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Evo Stik Southern League 2016/17

Premier Division


Merthyr Town  3 – 0  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


The Centurions travelled to the Principality to face Merthyr Town, who have made a promising start to their league campaign, and were defeated in the Land of the Dragons.

Prior to this match Merthyr had won 2, drawn 1 and lost 1 – the defeat was at the hands of Leamington in the 90+1 minute on Tuesday so they would no doubt be looking to get back on track. Within their ranks are former Centurions Glyn Garner and Gethin Jones.

The Cirencester starting eleven had one change from the side that faced Dorchester as Ross Langworthy replaced Lee Smith who took a seat on the bench.

The Martyrs kicked off proceedings on a very wet 3G pitch in pouring rain but it was Cirencester who pressed and won a throw-in in the left corner. Play was switched to the right flank as Scott Bevan received a return pass and sent a cross-field pass to the right flank but just too heavy for Ross Langworthy.

Having recovered the ball Merthyr began to pass the ball about as they moved down the pitch and probed the Cirencester defence.

Despite this Cirencester created a good opening in the 6th minute when Matt Liddiard fed Ollie Knight who crossed from the left flank towards the penalty spot forcing former Centurion Gethin Jones to head behind and concede a corner kick which was cleared.

A couple of minutes later Cirencester were under pressure themselves as Bevan had to head a cross from the Merthyr left flank out at the back post – presenting Merthyr with a corner kick on their right flank. Scott Barrow sent the kick to the front edge of the visitor’s 6 yard box where Gethin Jones headed over the goal under challenge.

Shortly afterwards another cross from the Merthyr left flank was blocked near the Cirencester 6 yard box and broke to Ian Traylor who blasted it over the bar from just wide of the line of the left post.

IAN TRAYLOR was in the thick of the action again a couple of minutes later when he popped up in the right channel, 25 yards out, and fired a low shot towards the left post. Harvey Rivers dived to his right to push his shot out and it was fed to Jon Brown who saw his shot blocked on the line by James Coates. The ball bobbed about the Cirencester penalty with Traylor again involved and his third touch saw him drive the ball inside the left post, from left of the penalty spot, to open the scoring for his team.  1-0.  

The setback spurred Cirencester into action and they pressed their hosts, on their right flank and then the left – when the ball was cleared by the home side it reached Coates on the half way line, left channel, and he instantly volleyed the ball to Langworthy near the right front corner edge of the Merthyr penalty area. Langworthy turned sharply to create space and fired a fierce right footed shot that struck the top right intersection of the bar and post.

As the half hour approached Cirencester produced a move that took the ball from defence, through midfield and out to the left flank where Knight’s crossed to the near post but Glyn Garner caught the ball as Charlie Griffin charged in.

Gethin Jones won the ball in the centre circle and as he was closed down he side-stepped a couple of incoming challenges as he carried the ball forward but his shot from 30 yards was wide of the target.

As the half entered the last five minutes Traylor took a snap shot from the right channel, 20 yards out, and it was deflected for a corner kick on their left flank. The corner kick, to the front edge of the 6 yard box, rebounded to RHYS BAGGRIDGE who blasted it home.  2-0.

On the stroke of the interval Cirencester had a throw-in near the right corner flag and Liddiard back-headed it to the front edge of the 6 yard box but Griffin’s header was caught by Garner.

Half Time:  2-0

Three minutes after the interval Merthyr worked the ball forward from left to right then down the centre to Traylor who struck a low 22 yard shot that produced a diving save from Rivers as he pushed the ball round his left post. Jon Brown collected the resulting corner kick just outside the area and managed to get his shot away but it was deflected for another corner – this time from the left – and this was defended.

Cirencester mounted a break down their left flank and when Knight attempted to cross it was deflected for a corner kick on the left. Bennett played the ball to Langworthy and following a spin on the edge of the area he struck a right footed shot that was also deflected for a corner kick – this time from the right. Chris Taylor curled the kick to the far post where Ben Brown headed over the bar.  

A couple of minutes later Cirencester won a throw-in on their right flank which led to possession in the corner until play was switched to the left for Bevan to cross into the box. Griffin laid it to Mortimer-Jones and his shot from the left channel front edge of the area was blocked on the line and cleared.

On the hour mark of the match Cirencester were awarded a free kick on their right flank,  10 yards inside the Merthyr half, that Bennett sent to the far post where Knight collected it. He then crossed to the back post where Langworthy volleyed it well wide of the goal.

The home side’s response to this period of pressure was a quick break down the left flank as Traylor released Jon Brown and when he reached the side edge of the Cirencester area he moved the ball to Keyon Reffell to his right and he shot wide of the target.

Back came Cirencester as Griffin flicked a header into the path of Langworthy but he shot wide of the left post. This was followed by a series of passes as they worked the ball down the right flank – Liddiard to Mortimer-Jones, back to Liddiard, out to Langworthy, forward towards Lee Smith but too far ahead for him to catch.

At the mid-point of the half Merthyr won a corner kick on their right that Barrow curled with his left foot into the danger area forcing Rivers to punch it behind for a corner kick from their left. When this kick came in it was collected by Reffell who took it to the by-line on the right before pulling it back to the centre front edge of the penalty area where JON BROWN, with space and time, struck a measured right footed shot inside the left post.  3-0

Shortly afterwards Cirencester were awarded a free kick near half way, on the right flank, and this led to a corner kick - a header from Liddiard and another corner kick from the left. Garner punched this one out for yet another corner kick which this time was defended and worked forward.

Merthyr made a couple of substitutions on the half hour mark of the half and whilst they settled into the game Cirencester worked a couple of openings as Langworthy fired wide of the target, Knight had a header cleared and Adam Connolly volleyed high over the bar.

The visitors worked the ball down their left flank with some neat passing involving Knight inside to Langworthy, back to Kalum Youngsam, forward to Langworthy who struck a low left footed shot from the left channel of the penalty area towards the far right post. Garner dived to his left to make the save.

As the game entered the final five minutes Cirencester were pushing forward in search of a consolation goal and won a corner kick on the left which was cleared to Bevan who drove the ball goal-wards from 25 yards – headed wide for a corner kick from the right. This was defended.

Merthyr countered with a break down their left channel to Traylor who carried the ball into the visitor’s penalty area – Coates defended but conceded a corner kick on the Merthyr left. Traylor pushed the ball to Jaye Bowen in the corner and ran behind him. Bowen ‘scooped’ the ball over a closing opponent to Traylor who shot wide of the left post from the left front corner of the penalty area.

With two minutes of normal time remaining Cirencester launched a counter attack from their left back area as Knight carried the ball forward down their left flank before moving it inside to Langworthy – he crossed to a supporting Liddiard who won a throw-in in the right corner but the ball was lost.

The final goal mouth action of the match came as Cirencester attacked down their right with Lee Smith moving the ball forward to Liddiard, back to Smith – deep cross to Langworthy, darting down the left channel of the home area, who produced a solid header towards the top right corner of the goal. Garner tipped the ball over the bar for a corner kick. Liddiard reached the kick at the back post and once again Garner was to prevent his former team from opening their account as he tipped the ball onto the cross-bar and out for another corner kick which he caught under pressure at the back post.  

Final Score:  3-0.

Merthyr controlled large portions of the game whilst Cirencester had their moments but couldn’t convert them.   


Attendance:     403

Referee:          Richard Price


Merthyr Town:

1.    Glyn Garner
2.    Adam Davies
3.    Scott Barrow
4.    Ashley Evans     (C)                                                           
5.    Gethin Jones
6.    Rhys Baggridge                                         43
7.    Corey Jenkins                                           
8.    Jon Brown                                                 67
9.    Ryan Prosser
10.   Keyon Reffell
11.   Ian Traylor                                                16

12.   Jarred Wright                             (Corey Jenkins-62mins)                                   
14.   Elliot Scotcher                           (Scott Barrow-75mins)                        
15.   Curtis Hutson                               
16.   James Bloom
17.   Jaye Bowen                               (Ashley Evans-75mins)


Cirencester Town:

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

12.   Lee Smith                                 (Chris Taylor-62mins)
14.   Kyle Lapham                                 
15.   Adam Connolly                          (James M-Jones-72mins)                                 
16.   Jon Else                                       
17.   Kalum Youngsam                      (Charlie Griffin-79mins)           

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