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Evo Stik Southern League 2015/16

Premier Division


Cirencester Town   3 – 0   Poole Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


League leaders Poole Town, on a 10 match unbeaten run, were the latest visitors to The Corinium Stadium. ‘The Dolphins’ lead the Premier Division by 3 points having obtained 64 points from 32 games and have 2 games in hand over 2nd placed Chippenham Town. In the reverse fixture in October they defeated ‘The Centurions’ 3-0 so once again a difficult match was in prospect.

The starting eleven for Cirencester had a familiar look about it with Shayne Anson at right back, Aidan Bennett at left back and Ellis Dunton moving to left centre back in place of the suspended Mark Pritchett. Brad Hooper returned to the midfield alongside James Mortimer-Jones and Matt Liddiard, with Ollie Knight taking a wide berth and Ross Langworthy joining Charlie Griffin up front.

The visitors kicked-off playing towards the Arena end of the ground on a firm pitch in excellent weather conditions for football – cool and dry – and after some initial sparring it was Cirencester who had the first sojourn into the oppositions penalty area as Ollie Knight crossed the ball from the left flank to the centre front edge of the 6 yard box where Matt Liddiard and ‘keeper Nick Hutchings met in an aerial duel but it was the latter who was the victor catching the ball above Liddiard’s head. 

Poole responded with a break down their right flank that resulted in the first corner kick of the match, on their right flank, that Jamie Gleeson curled with his left foot to the centre of the home side’s 6 yard box. Josh Langley, under pressure, managed to punch the ball out for a 2nd corner kick, also from the right, and this time Gleeson curled it towards the penalty spot where Marvin Brooks got his head to it, in line with the left post, but his header cleared the home cross-bar.

A few minutes later Brooks collected a free kick from the right flank near the left channel of the penalty area, turned, and fired a left footed shot over the bar. He was certainly much in the action at this stage as almost immediately a long ball from near the centre circle, Poole Town half of the pitch, cleared the home defence and dropped into his path as he burst forward. As Brooks entered the left front corner of the Cirencester penalty area Josh Langley advanced to meet him and when he dived at the striker’s feet he spread himself to pull off a superb low block.  

Twenty minutes into the half Cirencester were awarded a free kick on the left flank that Aidan Bennett quickly moved down the line to Charlie Griffin, nearer the corner, and he played a low pass towards the near post where OLLIE KNIGHT was darting towards him. The young midfielder produced a sublime flick with his left foot that cleared his right shoulder and looped up and over Hutchings, who had advanced to protect his post, to drop inside the back post.  1-0.

Three minutes later Liddiard won the ball 30 yards out, centre of the pitch, and played a terrific right footed volley pass into space behind the right fullback for Knight to collect on the left side edge of the visitor’s penalty area. Knight took a touch and sent a cross to the centre front edge of the 6 yard box where Ross Langworthy was arriving at pace to head wide of the left post.

Cirencester were enjoying a ‘purple patch’ and within minutes Brad Hooper won the ball in the left channel and advanced into the Poole penalty area before passing to Griffin, near the right front edge of the penalty area, who struck a low shot towards the left post where Hutchings made the save.

A minute later Shayne Anson was released on the right flank and made a strong run to the bye-line where his cross was blocked for a corner kick that was successfully defended by the visitors.

On the half hour mark Langworthy made ground down the right to the corner and crossed towards the left channel of the 6 yard box where Griffin managed to get his head to the ball but his effort was caught by Hutchings under the cross-bar.

As the half moved into the last ten minutes Poole were pressing and won a corner kick on the right that Gleeson curled towards the back post for Brooks to head over the home bar.

With two minutes of normal time remaining Poole sent a through ball behind the home defence, towards the left front edge of the Cirencester penalty area, but Langley was alert and managed to get to it first to collect as Tony Lee charged forward.

In added time Cirencester had a throw-in that eventually reached Liddiard near the front edge of the Poole penalty area and as he was put under pressure, battling for the ball, he spotted BRAD HOOPER on a darting run from left to right and slipped the ball to him.  Hooper collected it in his stride and continued to move in the direction of the right corner flag and as he passed the line of the right post, level with the penalty spot, he sent a clever right footed shot back across his body towards the left post. The ball got past Hutchings and struck the side netting just inside the targeted post.  2-0.

Within seconds Referee, Mark Mellor, blew his whistle for half time.

Half Time:       2 – 0

Cirencester made the perfect start to the second half as they increased their lead within 3 minutes.

Brad Hooper, ably assisted by Griffin, won the ball on the centre front edge of the Poole penalty area enabling Griffin to slip the ball to his right for ROSS LANGWORTHY to collect to the right of the line of the right post. Langworthy looked up and calmly placed his right footed shot inside the left post.  3-0.

The Poole response was virtually immediate as they won a free kick on their left flank and launched the ball towards the right post where Roberts powered a header goal-wards but a covering Langley produced a point blank save to keep the ball out. From the resultant corner kick Langley made another great save with his right arm and the rebound was headed over from near the left post (Poole viewpoint).

Seven minutes into the half Poole introduced recent recruit Ashan Holgate in an effort to increase their striking threat.

Shortly afterwards Ollie Knight carried the ball down the left to the bye-line and his attempted cross was deflected behind for a corner kick as a defender came across to cover. The kick was taken by Langworthy and met by the head of Griffin at the back post but his effort was wide.

Fifteen minutes into the half Poole were awarded a free kick in their left channel, 30 yards out, that Lee sent towards the right post for Ashan Holgate to head back across goal but the follow up header from a team-mate cleared the left post.

A couple of minutes later Griffin headed the ball on and down the right flank for Langworthy to chase, collect and take to the corner before sending a low cross through the penalty area. Knight and Griffin were unable to latch onto the cross but Hooper was quickly arriving at the back post and attempted a right footed volley as the ball reared up. His effort went down into the ground and bounced wide of the left post.

Just before the mid-point of the half Poole were awarded a free kick 25 yards from the Cirencester goal, right channel, that Lee lifted over the wall and it looked destined for the inside of the right post until Langley produced a full-length dive to push it round his post - crashing into the post himself in the process.

Seven minutes later Ross Langworthy crossed from the right flank towards the left front edge of the Poole penalty area where Knight was darting forward. Hutchings left his line to close down and as Knight reached the bouncing ball he lobbed the ‘keeper and it looked as if it would drop under the bar but instead struck the top and rebounded for Lewis Lindsay to clear. Griffin collected the clearance to the right of the goal and laid the ball back towards the front edge of the penalty area but it was intercepted.

As the game entered the last fifteen minutes Poole were provided with an opportunity to open their account.

Tony Lee received the ball on the left side edge of the Cirencester 6 yard box, back to goal, as he moved towards his left flank. As the ball arrived he attempted an ambitious over-head kick with his marker, Ellis Dunton, in very close proximity to him. The referee decided that Dunton had handled the ball and awarded the penalty kick. Luke Burbidge stepped up to take the kick and struck the ball towards the right of the goal but Langley pulled off the save to keep his goal intact.

Prior to the kick the referee awarded Yellow Cards to both Langworthy and Langley and much to the amazement of everyone a minute or so after the kick he awarded a second Yellow Card, followed by a Red, to Aidan Bennett who was near the touchline at the time.

Down to 10 men Cirencester re-organised their back-line with Dunton moving to left back, Anson to right centre back and Liddiard to right back.

Poole had brought additional fire-power on, in the form of Alan Connell, shortly before the award of the penalty and changed to a back three in an attempt to open their account so inevitably they put the make-shift home defence under pressure as the game entered the final ten minutes but Cirencester held firm.

During this period Dunton intercepted a cross-field pass 15 yards inside his half and galloped forward. When he was 10 yards inside the Poole half and with an open space in front of him he was brought to the ground by Lewis Tallack who was awarded a Yellow Card for the tackle.

With the clock ticking down Cirencester tried to keep possession in the Poole half as often as possible.

In added time Sam Farr finally made his debut but only managed to get the slightest of touches, with his head, before the final whistle was blown.  

Final Score:     3 - 0

This was a tremendous performance from the Centurions with everyone playing their part – a superb team effort.

The early 1 v 1 save from Josh Langley followed by the superbly taken goal from Ollie Knight set the tone for Cirencester.

This was backed up by a determined defence ably shielded by James Mortimer-Jones and an industrious midfield as Matt Liddiard, Brad Hooper and Knight covered every blade of grass on the pitch.  Up front Charlie Griffin and Ross Langworthy kept the Poole back-line busy.  

Cirencester fully deserved the 3 points.

Attendance:     128

Referee:          Mark Mellor


Cirencester Town:

1.   Josh Langley
2.   Shayne Anson
3.   Aidan Bennett                               
4.   Ellis Dunton
5.   Matt Liddiard
6.   Leigh Henry    (C)
7.   Brad Hooper                                   45
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Charlie Griffin                              
10.  Ross Langworthy                            48
11.  Ollie Knight                                    20

12.  Zak Kotwica                       (Charlie Griffin-81mins)
14.  Sam Farr                            (Ross Langworthy90+2mins)     
15.  Adam Connolly                  
16.  Jody Bevan


Poole Town:  

1.   Nick Hutchings
2.   Jack Dickson
3.   Lewis Tallack
4.   Lewis Lindsay
5.   Jamie Whisken     (C)
6.   Carl Pettefer
7.   Luke Burbidge
8.   Jamie Gleeson
9.   Luke Roberts
10.  Marvin Brooks                               
11.  Tony Lee

12.  Alan Connell                       (Jack Dickson-69mins)
13.  Tom Rees
14.  Ashan Holgate                   (Jamie Gleeson-52mins)
15.  Will Spetch                      
16.  Ollie Davis                          (Tony Lee-90+1mins)                 

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