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The Buildbase FA Trophy 2016/17

First Round Qualifying


Cirencester Town 1 - 2 Havant & Waterlooville

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


Havant & Waterlooville who currently sit in 4th position in the Ryman Isthmian League – Premier Division were the opponents for the Centurions in this First Round Qualifying fixture.

‘The Hawks’ were relegated from the National League – South at the end of last season but are in a run of good form as they have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 1 of their last six league matches and so far this season have secured 30 points from 14 fixtures.

The Cirencester starting eleven had a change in the back five, when compared with the previous match, with the return of Alfie Kilgour, following his two match suspension, in place of Robbie James who took a seat on the bench. 

James Mortimer-Jones returned to midfield alongside Adam Connolly and Matt Liddiard at the expense of Ross Langworthy (on the bench) and James Difford replaced Kalum Youngsam (also on the bench). 

The visitors kicked off playing towards The Shed end of the Corinium Stadium in fine drizzle on a damp, overcast day but soon lost the ball enabling Cirencester to attack down their right flank before switching to the left with several players involved. Matt Liddiard (half way line) back to Kieren Diaz-Benitez (right flank), down the right channel to Aidan Bennett, back to Liddiard – forward and left to James Difford (centre of the pitch 25 yard out), out to Ollie Knight (left flank) – who charged to the left corner and produced a cross that yielded a corner kick that was defended.

An encouraging start from the home side.

 A couple of minutes later some more quick, neat passing enabled Cirencester to work the ball down the right flank again but five minutes into the game the Hawks were showing signs of adapting to their surroundings as Rory Williams countered with a driving run and cross from the left corner that Harvey Rivers caught just outside the front edge of his 6 yard box.

A few minutes later the visitors Dan Strugnell charged into the right channel of the Cirencester penalty area but as he was about to shoot a ‘tracking-back’ Ollie Knight took the ball of his toe to concede a corner kick. Wes Fogden took the kick from the right and played it short to Ben Swallow who moved towards the half way line before producing a neat back heel for Fogden to collect near the by-line. Fogden clipped the ball towards the penalty spot where Andreas Robinson’s header was blocked and cleared.

The game settled into an ‘end-to-end’ affair as both sides went in search of an opening goal.

Rory Wiliams started another run down his flank (it was to become a feature of the first half) and cut right on half way but he ran straight into Aidan Bennett who stood his ground and stopped the full back in his tracks enabling Cirencester to start a counter attack as they worked the ball down their right flank leading to a cross from Difford that Charlie Searle caught as Bennett attacked the penalty spot.

A minute later the ball was at the other end of the pitch as Fogden received it in space, left channel - front edge of the home penalty area, and with Kieren Diaz-Benitez charging towards him he fired over the bar.

Moments later a break down the Havant right flank reached James Hayter but his shot from the central front edge of the area was wide of the left post.

As the mid-point of the first half was approaching Bennett won an aerial duel just inside the Havant penalty area and as the ball dropped he slipped it to a supporting Liddiard who moved right, along the front edge of the area, before shooting. His firm right footed shot struck the right post and rebounded out to be collected on the right flank where it was sent towards the penalty spot by Diaz-Benitez. Ollie Knight had darted into the box, from left to right, and with clever adjustment managed to produce a flick with his left heel that clipped the top left corner of the crossbar.

Cirencester were enjoying a ‘purple patch’ as they put their illustrious visitors on the back foot and Diaz-Benitez, right channel, played a superb curling pass with his left foot between two opponents into the right corner for Difford to chase and collect. Difford laid it back to him as he quickly supported and he crossed to the far post where Knight got his head to it. The header was blocked and fell to Bennett who fired a right footed shot at the target – blocked, rebounded to Liddiard on the centre front edge of the penalty area. Liddiard moved to his right but was fouled before he could get his shot away. Adam Connolly stepped up to take the free kick and drove it just wide of the left post.

The Hawks had survived this pressure and pushed back at Cirencester with Alfie Rutherford having a cross cut-out by Ben Brown followed by a header that was wide of the left post.

Just after the half hour mark Difford embarked on another driving run down the right channel, ‘zig-zagging’ as he went to keep his opponents guessing as to which way he was going but his resultant shot was blocked and cleared downfield. The clearance was flicked-on near the centre spot and cleared the advanced Cirencester back line to land in the path of ALFIE RUTHERFORD as he burst through. Rutherford collected the ball and drove forward with his opponents giving chase. As he entered the home penalty area for a 1 v 1 with Rivers the ‘keeper advanced but Rutherford calmly tucked it inside the left post to open the scoring.  0-1.

 Encouraged Havant pressed forward and as previously mentioned Williams was heavily involved going forward as he crossed a couple of times from the left corner but neither effort was converted.

As the half entered the last ten minutes Rutherford collected the ball after it had bounced over his marker and set off for the home penalty area where Alfie Kilgour came across to force him wide, towards the right flank, and when he did shoot Rivers was able to block.

In the remaining five minutes Cirencester recovered their composure and produced a neat passing move that took them from left to right with Bennett, Connolly, Liddiard and Diaz-Benitez involved but the final ball was too long.

A couple of minutes later Sindri Scheving intercepted a pass on half way and moved the ball down the line to Bennett who returned it to him as he continued to the corner. Once there he was crowded out and the ball lost.

The final attempt at goal for Havant came from Williams as he received the ball near the front left corner of the home penalty area and cut right before firing a right footed shot wide of the far post. 

Determined to go in level at the interval Cirencester pressed forward as Difford cut in from the left flank and shot – deflected for a corner kick from the left. Diaz-Benitez sent the kick to the near post. Another left wing corner kick that reached Brown who flicked it towards goal at the near post but it was defended for a counter attack down the visitors left flank that came to nothing.

Half Time:  0-1

Almost immediately from the re-start the Hawks attacked down their right flank as Brian Stock fed Ben Swallow who entered the home area and fell to ground under pressure but Referee Neil Pratt was unmoved to the stifled appeals from his team-mates.

Cirencester responded with a break down their right flank as Liddiard combined with James Mortimer-Jones to release Difford to the corner. The resulting cross was deflected high into the air and was dropping to the left of centre of the goal forcing Dan Strugnell to head it wide and concede a corner kick from the Cirencester left flank. Diaz-Benitez kick was headed wide of the right post by an under pressure Kilgour.

Havant then worked the ball down the right with Swallow crossing to the back post where Robinson laid it back to Rutherford, sideways to Stock, out to Williams and a cross that was defended.

Cirencester took the game to Havant during the next couple of minutes and Liddiard played a superb pass from half way, right channel, to Knight on the left who drove to the corner but was crowded out.

At this point Cirencester made a double substitution with Robbie James and Ross Langworthy replacing Sindri Scheving and Ollie Knight respectively.

Shortly afterwards Havant were awarded a free kick on their left flank that reached Swallow, near the front edge of the home penalty area, and he fired over the bar.

The home side pressed forward with a series of passes as they worked the ball down the right flank with five players involved but Havant defended and when they countered Cirencester won the ball back and Bennett laid it to Mortimer-Jones, forward to Langworthy who slipped it through and behind the Hawks defence for Difford to chase. Charlie Searle had read the intent and darted out of his goal to reach the ball first and launch it downfield before Difford could collect.

Back came Cirencester as Langworthy and Difford combined again but Havant defended.

On the hour mark Liddiard fed Langworthy who slid it down the left channel for Bennett but just too far ahead for him to collect.

The visitors had been under pressure for the last few minutes but responded with a fierce strike from Rutherford that flew past the far right post from 30 yards, left channel.

As the mid-point of the half approached Liddiard released Langworthy to the left corner where his cross was put out of play for a corner kick from the right. Langworthy played the kick short to Bennett who moved towards his own half before ‘back-heeling’ the ball into the path of Langworthy who crossed from the by-line. Blocked and cleared to Bennett who shot but that too was blocked.

Shortly afterwards Kilgour powerfully headed the ball from half-way towards the left corner where Bennett gave chase and battled with Ryan Woodford for possession. The result was a free kick to Cirencester. Langworthy sent the kick towards the back post where ALFIE KILGOUR made sure by heading home from virtually the goal-line.  1-1.

The response from Havant was almost immediate as Swallow crossed from the by-line, right flank, and Robbie James did extremely well to head clear whilst under considerable pressure.

For the next ten minutes the Cirencester goal was under siege but they withstood the onslaught to mount an attack of their own as Langworthy, Andy Elcock and Liddiard combined to release Bennett who slipped the ball through for Difford to collect, cut left and fire a low left footed shot that Searle managed to push wide of his left post. The resultant corner kick was defended.

Back came Cirencester with a ball over the visitor’s backline for Langworthy to chase but once again Searle had read the danger and dashed out to collect at the front edge of his area.

With two minutes of normal time remaining Jason Prior chased a ball to the by-line, just inside the right side edge of the home penalty area, and back heeled it into the path of Marley Ridge who managed to get a shot away as he was closed down. His effort struck the inside of the left post and out to be cleared.

The visitors were making a determined effort to score a second to end the contest and a minute later Robinson’s shot was deflected for a corner kick that Liddiard headed out. Robinson collected and shot again – this time Brown and Kilgour blocked for Rivers to drop on the loose ball.

Havant & Waterlooville finally scored the goal they had been searching for in the third minute of added-time when a free kick from their left flank reached JASON PRIOR at the back post and he headed inside the right post from four yards. Rivers managed to get a hand to it but not enough to prevent it entering the net and ending Cirencester’s hopes of a replay and possible progress in the competition.  1-2.

Final Score:  1-2.

This was a typical cup-tie – full of passion, endeavour and good football.

A credit to both sides as they ‘went for it’.

Cirencester will be disappointed to lose so late in the game but can reflect on a battling performance as they fought every step of the way and are growing in confidence.

Ben Brown, Alfie Kilgour and Matt Liddiard were prominent throughout ably assisted by their team-mates. 


Attendance:     147

Referee:          Neil Pratt


Cirencester Town:

1.    Harvey Rivers
2.    Kieren Diaz-Benitez
3.    Sindri Scheving
4.    Ben Brown                         
5.    Alfie Kilgour                                              70                               
6.    Matt Liddiard     (C)                                    
7.    James Mortimer-Jones
8.    Adam Connolly                              
9.    Aidan Bennett                                                                      
10.   James Difford                                                     
11.   Ollie Knight                      

12.   Robbie James                               (Sindri Scheving-52mins)
14.   Elijah Chilekwa                            
15.   Andy Elcock                                  (Adam Connolly-77mins)
16.   Ross Langworthy                           (Ollie Knight-52mins)
17.   Kalum Youngsam                                                   


Havant & Waterlooville:

1.    Charlie Searle
2.    Dan Strugnell
3.    Rory Williams
4.    Brian Stock     (C)
5.   Ryan Woodford
6.    Lee Molyneaux
7.    Ben Swallow
8.    Andreas Robinson
9.    Alfie Rutherford                                       32                                           
10.   James Hayter
11.   Wes Fogden

12.   Edward Harris                               (Lee Molyneaux-80mins)
14.   George Barker
15.   Jason Prior                                   (James Hayter-69mins)  90+2
16.   Marley Ridge                                 (Brian Stock-64mins)
17.   Matt Paterson

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