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Evo Stik Southern League 2015/16

Premier Division


Cirencester Town   3 – 0   Paulton Rovers

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


Cirencester returned to action in a mid-week fixture against Paulton Rovers following a long and abortive journey to Weymouth on Saturday.

Paulton currently sit in the relegation zone of the Premier Division table but in recent matches they have earned points against Weymouth and Hitchin, and narrowly lost to Chippenham - as a result they are placed 7th in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table (Cirencester are 22nd) so a tough match was in prospect. 

The Cirencester starting eleven had a different look about it as Matt Liddiard started at right back in place of Shayne Anson who was struggling with an injury. Ellis Dunton returned to his customary left back position and Aidan Bennett took a seat on the bench (he too was recovering from a knock he received against Frome and aggravated against Slough).

The visitors kicked-off on a cold evening playing towards the Arena end of the Corinium Stadium and immediately attacked their hosts but were repelled.

The first sign of any threat to the Paulton goal was a lob over their defence, from Ollie Knight on the left flank, into the left channel of the visitor’s penalty area for Ross Langworthy to chase but ‘keeper Ben John had spotted the danger and reached the ball first.

Paulton were starting to get into their stride and were using the speedy Leon Jeanne to good effect as he darted down the left flank testing Matt Liddiard. After charging to the bye-line he produced a low cross to the back post where Nuno Felix scuffed his shot and the ball went wide of the right post.

During the early stages Paulton were moving the ball about with conviction and play was switched from left to right and down to the corner where a covering Knight conceded a corner kick. As the kick came into the Cirencester penalty area Josh Langley was unable to collect and it bobbed about before being cleared for a corner kick from Paulton’s left flank.

As the mid-point of the half approached James Mortimer-Jones played the ball from the centre of the pitch for Zack Kotwica to collect near the right front edge of the visitor’s penalty area. Kotwica cut left and moved the ball on to Adam Connolly who struck a right footed shot over the bar from 30 yards – left channel.

The Paulton response was immediate as Jake Mawford collected a long ball to the left flank and drove towards the left front edge of the Cirencester penalty area. His initial right footed shot was blocked by Mark Pritchett and deflected against the left post, rebounding back to Mawford who tried again with a header that Langley managed to parry for Pritchett to complete the clearance.

Cirencester then produced probably their only move of note in the half when they pressed for a while before Knight had his shot blocked for an advanced Ellis Dunton to collect and cross but this too was blocked and cleared.

Just after the half hour mark Paulton were awarded a free kick near half way that reached Jeanne in the left channel of the Cirencester area and as it dropped he struck a left footed volley wide of the left post.

Paulton continued to push forward and as the interval approached and with a couple of minutes remaining Jeanne drove down the left flank again and as he neared the bye-line, inside the area, he scooped a right footed cross towards goal that Langley pushed over the bar. Jeanne took the corner kick and sent it towards the near post where Alex Grimshaw darted forward to head over the bar.

Half Time:       0 – 0

During the interval Cirencester replaced Adam Connolly, who was struggling with a hamstring problem, with Shayne Anson and moved Matt Liddiard into his customary mid-field berth.

This had an immediate effect as Liddiard was able to power forward with his prodigious work-rate and Anson contained the dangerous Jeanne.

Within two minutes of the re-start Langworthy fed Anson on the right flank and when it was returned to him Langworthy crossed towards the penalty spot but it was headed clear. The home side now looked to have a better balance and were pushing forward with more conviction. Charlie Griffin chased a ball to the right corner and crossed but such was the pace of the move none of his team-mates was on hand to latch onto his cross.

Eleven minutes after the interval a free kick from inside the Cirencester half found the head of an overlapping Dunton near the left side edge of the Paulton area and he sent it in the direction of Griffin who was lurking to the left of the penalty spot. The striker attempted a left footed volley but his strike was not as clean as he hoped and John was able to gather near his right post.

This action proved to be a rehearsal for the opening goal as two minutes later Mark Pritchett sent another free kick from inside the Cirencester half into the left corner and again Dunton managed to head it back towards the centre front edge of the penalty area where Leigh Henry collected and slipped it to his right for CHARLIE GRIFFIN to strike a left footed shot inside the left post.  1-0

A quarter of an hour later Cirencester increased their lead as Knight, in line with the front edge of the area – left flank, fed the ball back to Dunton who cut inside and headed for the centre of the pitch before slipping a perfectly weighted reverse pass into the path of Aidan Bennett who was moving from right to left. Bennett collected it just outside the left side edge of the 6 yard box and turned sharply to smash the ball with his left foot at the target but John pushed it wide – corner kick from the left. Bennett took the kick himself and drove it towards the front post where ELLIS DUNTON charged forward to power a header inside the left post.  2-0.

With 15 minutes of normal time remaining Cirencester were awarded a corner kick on the right that Pritchett headed wide but a melee involving several players from both sides ensued resulting in Yellow Cards being shown to Ben John and Charlie Griffin.

Five minutes later Knight chased a long clearance to the left corner and won a corner kick that Bennett drove into the box. When it was cleared it was collected by Knight and returned to Bennett who crossed from the touch-line for Pritchett to head wide of the left post.

As the game was entering the last five minutes Bennett received the ball on the right flank and took it towards the corner before sending a low cross towards the penalty spot. OLLIE KNIGHT had read his intention and darted forward to collect but John had also seen the danger and advanced to clear. Knight and John arrived together but the youngster was rewarded for his bravery when the ball ricocheted out of the resulting collision towards the goal with enough power to cross the line.  3-0.

Final Score:     3 - 0

As the saying goes this was a typical ‘game of two halves’  as Cirencester produced a disjointed, inept first half performance and Paulton really should have taken advantage and converted some of the several chances their superior play presented.

The re-organisation of the Cirencester team changed matters significantly enabling them to come to the party and create chances of their own - that they did take.

Shayne Anson contained the speedy Leon Jeanne, Matt Liddiard was released to maraud, Ollie Knight energetic, Aidan Bennett provided two ‘assists’ and Ellis Dunton powered his way forward.


Attendance:     54

Referee:          Marcus Carmichael

Cirencester Town:

1.   Josh Langley
2.   Matt Liddiard
3.   Ellis Dunton                                   73
4.   Mark Pritchett
5.   Zak Kotwica
6.   Leigh Henry    (C)
7.   Adam Connolly
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Charlie Griffin                                  58
10.  Ross Langworthy
11.  Ollie Knight                                    85

12.  Brad Hooper                       (Ross Langworthy-74mins)
14.  Aidan Bennett                    (Zack Kotwica-68mins)
15.  Sam Farr               
16.  Anthony Brown
17.  Shayne Anson                    (Adam Connolly-46mins)


Paulton Rovers:  

1.   Ben John
2.   Steve Williams
3.   Jack Allward
4.   Alex Grimshaw
5.   Joe Chandler
6.   Arron Brown
7.   Leon Jeanne
8.   Darren Mullings     (C)
9.   Nuno Felix
10.  Jordan Ricketts                            
11.  Jake Mawford

12.  David O’Hare                      (Jack Allward-79mins)
14.  Kelvin Douglas                    (Leon Jeanne-88mins)
16.  Soloman Wheatley                        
17.  Josh Ford                         
18.  Mario Mateus                     (Nuno Felix-81mins)

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