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Evo Stik Southern League 2016/17

Premier Division

 

Basingstoke Town  0 – 1  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer 

 

Cirencester travelled to Hampshire for this mid-week fixture against Basingstoke Town who, prior to the game, had 11 points from their 10 games and were a few places above Cirencester in the Premier Division table.

Jody Bevan continued in his role as Caretaker Manager for the Centurions and made a couple of positional changes to his starting eleven as Matt Liddiard dropped into the back line alongside Ben Brown, James Coates moved to right back and Kyle Lapham to left back. James Mortimer-Jones, who was unavailable on Saturday due to work commitments, came into midfield and Aidan Bennett returned to a central striker role at the expense of Charlie Griffin who took a seat on the bench.  

The young home side kicked off on a mild, dry evening but were soon under pressure as Andy Ellcock played a pass down the left channel that Aidan Bennett shaped to receive but stepped over enabling it to pass his marker and run on for Ross Langworthy to collect and take to the left side edge of the penalty area and cross. The cross was too long for Ollie Knight to collect at the far post and it ran out of play.

Shortly afterwards James Mortimer-Jones won the ball just outside the home penalty area and it broke to Langworthy who moved left before shooting – his effort was partially blocked and landed in the grateful arms of ‘keeper Alex Tokarczyk as Knight closed in.  

Cirencester had made a very positive start to the game but Basingstoke came back to earn a corner kick from their left flank that resulted in a header at the back post that Harvey Rivers caught.

A minute later Basingstoke, who were beginning to get into their stride, were back again and won another couple of corner kicks and during this phase Captain Matt Liddiard was prominent as he made a couple of important clearances.

Cirencester responded with a break down their right flank as Knight cut back and sent a left footed cross to the back post where Lee Smith headed wide of the left post.

The home side then pressed as Ashleigh Artwell carried the ball to the left corner before pulling it back to Richie Whittingham on the front edge of the Cirencester penalty area, left channel, but he struck his right footed shot wide of the left post.

Shortly afterwards Nana Owusu carried the ball to the right corner and fired a low cross through the penalty area that an alert James Coates, under pressure, did well to shepherd wide of the left post to concede a corner kick.   

At the mid-point of the half Owusu was in action again as he made a clever turn on the centre front edge of the Cirencester area to create space for a left footed shot that cleared the bar.

It was then Cirencester’s turn to attack the home goal as Bennett received the ball from a throw-in on the right flank and took it to the corner before crossing to the near post where it was cut out as Langworthy looked to latch onto it.

James Mortimer-Jones and Ollie Knight then combined to win the ball enabling the latter to play it forward to Langworthy in the right corner. He crossed towards the penalty spot where Bennett flicked it with his heel towards Smith who just failed to reach it in time and the threat was over.   

On the half hour mark Whittingham shot from 30 yards but it was deflected for a corner kick that was initially cleared, then collected by Owusu who once again displayed his trickery with the ball at his feet but his resulting cross was defended.

With 32 minutes on the clock Cirencester made the break-through as Smith crossed from the left flank towards the penalty spot where a defensive header, under pressure from Bennett, sent it towards the back post. ROSS LANGWORTHY latched onto the dropping ball and fired a right footed volley towards goal which was deflected into the air, looping over the home ‘keeper, as he came across to cover his left post, to drop inside his right post.  0-1.

Five minutes later Basingstoke left back, Robert Atkinson, who had confidently brought the ball forward several times already, dribbled it down the left channel for some 20 yards until he was stopped by a Ben Brown tackle but the defender was adjudged to have fouled him in the process and a free kick was awarded.

During the last five minutes of the half Liddiard intercepted an intended through ball from Basingstoke and brought it forward before releasing Smith on the left flank. The wide-man crossed to the right of the penalty spot where Bennett headed it back to a supporting Knight but as he shaped to shoot it was taken off his toe.

Ross Langworthy then carried the ball down the right channel before cutting left and sending a low left footed shot at the target. Tokarczyk made the save at the front edge of his 6 yard box.  

The final action of the half was an overlapping run and cross from Marcus Johnson-Schuster on the right flank that was cut-out at the near post.

Half Time:  0-1

During the interval there must have been some constructive comments in the home dressing room as they came out in very positive mood and put Cirencester under severe pressure with Artwell particularly prominent as he had two shots in the first three minutes – the first Rivers pushed out and the second, a scorcher, the ‘keeper did well to deflect onto his crossbar for a corner kick.

A couple of minutes later George Bennett played the ball down the Basingstoke right flank to Owusu and at the front corner of the Cirencester penalty area he cut left and shot wide of the right post.

Not to be outdone Artwell was back again as he cut in form the left but his shot was caught by Rivers.

The home side had dominated the opening 15 minutes of the half and Cirencester had to ‘dig-in’ to keep them out with everyone playing their part.

Ollie Knight battled for a ball in the right channel, 30 yards from the home goal, and eventually reached the corner where he crossed towards the penalty spot. Langworthy was charging forward in support but was just unable to reach the ball.  

At the mid-point of the half Owusu broght the ball into the Cirencester penalty area but was faced with two defenders and promptly shepherded towards the right corner where he turned and crossed with his left foot for Rivers to catch.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes Charlie Griffin entered the fray and was soon involved as Coates played the ball to Bennett on the right side edge of the home area and he in turn laid it back to Langworthy who crossed towards the right of the penalty spot where Griffin was darting forward to collect. The ball was intercepted before it reached the striker.

Shortly afterwards Artwell ‘danced’ through a number of challenges as he worked his way down the left channel but he shot wide of the left post from 25 yards out.

As the game was drawing to a close Cirencester had weathered the storm and during the last five minutes made some threatening moves of their own as they moved the ball about, particularly down the left flank, with several players involved as they kept possession in the corner.

In added time a home goal kick was not collected just outside the centre front edge of the penalty area by its intended target and Kalum Youngsam latched onto the loose ball and moved it right to Griffin who promptly placed it inside the right post but he was ruled to be ‘offside’ and it didn’t count.

Seconds later the referee blew his whistle to signify the game was over.

Final Score:  0-1.

This was an entertaining game and a tremendous result for the battling Centurions who were put under a lot of pressure in the second half from a young and enthusiastic team who have a number of talented players.

Everyone played their part but the return of ‘Jonah’ in his industrious ‘screening’ role in front of the back four was key as he cajoled his team–mates to work back and close down throughout the match.

Jody Bevan’s decision to put Matt Liddiard pace alongside Ben Brown was also important against a lively Basingstoke front line.

The three points - their first victory on the road of the new season (at the 6th attempt) enabled Cirencester to move up a place in the Premier Division table.

 

Attendance:     331

Referee:          Daniel Lamport

 

Basingstoke Town:

1.   Alex Tokarczyk
2.   Marcus Johnson-Schuster
3.   Robert Atkinson
4.   Charlie Kennedy
5.   Joe Gater
6.   David Ray     (C)
7.   Sam Deadfield
8.   Nana Owusu
9.   Aaron Jarvis
10.  Ashleigh Artwell
11.  Richie Whittingham

12.  George Hallahan                             (Richie Whittingham -70mins)
13.  Kieran Greene
14.  George Bennett                              (Charlie Kennedy-36mins)
15.  Michael Atkinson                          
16.  Romone Rose                                 (Aaron Jarvis-46mins)


Cirencester Town:

1.   Harvey Rivers
2.   James Coates
3.   Kyle Lapham
4.   Matt Liddiard     (C)
5.   James Mortimer-Jones
6.   Ben Brown
7.   Lee Smith
8.   Andy Ellcock
9.   Aidan Bennett
10.  Ross Langworthy                                        32
11.  Ollie Knight

12.  Charlie Griffin                               (Ollie Knight-75mins)
14.  Adam Connolly
15.  Kalum Youngsam                          (Aidan Bennett-88mins)
16.  Sam Farr

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