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Pre-Season Friendly

 

Cirencester Town   0 – 3  Cheltenham Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer   

 

The latest friendly fixture brought Cheltenham Town to The Corinium Stadium.

‘The Robins’ return to the Football League for the 2016/17 Season and Manager Gary Johnson brought a large squad for the match with all the outfield players changing at half time.

The exception was goal-keeper, Max O’Leary, who is a Bristol City player in need of some ‘game-time’ and Johnson’s son Lee (Manager of Bristol City) had asked his father if would play him as a favour – as it suited Gary to rest his own ‘keeper he agreed.   

The Cirencester starting eleven had two new faces, Lee Worgan (right back) and Pierce Mitchell (centre back) on view.

Cheltenham kicked-off playing towards the Arena end of the ground and enjoyed the perfect start as DAN HOLMAN scored the opening goal within 40 seconds. From the kick-off the ball was launched down the left channel and the home side conceded a corner kick on their right flank. Joe Hance sent the kick to the near post where the lively Holman darted in to head home.  0-1.

Ten minutes into the game DAN HOLMAN doubled his tally after a cross from their left flank reached Danny Wright at the near post and his neat lay-off set Holman up to finish from just outside the 6 yard box.  0-2.

The ‘shell shocked’ home side began to find their feet after 15 minutes and an exchange of passes between Chris Taylor and James Mortimer-Jones in midfield created the space for Aidan Bennett to send a ball down their left channel behind the visitors back-line for the willing Ross Langworthy to chase. The striker collected the ball near the bye-line and sent a low ‘cross-cum-shot’ that passed through the 6 yard box without contact.

As the mid-point of the half approached Cheltenham were awarded a free kick in a central position just outside the home penalty area. Harry Pell took the kick and sent a fierce strike at the goal. Harvey Rivers moved to his left to pull off a terrific save.

The Cirencester response was a driving run from Matt Liddiard down the right channel and a shot from 25 yards that cleared the Cheltenham bar.

This was quickly followed by some neat passing between Mortimer-Jones and Jon Else on the right flank that took Else to the bye-line and from his subsequent cross Langworthy produced a left footed volley that cleared the bar.

Ten minutes from the interval Cirencester debutant Pierce Mitchell sent a terrific 40 yard cross-field pass from 10 yards inside the home half, left channel, to Else on the right touchline. Else controlled and sent his cross into the box but it was cut-out before it reached the intended target.

As the half was drawing to a close Danny Wright fired a right footed curler from the left channel front edge of the home penalty area that crashed against the cross-bar.

Half Time:       0 - 2

After the break Charlie Griffin replaced Lee Worgan and Jon Else moved to right back to accommodate this.

Cheltenham replaced all their outfield players for the second half.

Cirencester started positively and 9 minutes into the half Else crossed from just inside the Cheltenham half to the far post where Griffin headed over the bar.

Shortly afterwards Cirencester won a left wing corner kick that resulted in another one, followed by one from the right and when Cheltenham eventually cleared the ball it was collected by Else who crossed back into the box where O’Leary made the catch.

The game was a much more even affair and fifteen minutes into the half Amari Morgan-Smith fired over the bar from the right channel of the Cirencester penalty area.

Matt Liddiard then chased a ball into the right corner and laid it back to Else who crossed to the Cheltenham penalty spot for Griffin - but his header passed by the left post.

At the mid-point of the half Cheltenham were awarded a free kick just outside the home penalty area, left channel, and James Rowe clipped the outside of the left post with his effort.

A few minutes later Mortimer-Jones sent a ball from the right flank towards the penalty spot where Ollie Knight was making a determined run. Cheltenham ‘keeper O’Leary was also advancing to collect the ball but Knight bravely continued and attempted to head it over the ‘keeper and in the process took a heavy hit – knocking him to the ground.  

With fifteen minutes remaining Jack Barthram, who had made a number of overlaps on the Cheltenham right flank, galloped forward once more to the corner and pulled the ball back for Josh Thomas who struck a low right footed shot from the front edge of the Cirencester penalty area towards the left post but Rivers made the save.

Six minutes from time Cheltenham increased their lead following a free kick from the left flank that was sent into the Cirencester 6 yard box. Rivers came forward to catch but was knocked to the ground and in the following melee JOSH THOMAS got the last touch before the ball ended in the back of the net. Despite the appeals from the home side the Referee awarded the goal.  0-3.

On the stroke of time Kalum Youngsam released Mortimer-Jones on the right and his cross was met by the head of Griffin to the left of the penalty spot but O’Leary caught his effort.

The last action of the match was a break down the centre from Morgan-Smith but he was forced wide to the left channel of the penalty area before shooting. Rivers pushed the shot wide for a corner kick that was defended.

Final Score:     0 - 3

This was an entertaining match with Cheltenham, as expected, dominating the early period of the first half and scoring two quick goals.

Cirencester ‘dug-in’ and showed good character to work their way into the half despite being two goals down.

The second half was a much more even affair and given the fresh new opposition Cirencester faced they did well to compete for the 90 minutes.

During the second half Chris Taylor produced a sublime 40 yard cross-field pass from the right channel to the left touchline and with his work rate and constant availability he will undoubtedly prove a useful addition to the Cirencester ranks.

Pierce Mitchell was calm and solid in the centre of the home defence in his first game for the Club.

 

Attendance:     172                                                      

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

Harvey Rivers, Lee Worgan (Charlie Griffin 46), Aidan Bennett, Chris Taylor, James Coates, Pierce Mitchell, Matt Liddiard (C),  James Mortimer-Jones, Ross Langworthy (Kalum Youngsam 68), Jon Else (Elliot Green 68), Ollie Knight.

 

CHELTENHAM TOWN:

 First Half:-

M .O’Leary, J. Lymm, D. Parslow, D. O’Shaughnessy, J. Jennings, A. Komodikis, H. Pell, A. Hall, J. Hance, D. Wright, D.Holman

Second Half:-

M. O’Leary, J. Nutting, K. Storer, M. Bower, J. Barthram, T. Cordell, J. Rowe, J. Thomas, J. Cranston, A. Morgan-Smith, B. Waters.   

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