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Evo Stik Southern League 2016/17

Premier Division

Cirencester Town 1 – 0 Biggleswade Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer 


For their third game of the new season Cirencester played host to Biggleswade Town who finished one place above Cirencester last term but with the same points.

'The Waders' have also not started the season as well as they would like but they have obtained one point with a draw at Cambridge City earlier in the week.

The Cirencester starting eleven saw a few changes from the team that faced Frome Town on Tuesday with Aidan Bennett replacing Kyle Lapham at right back, Ben Brown and James Coates replacing Leigh Henry (retired) and Matt Liddiard (in midfield) in the centre of the defence. To enable Matt Liddiard to return to midfield Adam Connolly took a seat on the bench.

Cirencester kicked off playing towards 'The Shed' end of the Corinium Stadium in perfect conditions for football with a slight diagonal breeze behind them and immediately attacked their guests down the left flank as Scott Bevan sent a deep cross to the far post for Charlie Griffin to head wide - but he was adjudged to have fouled his opponent in getting to the ball.

Biggleswade responded with a break down their right flank that released Inih Effiong and his left footed shot from the front edge of the home penalty area was comfortably saved by Harvey Rivers.

The hard working Ollie Knight then produced a right footed 'dink' of a pass that dropped into the path of Bevan as he charged forward down the left channel and into the Biggleswade area. Once at the by-line he crossed towards the front edge of the 6 yard box where the ball was cleared with some difficulty to a supporting James Mortimer-Jones but the midfielder was unable to make a clean contact with the ball and the immediate danger for the visitors passed.

The home side had started very positively and a few minutes later play was switched from left to right by Matt Liddiard - to Lee Smith on a run down the flank but his shot from the front edge of the penalty area was wide of the target.

In reply Biggleswade again fed Effiong as he broke down the left channel but his shot was blocked leading to a corner kick.

Around the mid-point of the half Cirencester produced some flowing football as they moved the ball from back to front enabling Griffin to release Knight on a run down the left flank and his cross resulted in a series of corner kicks. From the first kick, taken by Aidan Bennett, the ball landed at the feet of Ben Brown and his shot was deflected wide of the left post for another corner kick. This kick led to some determined defending and the ball eventually found its way back to Bennett who had a pot at goal but his shot was blocked and cleared by Biggleswade.

Despite the pressure the visitors managed a couple of breaks of their own as Effiong and Craig Daniel combined on the left but Effiong's resulting shot was easily collected by Rivers. Effiong struck another snap shot high over the bar when Miles Smith had supplied him with the ball on the front edge of the home penalty area.

During the last fifteen minutes of the half Cirencester enjoyed plenty of possession leading to opportunities for Griffin (headed wide), Knight (header deflected for a corner kick), and Smith (shot blocked).

As the half was drawing to a close Scott Bevan had a fierce 25 yard drive from the left flank tipped over the bar by 'keeper Ian Brown.

Half Time: 0 – 0

Within the first minute of the re-start Cirencester were awarded a free kick on the left flank that Lee Smith sent towards the back post but Ben Brown just failed to make contact with his head. It was to prove to be a rehearsal for events on the hour.

Five minutes into the half Biggleswade attacked down their right as Daniel fed Miles Smith on the overlap to the corner – once there he crossed towards the front edge of the home 6 yard box where Ben Brown headed clear despite a strong challenge from the incoming Effiong.

Seven minutes later Biggleswade were awarded a free kick that resulted in a corner kick from the right and this in turn led to a right footed volley by Callum Lewis that was well wide of the target.

As the visitors worked the ball forward it was lost and a free kick was awarded to Cirencester as they tried to win it back. Lee Smith took the kick and sent the ball towards the centre front edge of the Biggleswade 6 yard box where BEN BROWN darted forward to produce a glancing header that entered the net inside the right post. 1-0.

A couple of minutes later James Coates, who was having a solid game alongside Brown, sent a 40 yard pass from the left channel, to Smith on the right flank and he drove forward before slipping the ball to Bennett as he overlapped.

At the mid-point of the half Cirencester were nearly caught out by a long ball down the centre of the pitch that cleared the home back-line but Tony Burnett blazed the ball over the bar under pressure from a recovering Coates.

Five minutes later the Biggleswade 'keeper was left exposed when Charlie Griffin latched onto a long ball from James Mortimer-Jones that cleared his defence. As the striker collected the pass he moved down the right channel to the front edge of the area and picked his spot – firing a firm right footed shot towards the inside of the left post but Ian Brown did well to push the strike wide of his right post.

As the game entered the final fifteen minutes Cirencester pushed forward searching for another goal that would 'put the game to bed' but Biggleswade were dangerous on the break and a cross from the right found Burnett in space in the left channel of the home penalty area but Coates produced a terrific block to deny him.

Two minutes later the action was at the other end as Chris Taylor moved the ball from the centre to Smith on the right, back to Bennett, forward and left to Mortimer-Jones, back to Taylor and down the right flank to Smith again who carried it the corner and crossed - deflected for a corner kick. Chris Taylor took the kick and sent it to the near post where the defensive header went behind for a corner kick on the left. Lee Smith took this kick and with some difficulty Biggleswade cleared it for a Cirencester 'throw-in' near the right corner flag. The throw resulted in a corner kick that Liddiard headed over the bar at the back post.

Final Score: 1 - 0

A much better performance from a Cirencester side that had a better balance to it with a solid display from the back five, the ball winning of James Mortimer-Jones, distribution of Chris Taylor and the energy and power of Matt Liddiard in midfield, pace of Ollie Knight and Lee Smith on the flanks completed by the work rate of Charlie Griffin up front.

Attendance: 75

Referee: Graham Pearce

Cirencester Town:

1. Harvey Rivers
2. Aidan Bennett
3. Scott Bevan
4. James Coates
5. Matt Liddiard (C)
6. Ben Brown 60
7. Chris Taylor
8. James Mortimer-Jones
9. Charlie Griffin
10. Lee Smith
11. Ollie Knight

12. Ross Langworthy (Charlie Griffin -76mins)
14. Adam Connolly (James M-Jones-86mins)
15. Kyle Lapham
16. Jon Else
17. Kalum Youngsam (Ollie Knight-90+1mins)

Biggleswade Town:

1. Ian Brown
2. Miles Smith
3. Mark Coulson
4. Callum Lewis
5. Evan Key
6. Lucas Perry
7. Craig Daniel (C)
8. Robert Parker
9. Inih Effiong
10. Tony Burnett
11. Chris Marsh

12. Michael King (Callum Lewis-64mins)
14. Daniel Clifton (Robert Parker-73mins)
15. Harry Norman
16. Connor Vincent (Chris Marsh-14mins)
17. Gavin Hoyte

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