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Southern League – Premier Division



Paulton Rovers   1 – 4   Cirencester Town   

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


The fourth league match of the season took Cirencester to Paulton for an early evening kick-off (7.30pm) and as usual the team arrived in ‘dribs & drabs’ due to the home–going traffic around Bristol and Bath that results in long queues whichever way you travel to Winterfield Road.

The pitch looked superb with plenty of grass and the conditions were excellent – cool and no wind.

Paulton did the double over Cirencester last season winning both games by the odd goal (2-1 at Paulton and 0-1 at Cirencester) and have always proved to be difficult opponents.

The Cirencester starting eleven had a few changes in the back line as the absence of Gethin Jones (dead-leg received in the Hitchin Town game) resulted in the return of Ben Brown (missed the game against Hitchin Town due to a hamstring injury) at centre back and the inclusion of Ian Herring for his first appearance of the season (due to his 3 match suspension) at right back. Aidan Bennett returned to his wide role up front.

Cirencester got off to the perfect start as within 3 minutes they had the ball in the back of the home net as BEN BROWN scored his first goal for Cirencester when he met a Zack Kotwica corner kick from the right at the back post and powerfully headed the ball down for it to bounce back up into the roof of the net.  0-1.

Buoyed by this early success the Centurions took the game to Paulton and didn’t allow them to settle into any pattern and a throw from the left into the penalty area was not cleared convincingly enabling the ball to be headed back to Brad Hooper on the edge of the home penalty area. Hooper moved the ball to his right to Josh Parsons who shot narrowly wide of the right post.

At the mid-point of the half a free kick from the right side of the centre circle reached Ellis Dunton, on the left side of the penalty area, and he headed it across goal to the back post where a defender headed behind for a corner kick from the left. When the kick came in Dunton, at the back post, once again headed it across goal and the attempted clearance fell to Brown, at the near post, but his shot was blocked and ’keeper Ben John managed to gather the loose ball.

A couple of minutes later Cirencester doubled their score when Kotwica struck a free kick from 35 yards, right channel, towards the near post. ELLIS DUNTON made a darting run across the front of the 6 yard box and headed the ball inside the left post.  0-2.

As the half hour mark was approaching Cirencester were awarded a free kick on half way, left flank, that Kotwica drove to the far side of the penalty area to Aidan Bennett and he slipped it inside to Charlie Griffin, to the left of the penalty spot, and under pressure Griffin tried to lift it over the charging ‘keeper but his effort struck the top of the cross-bar.

Shortly after this Cirencester turned a Paulton attack into a counter attack as James Mortimer-Jones won the ball inside the Cirencester penalty area, on their left flank, and calmly played it up to Kotwica who laid it back to Dunton. Dunton clipped the ball down the line where Griffin produced a clever flick around his marker into space further down the line. Kotwica hadn’t stopped running and chased after the ball to obtain a throw to Cirencester level with the front edge of the home penalty area.

Following the throw the ball was fed in to Bennett at the far post who attempted a right footed volley that just cleared the bar.

Bennett was in the action again a minute later when he galloped down the right flank to the byeline and pulled the ball back towards the goal-mouth where a defender attempted to clear. Parsons read his intent and quickly moved to block, a yard from the goal-line, and when the ball re-bounded from the block instead of entering the net it fell to a relieved Ben John who gratefully picked it up.

With seven minutes of the half remaining Tom Knighton collected a ball on the Paulton right flank and cut back to his left to send a cross to Aaron Brown on the charge to the left of the penalty spot. Mortimer-Jones had covered his run and partially blocked the resultant header enabling Glyn Garner to collect the ball at his right post.

Paulton had looked more dangerous during the last ten minutes and were rewarded with a goal three minutes before the interval as they won a corner kick on their left flank. The kick was driven towards the near post and MITCHELL PAGE darted towards it to produce a powerful header that rocketed into the net.  1-2.

As the half was drawing to a close the ball broke away from Bennett, under challenge on half way, and as he attempted to retrieve it he caught another opponent for a free kick to be awarded. Incensed by the challenge the Paulton players quickly surrounded the grounded Bennett and Referee Matthew Rushton to remonstrate leading to a melee during which Ian Herring was thrown to the ground.  All three officials gathered to discuss the incidents and eventually Bennett was a warded a Yellow Card. No action was taken regarding the melee and as the players left the pitch a minute or so later the atmosphere was tense.

Half Time:       1 – 2

The home side were the first to re-appear after the interval and they had to wait for their visitors and spectators wondered what the second half would bring after the eventful conclusion to the first.

Paulton were the quicker out of the blocks and mounted an attack down their left flank that resulted in two shots in quick succession from the left front edge of the penalty area – the second from Daren Mullings being well blocked by Mortimer-Jones.

Five minutes into the half they produced another break, this time on the right flank, and substitute David O’Hare struck a fierce shot from the front edge of the area that cannoned off the bar.

Three minutes later Cirencester increased their lead following some neat football as Bennett, tight to the left touchline, slipped the ball inside to a supporting Hooper and he in turn moved it right to Parsons, slightly left of centre. Parsons looked up seeking an opportunity to shoot but seeing his path blocked he sent the ball out to Kotwica wide on the right, level with the front edge of the penalty area. Kotwica dummied to go outside his marker but instead cut back to his left and rolled the ball into the path of BRAD HOOPER who had not stopped running since his earlier involvement in the move. Without hesitation Hooper placed a firm low drive inside the right post from just outside the area, right channel.  1-3.

Rumour has it that following his first goal of the season Brad can now expect a new pair of football boots.

With a two goal cushion Cirencester began to push forward and five minutes later Dunton intercepted a cross-field pass on half-way and carried the ball forward before moving it right to Kotwica who shot from the front edge of the area, right channel, but John parried the shot and then collected the loose ball.

As the mid-point of the half was approaching Herring took a throw on the right flank and sent it into the area where it was cleared back to him. Once collected he cut left and fired a left footed shot wide of the left post.

Shortly afterwards Tom Knighton latched on to a loose ball just outside the centre front edge of the area and shot at goal but his effort was high over the bar.

Another home attack near the Cirencester penalty area was stopped in its tracks by a Dunton tackle and he then played the ball out to Kotwica on the left flank just inside the home half.  Kotwica sent the ball forward to Hooper who was charging down the left channel of the area. Hooper took the shot early with his right foot but was unable to generate enough power to beat the advancing ‘keeper.

With ten minutes of the game remaining a cross from the Paulton right flank reached Page, left of the penalty spot, but his header was easily caught by Garner.

Within a minute Dunton attempted an ambitious low half volley from 35 yards that Ben John managed to push out inside his right post before gathering.

The final goal of the match was scored in added-time by ZACK KOTWICA following some incisive play as Herring on half-way, right channel, intercepted a Paulton pass and quickly moved the ball forward to Ross Langworthy, left of centre, and he in turn slipped it out to Kotwica on his left. Kotwica drove into the penalty area, left side, and as the ‘keeper came out to close him down he calmly tucked the ball inside the far right post with his right foot.  1-4.  

Final Score:     1 - 4

This was a solid, determined performance from Cirencester.

Ben Brown and Leigh Henry were prominent in a resolute back line that also enabled the fullbacks to push forward to good effect.

The midfield and wide players were tenacious, stifling Paulton’s progress and creating openings, and the hard working Griffin kept the home defence busy with his movement.

An all-round team effort.


Attendance:     138                                          

Referee:          Matthew Rushton


Paulton Rovers:

1.   Ben John

2.   Sam Teale

3.   Toby Osman

4.   Shayne Anson

5.   Scott Brice     (C)

6.   Aaron Brown    

7.   Jordan Walker               

8.   Darren Mullings

9.   Tom Knighton                    

10.  Mitchell Page                     42

11.  Cameron Brown


12.  Alex Grimshaw                  

14.  Craig Allan             (Toby Osman-75mins)

15.  David O’Hare          (Jordan Walker-20mins)

16.  Ben Bament            (Aaron Brown-66mins)             

17.  James Byrne


Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner

2.   Ian Herring

3.   Ellis Dunton                        24

4.   Ben Brown                           3

5.   Brad Hooper                       52

6.   Leigh Henry     (C)    

7.   Aidan Bennett                

8.   James Mortimer-Jones

9.   Charlie Griffin                  

10.  Josh Parsons

11.  Zack Kotwica                      90+1


12.  Ross Langworthy                (Aidan Bennett-53mins)

14.  Jordan Ricketts                

15.  Ollie Knight

16.  Ben Wells

17.  Connor Thompson GK

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