he unleashed a left footed shot from just outside the left front edge of the area that Langley gathered at the second attempt.

A few minutes later Bodin had another fine effort saved by Langley as the ‘keeper pushed the shot wide of his left post.

Not to be outdone Hooper embarked on a determined run down the left side of the visitor’s penalty area before releasing the ball to Griffin who had his shot from the front left edge of the area blocked.

Within a minute Bristol had increased their lead further when a Gosling cross from the left flank reached JAMIE LUCAS and his glancing his header entered the net via the inside of the right post.  0 -5.

Four minutes later RYAN BROOM got on the score-sheet as he rode a couple of challenges just outside the right side edge of the 6 yard box, stumbled, regained his footing and slipped the ball under Langley inside the right post.  0 – 6.

Cirencester tried to counter attack whenever possible and a driving run from Dunton down the left took him into the penalty area and when he was stopped the ball came back to Ian Herring who played it right to Jordan Ricketts. He in turn moved it on to Griffin on the right front edge of the area but his shot was blocked.

With ten minutes remaining Dunton was required to head a ball off his line following a cross from the Bristol left flank but the relief was short-lived as shortly afterwards Bristol scored the final goal of the game when JAMIE LUCAS completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot – tucking the ball inside the right post - after he had been brought down in the area.  0 – 7.

Shortly afterwards Langley found himself in another 1 v 1 encounter, this time with Lucas, and once again he came out on top as he saved well..

Final Score:     0 - 7

The Rovers side were as expected, given the difference in level, much quicker and fitter than their part-time opposition showing good movement and crisp passing on a wet pitch that was conducive to their style of play. The finishing was also of high order but to their credit Cirencester worked hard despite the goals going in at regular intervals and once again showed occasional glimpses of what they are capable of given the opportunity.

Charlie Griffin took up some good positions and worked hard for the team and with game time no doubt the necessary understanding between team-mates will develop. On another night he might have converted a couple of the sharp chances that came his way.  

Josh Langley also acquitted himself well despite the score-line.

Certainly a good work-out for the team against experienced opposition.


Attendance:     201                                                       Referee:          Adam Matthews


 1.   Josh Langley
 2.   Ben Brown                                     
 3.   Ellis Dunton
 4.   Gethin Jones                                
 5.   Brad Hooper                     
 6.   Leigh Henry   (C)                          
 7.   Ross Langworthy                           
 8.   James Mortimer-Jones
 9.   Charlie Griffin                 
10.   Josh Parsons                                
11.   Aidan Bennett

12.   Mark Pritchett                  (Leigh Henry-60mins)
14.   Ian Herring                       (Brad Hooper-60mins)
15.   Jordan Ricketts                (Aidan Bennett-60mins)
16.   Callum Parsons                (Josh Parsons-60mins)
17.   Callum Henry                    (Ben Brown-60mins)
18.   Luke Dyke                        (Ross Langworthy-60mins)



  1.   Steve Mildenhall
  2.   Tyler Lyttle
  3.   Danny Greenslade                        
  4.   Stuart Sinclair                
  5.   Mark McChrystal  (C)                               
  6.   Tom Lockyer                                
  7.   Jake Gosling
  8.   Lee Mansell                     
  9.   Jamie Lucas                      33p, 59, 82p
 10.   Billy Bodin                        7, 16, 42
 11.   Ryan Bloom                      63
 12.   Jay Malpas                     (Stuart Sinclair-60mins)
 14.   Jake Slocombe               (Lee Mansell-60mins)
 15.   Alfie Kilgour                    (Tom Lockyer-46mins)             
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