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Evo Stik Southern League 2015/16

Premier Division


Cirencester Town   3 – 4   Bideford


In the penultimate home match of the season Cirencester entertained bottom club Bideford who are making a determined effort to stay in the division having beaten Slough and drawn with Dunstable and Hitchin in their last six matches - to be placed 17th in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table. Prior to the match Cirencester were 12th in this table.

The journey from Devon had been eventful for their supporters as the coach had broken down and they completed the journey in a convoy of taxis but this did not deter them from enjoying their day in the Cotswolds as they sang their hearts out to encourage their team and were rewarded with the positive result. Whilst waiting for a replacement coach they entertained those present in the Cirencester clubhouse with further renditions of their repertoire.

Cirencester kicked off in perfect dry conditions on a firm pitch playing towards the Shed End of the Corinium Stadium and almost immediately lost the ball enabling Bideford’s Matt Andrew to shoot at goal from the front edge of the penalty area, right channel, but Josh Langley was in place to catch the ball at shoulder height.

A minute later Andrew was evident again as he broke down the left channel of the pitch before slipping the ball through for Kevin Squire to fire a right footed shot against the bottom of the right post.

The home side survived this initial onslaught and began to work their way into the game with Ollie Knight working his way down the left flank to earn a corner kick which came to nought but Cirencester put their visitors under pressure for the next few minutes.

With ten minutes on the clock Matt Bower played the ball to Shayne Anson on the right and he sent it down the line to Zack Kotwica. The wide-man carried the ball forward and as he neared the line of the front edge of the penalty area he produced a couple of ‘shimmies’ and cut inside to cross towards the near post with his left foot. Adam Connolly had made one of his darting diagonal runs across the Bideford penalty area to get on the end of the cross and his resulting ‘back-header’ just cleared the bar at the far left post.

After the quarter of an hour mark Cirencester won a corner kick on the left that Kotwica played short to Knight who returned it for Kotwica to ‘jink’ past his marker and send a deep cross to the penalty spot where a defender headed over his bar to clear the danger and concede another corner kick from the right. Knight took this kick and sent it to the back post where Charlie Griffin headed over.

A few minutes later Anson received the ball on the right flank and took it past a couple of challenges before playing it to Kotwica who continued the move and worked his way to the right channel of the penalty area before sending a low cross towards the goal where a defender deflected it over his own crossbar.

Just before the mid-point of the half Cirencester finally broke the dead-lock when James Mortimer-Jones won the ball in the centre of the pitch and played it out to Knight on the left flank. The wide midfielder sent a deep cross to the far post where Griffin controlled it and laid it back into the path of JAMES MORTIMER-JONES who struck a low, right footed shot from 22 yards inside the left post.  1-0.

Almost immediately Cirencester were back again as the Anson/Kotwica combination on the right flank created an opening for Griffin who turned and shot in one move but his effort was deflected into the grateful arms of ‘keeper Kyle Moore.

Five minutes later Aidan Bennett struck one of his thunderbolts just wide of the left post from 25 yards.

Cirencester were awarded a free kick in the right channel, 30 yards from goal, and when Knight sent it into the box it was deflected for a right wing corner kick that Knight sent to the back post where Matt Liddiard headed back across goal but Bideford cleared to mount a counter attack that Bennett intercepted to bring to an abrupt end.

As the half entered the last fifteen minutes Bideford were awarded a free kick on their right flank that was sent into the Cirencester penalty area and when it was cleared it fell to Andrew who immediately shot at goal - the ball struck a charging Connolly on the hand and the referee awarded a penalty kick. Billy Tucker stepped up to take the kick and fired it low and hard towards the inside of the right post but Langley had read his intent and produced an amazing diving save to his left to push it round the post.

Four minutes later Cirencester increased their lead when Connolly collected the ball in the left channel, 35 yards from goal, and slipped it inside to ZACK KOTWICA who turned, took one touch, and unleashed a fierce right footed drive that flew into the top left corner from 30 yards.  2-0.

Cirencester were by now dominating play and mounted an attack down the right before switching to the left for Knight to see his effort blocked but it fell to Mortimer-Jones and his strike struck the crossbar.

On the stroke of half time the ball was played to Knight who crossed from the left corner to the back post for CHARLIE GRIFFIN to head home off the inside of the left post.  3-0.

Half Time:       3 – 0

As the saying goes this was definitely ‘a game of two halves’ as after the interval  the visitors came out of the blocks with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude and took the game to Cirencester.

A sign of things to come came two minutes into the half as Kyle Egan crossed from the right to the far post where Tucker fired a left footed shot that was blocked for a corner kick to be awarded and from the kick Dan Western saw his shot blocked, then Ian Sampson’s effort was deflected for a corner kick from the right. Tucker took the kick and sent it to the front edge of the 6 yard box where it ‘bobbed about’ for a while before being cleared.

Two minutes later Bideford scored the goal they were striving for following some possession and a cross that fell to DAN WESTERN, to the right of the penalty spot, and without hesitation he drove the ball into the roof of the net.  3-1.      

The Cirencester response was a break down their right flank as Kotwica produced a ‘cross-cum-shot’ that went past the far left post with Alex Dinsmore rapidly closing but unable to reach it.

This was soon to be followed by an exchange of passes between Connolly and Griffin on the right that resulted in Connolly’s shot being blocked.

Just before the hour mark of the game Bideford were awarded a free kick 25 yards out, right channel. BILLY TUCKER placed the ball in the designated spot, looked up, and seeing there was a clear view of the right post he drove the ball into the back of the net.  3-2.

When Cirencester were awarded a throw-in on the right flank Griffin took it quickly to Kotwica who passed it back for Griffin to play it inside to Connolly who sent it to the front edge of the Bideford penalty area where Dinsmore was darting across the box. Dinsmore displayed excellent control to pull the ball down, turn and shoot with his left foot in one movement - the ball just passing wide of the left post.

Bideford then had the chance to level the scores when a long clearance reached Western who charged forward and into the Cirencester penalty area for a 1 v 1 with Langley that the ‘keeper (not for the first time this season) won.

The next action for Langley, at the mid-point of the half, came as visiting ‘keeper Moore punted the ball from the edge of his penalty area and after the ball landed, just inside the Cirencester penalty area, it bounced high and was dropping under the crossbar forcing Langley to leap up and save.

Three minutes later Sampson cut in from the right flank and as he neared the side edge of the area he sent a low cross that passed through the 6 yard box and out the other side with Squire just unable to make contact.

This was quickly followed by Nick Milton receiving a throw-in on the left flank, turning and firing a right footed shot wide of the right post from 35 yards.

Cirencester responded with a quick break as Dinsmore received the ball on half-way, left channel, and moved the ball out to Knight on the flank. Dinsmore darted forward to receive a return pass to the left of the Bideford penalty area and carried it to the bye-line before crossing to the back post towards Griffin - but it was just too high for the striker to make a good enough contact with his head to direct it at the goal. Bideford launched the ball down field to clear the danger and when DAN WESTERN pulled it down 40 yards from the Cirencester goal he turned, looked up and immediately fired a high looping right footed shot over Langley, who was on the edge of his area, which entered the net after one bounce.  3-3.

Encouraged by the vocal chanting of their supporters Bideford pushed forward looking for the winner and were rewarded when they won a couple of corner kicks on the left. The second of which was sent to the back post where Jordan Stanley headed it into the danger area in front of the Cirencester goal and IAN SAMPSON reacted quickest to head into the net.  3-4.

With four minutes remaining Cirencester were awarded a free kick 35 yards out, left of centre, that Griffin fired narrowly wide of the top left corner of the Bideford goal.

Bideford were not to be denied and in the final few minutes they stifled any effort Cirencester made to take the 3 points back to Devon – much to the delight of their travelling support.

Final Score:     3 - 4

After a superb first half performance Cirencester never got to grips with the positive ‘nothing to lose’ attitude of Bideford in the second half.


Attendance:     136                                                                  

Referee:          Kevin Morris

Cirencester Town:

1.   Josh Langley
2.   Shayne Anson
3.   Aidan Bennett                               
4.   Adam Connolly
5.   Matt Liddiard     (C)                      
6.   Matt Bower                                                                                               
7.   Zak Kotwica                                            36                   
8.   James Mortimer-Jones                             21
9.   Charlie Griffin                                           45
10.  Alex Dinsmore
11.  Ollie Knight                                  

12.  Ross Langworthy                           (Aidan Bennett-79mins)                       
14.  Ben Prictor                        
15.  Mark Pritchett                               (Matt Bower-76mins)                                       


1.   Kyle Moore
2.   Kyle Egan
3.   Stephen Reed
4.   Nick Milton
5.   Jordan Storey                                           
6.   Dan Harrison     (C)
7.   Matt Andrew
8.   Dan Western                                            49, 75
9.   Kevin Squire
10.  Billy Tucker                                               59                               
11.  Ian Sampson                                             79

12.  Jamie Chamberlain
14.  Nick Barker                                    (Billy Tucker-84mins)
15.  Ben Wood     

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