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Evo Stik Southern League 2015/16

Premier Division

  

Cirencester Town   1 – 1   Frome Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  

 

On yet another wet, miserable day Cirencester entertained Frome Town and whilst the pitch looked pretty good at the start of the match it certainly looked the worse for wear at the end.

Frome are having a difficult season and before the match sat in 22nd place in the Premier Division table and 21st place in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table – Cirencester were 14th and 9th respectively. In their last six games Frome have drawn with ‘top of the table’ Poole Town and won against 7th placed Hitchin Town.

In the reverse fixture in October Frome defeated The Centurions 3-2 in a hard fought mid-week match.

The starting eleven for Cirencester had one change from the team that had taken to the field in the previous two fixtures as Charlie Griffin was unavailable. Zack Kotwica was given the No. 9 shirt and played in a more central role alongside Ross Langworthy as the home side continued with the 4-4-2 formation.

The visitors kicked-off playing towards the Shed End of the ground and started very positively as Darren Jefferies played a through ball from the left channel for Dan Cleverley to collect just inside the left side of the penalty area but Josh Langley – on his home debut for the First Team – dashed out to gather at his feet.

A few minutes later Ross Langworthy was battling hard for the ball in the right corner and it eventually broke out to a supporting Adam Connolly, 30 yards out - right channel, and without hesitating he struck a curling right footed shot that was just wide of the left post.

The Frome response was fairly immediate as they were awarded a free kick 10 yard inside the Cirencester half that was sent to the centre front edge of the home penalty area where Mitchell Page headed it down for Jefferies to fire a left footed shot wide of the right post.

Play immediately went down the other end and a Frome clearance kick struck Connolly on the chest, 35 yard out - right channel, and as it dropped he drove an ambitious left footed shot wide of the left post.

Quarter of an hour into the game Aidan Bennett received the ball tight to the left touchline and after moving infield to his right he played a clever reverse pass to Ollie Knight darting down the left flank. The wide player took the ball to the bye-line before crossing to the front edge of the 6 yard box where visiting ‘keeper Darren Chitty caught it under pressure.

Ollie Knight was soon in the action again as he collected a long ball down the left channel, controlling and rounded his marker in one move, and advanced to the bye-line before sending a low cross that passed through the front edge of the 6 yard box with none of his team-mates able to collect.

At the mid-point of the half Cirencester were pressing and a Shayne Anson throw-in on the right flank found Leigh Henry who struck a right footed shot from the front edge of the Frome penalty area that was blocked with the ball rebounding to Knight on the left side edge of the area. His resulting cross was cleared.

Cirencester produced a period of neat passing football on the left with Bennett, Knight, Zack Kotwica back to Knight, down to Matt Liddiard in the left corner – throw-in to Cirencester. After the throw the ball was crossed to the back post where Liddiard headed it back towards the front of the 6 yard box but he was adjudged to have been over the line and out of play.

On the half hour George Miller fired a fierce right footed shot from 25 yards but his effort was bravely blocked by Mark Pritchett.

Zack Kotwica chased a long ball into the right corner and managed to win a throw-in that Liddiard received and slipped inside to Connolly but his centre was cleared producing a quick counter attack for the visitors.

With the interval approaching Cirencester were awarded a free kick on the right flank that Knight took, to curl with his left foot into the danger area, and eventually it fell to Pritchett near the front edge of the penalty area, left channel, and he struck a left footed shot wide of the right post.

As the half entered the last five minutes of normal time Frome mounted a counter attack through Kris Miller who carried the ball down the right flank before crossing towards the back post for Page to head but there was not enough power to trouble the young ‘keeper.

A minute later a cross from the left found Jefferies unmarked in the right channel of the home penalty area and he controlled the ball on his chest and as it dropped struck a powerful right footed shot wide of the right post– with defenders closing.

Cirencester then produced another period of possession with several players involved as they probed down their left flank and took the ball into the corner – winning a corner kick. Chitty did very well to punch Langworthy’s kick clear from under his cross-bar whilst under pressure.

The final action of the half saw Pritchett collide with Chitty as he tried to get on the end of another Knight free kick from the right flank.

Half Time:       0 – 0

Two minutes after the re-start Frome mounted a break down their right channel as the busy Jefferies ran 15 yards towards the centre front edge of the Cirencester penalty area. As he neared the box he slipped the ball to his left for James Fitzgibbon to collect but his control allowed the defence to get back and block a couple of times and Connolly to pass the ball wide to James Mortimer-Jones who played it down the touchline.

The first ten minutes of the half were ‘end to end’ and at the end of this period Frome retained possession on their right flank with several players involved but the final cross was too heavy enabling Langley to gather the ball.

Thirteen minutes into the half Frome made a break down the right channel and as a determined Pritchett made a strong tackle the ball was slipped through to Cleverley who shot from the front edge of the area. Langley had advanced to narrow his angle and did well to save with his legs for a corner kick. The kick resulted in a shot from right of the penalty spot that took a deflection before Langley pushed it wide for Henry to collect and take to the corner before sending it down the touchline. George Miller collected the clearance 35 yards out and moved inside before unleashing a low right footed drive towards the far right post that Langley saved.    

Just past the hour mark Chitty was drawn out of his area to make a clearance as Langworthy closed him down and the kick fell to Connolly, 35 yards out - right channel, and he immediately struck the ball towards the empty goal but it was blocked for a throw-in on the right flank. The throw resulted in a cross from the corner towards the front of the 6 yard box where an incoming Langworthy headed against the right post but as he attempted to recover the ball he was held back and a penalty kick was awarded.

ZACK KOTWICA stepped up to take the kick and confidently struck a powerful low drive inside the right post with Chitty going in the right direction but unable to reach the ball.  1-0.

Three minutes later Cirencester had the chance to increase their lead after a combination of Liddiard and Anson managed to win the ball and play it down the right flank for Kotwica to chase. As Kotwica reached the ball he crossed early towards the far post where Langworthy was bursting forward at pace. The striker connected too well with his left foot and his half volley cleared the bar from 10 yards.

Shortly afterwards Bennett played a cross-field pass to Liddiard on the front edge of the visitors penalty area and he chested the ball into the path of Langworthy who shot at goal but Chitty was in position to make the save.

In the 70th minute Frome Town scored the equaliser as a long ball down the centre was collected by Page and as he held off challenges he managed to back-heel the ball into the path of DAN CLEVERLEY as he darted down the right channel of the penalty area. Cleverley collected the ball, looked up and calmly placed a right footed shot inside the far left post.  1-1.

Cirencester then produced another period of possession as they worked the ball from left to right and when the cross came in it was cleared to Leigh Henry, left channel front edge of the Frome penalty area, who watched the ball carefully as it dropped and struck a superb left footed volley that was blocked by a charging defender. The ball was quickly recovered by Cirencester and fed to the right wing where Kotwica crossed towards the far post for Liddiard to head wide of the left post.

The home side continued to press forcing Frome to rely on counter attacks and from one such attack Pritchett went to ground to make a strong challenge that brought the move to an end. There followed a melee as players from both sides gathered around and Referee Geoff Russell decided it warranted a second Yellow Card – followed by the customary Red Card for Pritchett.

Cirencester shuffled their resources with Anson moving alongside Henry and Liddiard moving to right back.

Despite this setback Cirencester pushed forward again as Brad Hooper won the ball 35 yards from his goal and released Kotwica down the centre. Kotwica carried the ball forward and when he attempted to slip it to a supporting Knight it was intercepted.

On the stroke of full time George Miller sent a free kick for Frome towards the penalty spot for Page to head and it was deflected wide for a corner kick. This produced a second corner kick from the left which was played short and when defended it fell to substitute Jake Sinclair who, under pressure, blazed it over the bar.

In added time Frome had the opportunity to win the game when Sam Teale sent the ball from the left flank to the far post where Ricky Hulbert headed against the bar from 3 yards and the follow-up was blocked virtually on the goal-line by Knight and cleared.

Final Score:     1 - 1

A game that produced plenty of effort on a difficult pitch, as it became slippery due to the rain, in the later stages.

Frome started well and worked hard throughout and could have taken the points in the final moments but Cirencester dug in to protect their goal and secure a point.

Josh Langley pulled off a couple of fine saves in his home debut and was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ accolade for his efforts.    

 

Attendance:     105

Referee:          Geoff Russell


Cirencester Town:

1.   Josh Langley
2.   Shayne Anson
3.   Aidan Bennett
4.   Mark Pritchett
5.   Matt Liddiard
6.   Leigh Henry    (C)
7.   Adam Connolly
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Zak Kotwica                                    63p
10.  Ross Langworthy
11.  Ollie Knight

12.  Brad Hooper                       (James M-Jones-78mins)
14.  Sam Farr                           
15.  Charlie Buse                       (Ross Langworthy-78mins)

 

Frome Town:  

1.   Darren Chitty
2.   Jordan Walker
3.   Sam Teale     (C)
4.   George Miller
5.   Connor Roberts
6.   Marcus Mapstone
7.   Kris Miller
8.   Darren Jefferies
9.   Mitchell Page
10.  Dan Cleverley                                 70
11.  James Fitzgibbon

12.  Jake Jackson                     (Jordan Walker-49mins)
14.  Ricky Hulbert                     (James Fitzgibbon-75mins)
15.  Jake Sinclair                     (Darren Jefferies-86mins)
16.  Jordy Nkunga                   
17.  Josh Jeffries

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