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Emirates FA Cup 2015-16 

Second Round Qualifying

Petersfield Town   3 – 1   Cirencester Town   

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


Cirencester travelled to meet Petersfield Town in this Emirates FA Cup Second Round Qualifying fixture.

The hosts play their football in the Southern League Central Division, having gained promotion from the Wessex League as Champions in the 2014/15 season, and appear to be struggling to adjust to the higher level based on their league position (21st of 22 – with one home win and 3 draws to date).

In the previous round of the FA Cup they defeated Southern Premier Division opponents Weymouth 3-1 at Love Lane.

The hosts kicked off in dry, sunny conditions on a soft pitch with a marked slope across it and attacked down their left flank. Cirencester won the ball and an exchange of passes between Brad Hooper, Zack Kotwica, Charlie Griffin and back to Hooper released Kotwica down their right flank. Petersfield won the ball back and sent the ball downfield for Michael Dixon to collect on the left front edge of the visitor’s penalty area. Dixon cut right to evade an incoming challenge and shot at goal but his effort was blocked by Ben Brown.

A deep cross from the Cirencester left flank found Ross Langworthy on the right side edge of the 6 yard box but his header lacked power and Anthony Ender in the home goal gathered easily.

‘The Rams’ opened the scoring six minutes into the game when Howard Neighbour struck a superb cross-field pass from 5 yards inside the visitor’s half, left flank, over the defensive back line to a charging JOE BRIGGS who collected it inside the penalty area, right channel, and as the tackle came in he managed to strike a right footed shot inside the left post. 1-0.  

Encouraged by this early lead Briggs tried an ambitious attempt at goal from 30 yards, right channel, that was just wide of the right post.

Petersfield were in control at this stage, using the slope well to switch play with measured passes whilst Cirencester found it difficult to gauge the power required to keep it on the island.

Sixteen minutes into the half a long ball from defence was plucked out of the air by Stuart Green on the front edge of the penalty area and when his shot was parried by Glyn Garner it rebounded to Dixon who didn’t get enough power on his effort, enabling Garner to catch the ball.

As the half hour mark approached Cirencester looked to be getting to grips with the contest as Kotwica won a corner kick and free kick on the right flank. The latter resulted in a header from Brown that was just wide of the left post.  Gethin Jones carried the ball into the right corner before crossing and the attempted clearance was collected by Kotwica inside the front edge of the area, right channel, and he darted to the bye-line to cross but it was cleared.

The action was now much more balanced and within minutes Dixon was prominent as he produced a charging run down the left flank and crossed to the back post where Briggs, coming in on the blind side,  headed into the side netting.  

With ten minutes of the half remaining Kotwica, with his back to goal on the left front edge of the penalty area, flicked the ball over both his shoulder and his marker’s and turned to fire a right footed lobbed volley just over the cross-bar.

A couple of minutes later an exchange of passes on the right flank involving James Mortimer-Jones, Jones, Griffin, Mortimer-Jones, Jones and back to Griffin resulted in a through ball to Aidan Bennett down the right channel of the area but he was just unable to collect it to cross but there were signs of an increasing pressure from Cirencester.

As the half was drawing to a close Mark Pritchett fired a low ball from the left flank into the home penalty area where Leigh Henry held on to the ball, evading a couple of challenges, before slipping it through to Pritchett who collected it and sent a low cross along the front edge of the 6 yard box and out to Kotwica on the right side edge of the area. Kotwica produced a couple of step-overs as he made his way into the area, cut left and shot over the bar.

The ball was then worked down the right flank and played to Jones who slipped it inside to Hooper and he carried it down the right channel before cutting it back from level with the front edge of the 6 yard box for an incoming Griffin but the latter’s effort was blocked in the centre of the goalmouth.  

In added time Kotwica took a free kick from the left that Ender managed to tip over his bar to keep his goal intact.

Half Time:       1 – 0

Within a minute of the re-start Cirencester were level after they were awarded a free kick 3 yards outside the home penalty area, right channel.  Kotwica made a dummy run over the ball and CHARLIE GRIFFIN followed up to place a right-footed shot around the wall and inside the right post.  1-1.

Four minutes into the half Cirencester had to re-shuffle the pack as Gethin Jones left the field due to injury – Ollie Knight replacing him. As a result Aidan Bennett dropped to right back, Knight slotted into midfield and Langworthy went to left wing.

A period of Cirencester pressure then followed until a counter attack reached Alek Przespolewski who under-hit his shot from the front edge of the area, left channel, enabling Garner to collect comfortably.

A few minutes later Briggs carried the ball down the right and crossed to the back post where Przespolewski latched on to the ball but his effort from a narrow angle was blocked by Garner for a corner kick that came to nothing.

Some neat approach play from Cirencester on the left enabled Griffin to slip a ball through to Langworthy who darted into the left channel and fired a left footed shot wide of the left post.

Just past the hour mark of the match Petersfield launched a long ball down the centre of the pitch and over the visitors backline requiring Garner to leave his area to attempt a clearance before a home forward could get to it. The ball bounced a little higher than expected and Garner made contact with his left thigh and the ball shot sideways for Neighbour to collect and shoot towards the vacant net. Garner had dashed back and managed to push the ball round his left post for a corner kick. When the kick came in HOWARD NEIGHBOUR made up for his earlier miss by planting a firm header under the bar from the centre front edge of the 6 yard box.  2-1.

Within minutes Griffin found himself free in the home area but he placed his shot wide of the left post.

Petersfield countered with a pass from Neighbour, inside Pritchett for Briggs to chase and collect on the right flank and once in the box he struck his shot into the side netting as Garner advanced towards him.

Garner was in the thick of the action again a minute later when Przespolewski made a break down the left channel and when he shot Garner pushed the ball wide of his right post for a left wing corner kick that was cleared.

On the half hour mark of the half Cirencester retained the ball on the front edge of the home area and when Langworthy crossed from the right Hooper darted in to head the ball goal-wards but not with enough power to trouble Ender.

As the match entered the last ten minutes Cirencester changed their back line to three in an attempt to get the much needed equaliser and when Kotwica shot it rebounded to Pritchett who struck a fierce low shot at goal from the front edge of the box, left channel, that Ender managed to collect at the second attempt.

With Cirencester pushing forward there were gaps at the back and Dixon released Briggs who took the ball into the right side of the area and shot for Garner to parry and the danger was cleared.

With a couple of minutes left of normal time Jody Bevan entered the game to provide more central threat but it was the home side who won the ball on half way through Przespolewski. He dashed forward to produce a 1 v 1 with Garner but as in previous matches the experienced ‘keeper was up to the challenge and made the save with Brown recovering to clear.

In the 90th minute the dangerous JOE BRIGGS received the ball on the right and once he entered the box he cut back to his left to evade an incoming challenge and calmly tucked the ball inside the right post with his left foot. 3-1.

The final action of the game came in added time as Przespolewski struck a free kick from the left towards the left post where Garner made the save low down.

Final Score:     3 - 1

Cirencester struggled to get to grips with the pitch early on but gradually worked their way into the game finishing the first half strongly.

They had the perfect start to the second half but couldn’t break down a resolute defence and as they pushed forward the home side took advantage of the gaps that appeared.

CONGRATULATIONS to Petersfield Town and Good Luck in the next round.


Attendance:     152                              

Referee:          Aji Ajibola


Petersfield Town:

  1.  Anthony Ender

  2.  Lewis Hyde
  3.  Sean Wain
  4.  Joseph Richardson
  5.  Daniel Sackman     (C)
  6.  Jamie Ford
  7.  Howard Neighbour                         62
  8.  Alek Przespolewski
  9.  Michael Dixon

 10.  Joseph Briggs                               6, 90

 11.  Stuart Green

12.  Danny Thompson
14.  Ollie Searle
15.  Jordan Neal
16.  Joshua Taylor
17.  Alex Lowley

18.  Benny Read

19.  Jason Silver


  1.  Glyn Garner
  2.  Gethin Jones
  3.  Mark Pritchett
  4.  Ben Brown
  5.  Brad Hooper
  6.  Leigh Henry   (C)
  7.  Zack Kotwica
  8.  James Mortimer-Jones
  9.  Charlie Griffin                              46
10.  Aidan Bennett
11.  Ross Langworthy

12.  Josh Parsons                     
14.  Ollie Knight                        (Gethin Jones-49mins)
15.  Max Lloyd             
16.  Jody Bevan                        (Brad Hooper-88mins)

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