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Southern League – Premier Division

2015-16

 

Slough Town   1 – 0   Cirencester Town   

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  

 

Following the success of the Bank Holiday weekend when Cirencester obtained maximum points from two difficult fixtures the team were on the road to play Slough Town who ground-share with Beaconsfield SYCOB.

‘The Rebels’ were in 19th position in the league table having secured 6 points from their 7 games and have proved to be difficult opponents in the past so The Centurions would have to maintain the concentration and commitment of the previous weekend.

The Cirencester squad was unchanged from the team that was victorious against Merthyr Town with Ian Herring continuing at left back in the absence of Ellis Dunton (knee injury).

Cirencester kicked off in good weather conditions for football on an excellent looking pitch and immediately took the game to their hosts as Zack Kotwica intercepted a pass near halfway and released Josh Parsons to his left who carried the ball down the left side edge of the area and as he neared the bye-line he crossed and when it was blocked it came back to him for another attempt – this time his cross was cleared.

The start was encouraging for Cirencester as they retained possession and pushed forward but a few minutes later their hosts mounted a break down their left flank as Ryan Parsons overlapped towards the corner – his cross was cleared at the back post by Leigh Henry.

Almost immediately Slough sent a ball over a high Cirencester back line that Ed Smith looked to have latched on to but his touch was heavy enabling Glyn Garner to drop on the loose ball.

Ten minutes into the game Cirencester were awarded a free kick on the right that Kotwica sent towards the left post where it skimmed the top of Gethin Jones head for a goal kick.

A minute later Kotwica made a break down the left channel that took him to the front edge of the area where he cut back to his right and produced a right footed shot that Luke Williams could only push over the bar for a corner kick from the Cirencester right flank. The kick reached Jones head but his effort was wide of the right post.

The Slough left back, Ryan Parsons, then played a ball from half-way down the line to Smith who crossed to the back post – when it was cleared it fell to Nathan Webb just outside the front edge of the area and he fired a shot that Garner tipped over the bar.

At this stage the game was end-to-end and following a Cirencester break Ross Langworthy crossed for Charlie Griffin who headed wide of the left post, but was adjudged to be offside, and when Slough broke to the other end an offside flag was raised prior to the ball reaching Smith who tapped into an empty Cirencester net.

Slough were beginning to press forward as Cirencester seemed unable to keep possession for long and when a centre was deflected out of the visitors penalty area it fell to James McClurg who blasted it high over the bar from 30 yards. Slough were looking very dangerous during the middle 15 minutes of the half and Smith and Webb were prominent as the former had a couple of pots at goal and the latter sent a free kick to the back post from the right flank that Stuart Lake attempted to cross but it was turned behind for a corner kick that was cleared.

During the last quarter hour of the first half Cirencester mounted a couple of attacks – the first when Langworthy won the ball on the right flank and drove to the corner before crossing into the penalty area. When the ball was cleared it reached Brad Hooper, just outside the box and he played it forward to Josh Parsons, slightly to his right, who slipped it left to James Mortimer-Jones who chipped it towards the penalty spot where Williams gathered.

Shortly afterwards Griffin received the ball in the right channel and slipped the ball to Josh Parsons on the centre front edge of the area. As Parsons turned his way was blocked so he cut left and fired a fierce left footed shot that Williams was unable to hold as it bounced in front of him so the ball was kicked into touch. Ian Herring took the throw from the left flank and launched it to the front edge of the 6 yard box where Leigh Henry’s header was blocked.

Half Time:       0 – 0

When the game re-started Charlie Griffin immediately won a corner kick on the left as he closed down an attempted clearance and it looked like Cirencester were starting quickly but their hosts countered and scored the all important goal in the second minute of the half as CHARLIE MPI, who had caused problems throughout the first half, chased and charged down an attempted clearance on the Cirencester right flank. The ball rebounded behind the Cirencester defence and into his path and once he reached the ball, 5 yards outside the front edge of the area - in the left channel,  he looked up and spotted Glyn Garner in a slightly advanced position and confidently placed a lob shot over Garner that dropped under the bar.

 1-0.

This encouraged ‘The Rebels’ and they put Cirencester under pressure as a cross-field pass from the left found Warren Harris - in space on the right front edge of the area. His right footed shot took a slight deflection as Leigh Henry closed him down and the deflection took the ball past Garner and looked destined for the back of the net until a covering Ben Brown managed to get an outstretched leg to it to send it wide of the target for a corner kick.

Cirencester countered with a break down their left flank as Herring sent a deep cross towards the back post where Williams caught the ball just in front of the incoming Griffin’s head.

Slough responded with a break down their right flank through Harris and his cross was defended by Brown resulting in a corner kick that was cleared.

Ian Herring, who was seeing plenty of the ball in his unaccustomed left back role, moved it on to Hooper, 10 yards inside the home half, and he played a superb bending pass with the outside of his right foot into the left channel, behind the home backline, for Kotwica to chase. As Kotwica reached the ball a covering tackle punted it into touch.  

Just after the hour mark Cirencester produced a move in the centre of the pitch - involving Hooper, Langworthy, Herring and back to Hooper - that was brought to an abrupt end as Hooper was stopped 35 yards out and a free kick was awarded. Josh Parsons stepped up to take the kick but the wall held firm.

Either side of the mid-point of the half there was action at both ends of the pitch as first Webb sent the ball forward to Smith, on the left front edge of the area, and he shot on the turn but it cleared the bar. Cirencester then broke down their left as Aidan Bennett headed the ball out to Josh Parsons who carried it into the left corner, drew a defender, and played it back to Bennett. Bennett cut right and struck his shot towards the bottom left post where it was blocked and rebounded to Josh Parsons, left side edge of the area, and when he crossed it to the far post it was cleared.

A few minutes later good work from Mpi in the centre enabled him to play the ball up to Smith, in space on the right side of the area, and his fierce drive was blocked by a combination of Herring and Garner for a corner kick.

Garner punted the ball down-field for Parsons to head on to a charging Bennett who slipped the first challenge and as the second came in he played the ball back to Parsons who had his shot blocked.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes Langworthy, Jones and Hooper exchanged passes to create space for Bennett who turned on the left front edge of the area and shot wide of the right post.  

In the final minutes Cirencester pushed forward and a left wing cross saw Jones challenge Williams  in the air and the ball broke to Ollie Knight on the front edge of the 6 yard box but his effort was blocked.

The final goal-mouth action of the match took place at the Slough end as a Cirencester break, down the left flank through Bennett, reached Knight and his low cross was just gathered by Williams as Langworthy rapidly closed in.

Final Score:     1 - 0

Whilst the game was ‘end-to-end’ the home side looked the more dangerous as they moved the ball forward. Their defence coped comfortably with anything Cirencester threw at them as the home centre backs Stuart Lake and Gary MacDonald gobbled up all the long balls sent in their direction.

The Cirencester defence was certainly tested but stuck to the task as they were made to work hard.

A disappointing result and performance after the success of last weekend.

 

Attendance:     260                                         

Referee:          Michael Taylor

 

Slough Town:

1.   Luke Williams

2.   Sean Fraser

3.   Ryan Parsons

4.   Stuart Lake

5.   Gary MacDonald     (C)

6.   Nathan Webb    

7.   James McClurg               

8.   Adam Martin

9.   Charlie Mpi                         47                   

10.  Ed Smith               

11.  Warren Harris

 

12.  Callum Webb                     

14.  Adrian Sear           (Nathan Webb-70mins)           

15.  Gurkan Gokmen     

16.  Lewis Putman                                 

18.  Ben Edwards         

 

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                              

10.  Josh Parsons

11.  Zack Kotwica                                             

 

12.  Aidan Bennett        (Charlie Griffin-59mins)

14.  Mark Pritchett                  

15.  Ollie Knight            (Josh Parsons-77mins)

16.  Sam Farr

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