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Evo Stik Southern League 2015/16

Premier Division

Chippenham Town   0 – 1   Cirencester Town   

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


Cirencester made the comparatively short journey to Hardenhuish Park to play against Chippenham Town who have been in the ‘play-off’ places for most of the season although they have recently slipped to 6th in the Premier Division table.

In the reverse fixture ‘The Bluebirds’ won 4-1 and they will no doubt be looking for the 3 points to get back on track in their push for promotion.

The Cirencester starting eleven had a different look about it as Manager Brian Hughes decided to return Shayne Anson to his customary right back position and move the influential midfield general Matt Liddiard alongside young Matt Bower in the centre of the defence with Aidan Bennett at left back.

Ross Langworthy took a wide midfield berth and Alex Dinsmore made his first start for the Club alongside Charlie Griffin as the team adopted a 4-4-2 formation.

Cirencester kicked off with the advantage of the slope, playing towards the cricket club end on a surprisingly dry pitch, considering the storm during the last couple of days, and won the first corner kick of the game on their right flank within the first few minutes but they failed to take advantage.

During the next ten minutes Chippenham created a couple of shooting opportunities as James Guthrie was released down the left flank before cutting in to shoot with his right foot from 20 yards but his low effort was comfortably saved by Josh Langley. This was to be followed by Alan Griffin heading the ball on from the centre circle to Andy Sandell as he drove forward, left channel, and his left footed strike from 25 yards was wide of the left post.

The Cirencester response was a period of pressure in the right corner as Alex Dinsmore worked hard to prevent them from an easy clearance ball out of defence – eventually leading to a snap shot from Charlie Griffin from 30 yards that was wide of the right post.

As the mid-point of the half approached Chippenham increased the pressure on the visitors defence – Alex Ferguson crossed from the right towards the far post but Langley caught the ball at the second attempt above the head of Sandell.

Jon Beeden then intercepted a cross-field pass, 10 yards inside his half - left flank, and galloped forward into the Cirencester half before moving the ball inside to Alan Griffin who carried it forward, down the right channel, before unleashing a fierce right footed strike from 30 yards that Langley did very well to push over his cross-bar. The corner kick, from the right, was met by the head of Greg Tindle and once again Langley was up to his responsibility as he pushed the effort over his crossbar. The corner kick resulted in another offensive header but this time over the target – danger over for the moment.

Shortly afterwards there was a clash of heads as Charlie Griffin and Jon Beeden challenged for the ball near the touchline and this resulted in the Chippenham defender having to leave the field with a cut above his right eye – he was replaced by Harry Grant a few minutes later.

A minute before the half hour mark Matt Smith burst forward and as he cut right inside the Cirencester penalty area he lost his footing and the ball was cleared.

Chippenham were dominating proceedings at this point and when a free kick from the right was sent into the Cirencester penalty area Alan Griffin managed to get a foot to it but due to the high bounce he could only lift it over the bar.

This was quickly followed by a series of passes from the home side as they worked the ball down the right channel to Sandell who struck a firm left footed shot from the front edge of the penalty area but Langley was positioned to make the catch.

As the half entered the last ten minutes Matt Bower intercepted a pass just outside the left side edge of his area, looked up, and played a measured pass down the left channel to Charlie Griffin who slipped it to Ross Langworthy on the left flank, near half way. Langworthy took a couple of strides before cutting back right and sending a 25 yard right footed pass into the Chippenham penalty area where Dinsmore darted forward to finish but the flag was up for ‘offside’.

A couple of minutes later the Bower, Griffin, Langworthy combination was evident again but Langworthy’s touch was too heavy near the bye-line and the ball ran out of play.

Cirencester were finishing the half strongly and another move down their left flank involving Aidan Bennett, Charlie Griffin and Langworthy released Dinsmore and as he drove into the area the ball was lost but quickly regained resulting in a corner kick from the right that Chippenham defended.

On the stroke of half time Cirencester worked the ball forward with several players involved resulting in a right footed shot from Charlie Griffin that was deflected for a corner kick. When the corner kick entered the penalty area the referee awarded a free kick to the home side to end the attack.

Half Time:       0 – 0

Three minutes after the interval Chippenham were awarded a corner kick that Cirencester defended to mount a counter attack down their right flank through Zack Kotwica, Charlie Griffin and Dinsmore but it was successfully defended by the home side.

The Chippenham Griffin was in the action a few minutes later as he worked hard to keep possession in the left corner before laying it back to Guthrie who crossed to the back post where Sandell’s header was caught by Langley.

The Cirencester response was a punt down-field by Langley that Charlie Griffin collected and moved on to Dinsmore on the right touchline. The Cheltenham Town scholar slipped the ball to Kotwica and he drove across the pitch before firing a left footed ‘cross-cum-shot’ over the Chippenham crossbar.

Chippenham mounted an attack down their left flank for recently arrived substitute Alec Fiddes to back heel into the path of Guthrie but when he attempted to cross the ball was deflected behind for a corner kick that was wasted.

At the mid-point of the half Cirencester were pressing in their right corner through Brad Hooper, James Mortimer-Jones and Dinsmore but when the latter player crossed towards the far post home ‘keeper, Kent Kauppinen, caught the ball as Charlie Griffin darted forward to challenge.

Within minutes Cirencester were back in the same area with several players involved as they worked the ball forward but once again the home defence refused to be breached and a counter attack was launched that Bennett managed to bring to an end.

Another clash of heads resulted in Alan Griffin having to leave the field for a couple of minutes for repairs to a cut over his right eye.  

As the game entered the final ten minutes it became a little frantic as the teams sought a goal that might provide the three points.

With eight minutes of normal time remaining Langley pulled off a sensational reaction save to thwart Sandell who made firm contact with his head, near the left side edge of the 6 yard box, to a deep ball from Michael Pook, right channel – 35 yards out.  

In reply Langley punted the ball down the centre of the pitch for Charlie Griffin to head on to Kotwica, charging down the right channel, and as Kotwica approached the Chippenham area he shot wide of the right post.

Cirencester then worked the ball down the left but Chippenham cleared the danger when the threat entered their penalty area.

Alec Fiddes shot wide of the right post for Chippenham after a counter attack and as the 90 minutes was reached Mark Preece launched a ball down the right channel for Sandell to gather but seeing his way blocked Sandell laid it back to Preece who sent it to the far post. Zack Kotwica collected the ball and immediately drove down the right flank and into the Chippenham half but the home defence remained firm.

Chippenham again pushed forward in search of the elusive goal and Matt Smith just failed to make contact with a cross from the left flank to the right channel front edge of the Cirencester penalty area.

The game was now deep into added time and when Hooper fed Kotwica on the right touchline the wide man cut inside to drive across the front edge of the Chippenham penalty area. As he reached the right channel he struck the ball with his left foot down the channel where ADAM CONNOLLY had made a run from left to right to collect and as Connolly neared the bye-line he managed to clip the ball past an advancing Kauppinen and inside the far left post – much to the delight of his team-mates.  0-1.  

Final Score:     0 - 1

Whilst this was not a game for the football purists it was full of endeavour and solid defending.

The Cirencester back six – ‘keeper, back four and Jonah in the ‘screening role’ were determined not to be breached and the rest of the team played their part as they intercepted, harried their opponents and provided a threat at the other end o

f the pitch.

The new partnership at the heart of the defence, Matt Liddiard and Matt Bower, did very well against the experienced strike force of Chippenham, Andy Sandell and Alan Griffin.  

The attitude of the team was ‘spot-on’.


Attendance:     446                                         

Referee:          Gregory Read


Chippenham Town:  

1.   Kent Kauppinen
2.   Luke Ballinger
3.   Jon Beeden
4.   Michael Pook
5.   Greg Tindle    (C)
6.   Mark Preece
7.   Alex Ferguson
8.   Matt Smith
9.   Alan Griffin
10.  Andy Sandell                                 
11.  James Guthrie

12.  Matt Jones
14.  Harry Grant                       (Jon Beeden-27mins)
15.  Chris Allen
16.  Alec Fiddes                       (Alex Ferguson-61mins)
17.  Oli Taylor                          (Luke Ballinger-70mins)  

Cirencester Town:

1.   Josh Langley
2.   Shayne Anson
3.   Aidan Bennett                               
4.   Ross Langworthy
5.   Matt Liddiard     (C)                      
6.   Matt Bower                                                                                               
7.   Brad Hooper                                                                      
8.   James Mortimer-Jones
9.   Charlie Griffin                                          
10.  Alex Dinsmore
11.   Zak Kotwica                                  

12.  Adam Connolly                               (Alex Dinsmore-91mins) 95
14.  Anthony Brown                              
15.  Ben Prictor                                     (Ross Langworthy-88mins)                               

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