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Southern League – Premier Division

2015-16

 

Cirencester Town   1 – 0   Merthyr Town   

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  

 

The first Bank Holiday fixture of the new season brought Merthyr Town to The Corinium Stadium.

‘The Martyrs’ were promoted as ‘Champions’ of the South & West Division last term and prior to the game were placed fourth in the Premier Division League Table having secured a 5-1 victory over Hitchin Town on Saturday. Encounters between the sides are usually entertaining.

On Saturday Ian Herring moved to left back at half time to cover for the injured Ellis Dunton (jarred knee) and Manager Brian Hughes decided to leave him there for this game. The experienced Charlie Griffin returned to the starting line-up as central striker with Ross Langworthy moving to the flank.

The home side kicked off playing towards the Shed End of the ground on a damp, slippery pitch due to the incessant rain of the morning and within the first couple of minutes produced a break down their left flank through Zack Kotwica that took him to the left side of the visitors penalty area where he cut back to shoot low towards the near post – Tom Bradley saved comfortably.

Six minutes later the mobile Kayne McLaggon attempted a shot from 25 yards, left of centre, that was deflected by the home defence for a corner kick from the left. Glyn Garner punched the incoming kick clear of his area from just outside the front edge of his 6 yard box.

McLaggon then collected the ball on the left flank and drove at the Cirencester defence, down the left side edge of the penalty area, and when he crossed it was cut out by Leigh Henry to concede another left wing corner. Once again Garner punched it out but this time Ashley Evans managed to latch onto it and he fizzed a shot wide of the right post from a central position, 25 yards out.

Merthyr were pressing the home side and 15 minutes into the game Guillem Bauza attempted a shot from 30 yards, right of centre, that went high over the bar.  

Cirencester responded with a move that started on the right flank and involved several players before being switched to the left for Kotwica to shoot from the left channel of the area but his effort was blocked.

Just after the mid-point of the half Ian Herring took a throw-in on the left flank and launched it into the penalty area and when it was punched out by Bradley it landed at the feet of Kotwica who, without hesitating, produced a fine left footed shot from the left front edge of the area that was deflected behind for a corner kick. Bradley caught the kick at his left post.

As the half entered the final fifteen minutes Merthyr produced some neat one-touch football on their left flank that involved Adam Davies to Ian Traylor, on to Bauza back to Traylor, inside to Ryan Prosser but Cirencester kept their shape and eventually the threat was stopped and the danger cleared.

A couple of minutes later Merthyr were awarded a free kick – 35 yards out, left of centre – that Elliott Scotcher sent towards Rhys Baggridge, on the right side edge of the 6 yard box, but he just couldn’t get enough on the ball and headed over and wide of the right post.

Cirencester were awarded a free kick on their right flank which resulted in a throw-in to Brad Hooper who switched play to Herring on the left. Herring then sent a 50 yard cross-field pass, from just inside the Merthyr half, to Ross Langworthy in the right corner. Langworthy took the ball to the bye-line and crossed but it was deflected behind for a corner kick that was cleared.

With six minutes of normal time to go in the half Merthyr mounted an attack down their right flank as Traylor fed an over-lapping Ryan Green. When the fullback tried to pull the ball back at speed, near the bye-line, he couldn’t get enough on it and Garner was able to gather easily.

Shortly afterwards Merthyr produced a similar move down their left flank as McLaggon fed Davies but Langworthy had covered the run and conceded a free kick on the side edge of the area. Scotcher sent the kick to the back post where Baggridge failed to make contact.

Half Time:       0 – 0

Within three minutes of the re-start Cirencester released Kotwica down the left channel and his strong run took him into the visitors penalty area and with the distraction of Hooper to his right he elected to shoot, left footed, towards the right post where Bradley made the save.

Merthyr responded with a break down their left channel that reached McLaggon in space, as he darted behind the home back line, to produce a 1 v 1 with Garner. The experienced Garner stood his ground and blocked the attempt but the ball was fed back in again and the ‘keeper was injured in a collision with McLaggon as the striker tried to reach the ball.

Two minutes later the action was at the other end of the pitch as a Herring throw-in on the left reached Langworthy’s head but his attempted flick for a charging Charlie Griffin didn’t have enough on it and it was collected by Bradley who quickly launched the ball up-field to start another counter-attack down their right flank that was cut out.    

Cirencester then enjoyed a period of pressure on their visitor’s as James Mortimer-Jones made life difficult in the right corner and when the clearance was intercepted they immediately attacked down the right channel where Griffin did well to retain possession under several challenges before releasing the ball to a supporting Herring. In their attempt to stop Herring Merthyr conceded a free kick, mid-way between the front edge of the area and half way – left channel, that Kotwica sent towards the right post where it was just too high for Henry and he headed over the bar.

Just before the mid-point of the half substitute Kerry Morgan nearly opened the scoring as he met a deep cross from the left flank at the right post with his head but Garner reacted well to push his effort over the bar.

A couple of minutes later Cirencester were awarded a free kick 25 yards out, left channel, that Josh Parsons struck towards the top right corner of the goal but Bradley dived to his left and pushed the ball wide for a corner kick that was headed clear.

The home side were pressing and the visitors counter-attacking.

Langworthy made a break down the left channel to the front edge of the area, cut right and shot wide of the left post.

The dead-lock was finally broken when a ball launched to the centre front edge of the area was met by the head of Aidan Bennett, who had replaced Josh Parsons five minutes earlier, and it landed near the penalty spot. Langworthy and CHARLIE GRIFFIN went for the ball with the covering defence and it broke loose to Griffin who calmly tucked it inside the right post as Bradley advanced from just outside the 6 yard box, right of centre.  1-0.  

Merthyr changed their formation to three at the back in an attempt to get back on terms and when an Evans cross from the right was headed clear it fell to Scotcher on the left front edge of the Cirencester area. Scotcher immediately drove a fierce right-footed shot towards the goal only to see Garner tip it over the bar.

In added time ‘The Martyrs’ nearly equalised as Prosser met a Jaye Bowen cross from the right as he darted across the front edge of the 6 yard box and struck a powerful right footed volley over the bar.  

Final Score:     1 - 0

This was a terrific game for the neutrals – end to end, commitment, goal-keeper action.

The teams were well matched with their defences resolute and well organised. The midfield area combative and forward play lively resulting in a cracking game.

It would seem churlish to single out anyone in a superb team effort but Glyn Garner pulled off a number of fine saves during the match to thwart his opponents.   

 

Attendance:     224                             

Referee:          Kevin Morris

 

Cirencester Town:

1.   Glyn Garner

2.   Gethin Jones

3.   Ian Herring

4.   Ben Brown

5.   Brad Hooper

6.   Leigh Henry     (C)    

7.   Ross Langworthy              

8.   James Mortimer-Jones

9.   Charlie Griffin                               82                    

10.  Josh Parsons

11.  Zack Kotwica                     

 

12.  Aidan Bennett                   (Josh Parsons-77mins)

14.  Ollie Knight                       (Zack Kotwica-88mins)       

15.  Mark Pritchett                  

16.  Sam Farr                           

 

Merthyr Town:

1.   Tom Bradley

2.   Ryan Green        (C)    

3.   Adam Davies

4.   Ashley Evans    

5.   Jarrod Wright

6.   Rhys Baggridge    

7.   Ryan Prosser                                           

8.   Elliott Scotcher

9.   Kayne McLaggon                

10.  Guillem Bauza

11.  Ian Traylor

 

12.  Scott Tancock

14.  Jaye Bowen                        (Guillem Bauza-45mins)

15.  Kerry Morgan                     (Ian Traylor-64mins)

16.  Corey Jenkins                    (Kayne McLaggon-80mins)       

17.  Cameron Clarke

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