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Evo Stik Southern League 2016/17

Premier Division

Biggleswade Town  6 - 0  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


Cirencester travelled to Bedfordshire to face Biggleswade Town in this Southern League Premier Division fixture and suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of The Waders despite the valiant efforts of new goal-keeper Raajan Gill. The quality of the keeper’s performance was recognised by the home support as they applauded him from the pitch at the end of the game.

Prior to this match both sides had obtained 7 points from their last 6 matches but Biggleswade had only lost one of these games. In terms of league position Biggleswade were 15th and Cirencester 20th in the Premier Division table.

After his superb performance in the midweek friendly fixture against Forest Green Rovers the Cirencester Management Team signed Raajan Gill (Goal-Keeper) along with Henry Spalding (Midfield) and both players made their debuts in this match.

Robbie James had strained his groin in the midweek match and was rested with Sam Hunt returning on the left of a three man back-line. Matt Liddiard moved across from the left to the right flank with Ben Brown in the middle.

The midfield consisted of Kieren Diaz-Benitez, James Mortimer-Jones, Adam Connolly, Henry Spalding and Ollie Knight with Aidan Bennett and Ross Langworthy up front.

Biggleswade kicked off proceedings and four minutes into the game Raajan Gill had to be alert to sprint out of his area to thwart a through ball that Rhys Hoenes was chasing down.

Cirencester replied with a counter attack down their left flank that resulted in an Ollie Knight cross from the corner that was cut out.

The Centurions were showing signs of settling into the game as they worked the ball down both flanks with Ross Langworthy making himself available to link play. 

Eight minutes into the half a move involving Sam Hunt, Knight and Aidan Bennett created an opportunity for Bennett to shoot but his effort, from the left channel front edge of the home penalty area, was blocked.

Three minutes later the lively Hoenes crossed from the right and Matt Liddiard's covering header resulted in a corner kick that Gavin Hoyte headed down, from the front edge of the 6 yard box, and it looked destined for the bottom left corner until Gill produced an amazing reflex save to stop it near the line and flick it out.

Shortly afterwards Kieren Diaz-Benitez was injured in a tackle on halfway and sustained a suspected broken nose and was replaced by Kalum Youngsam. Ross Langworthy moved to midfield to enable him to play in his customary forward position.

As the mid-point of the half approached Biggleswade's Tony Burnett laid the ball back to Craig Daniel and he struck a powerful shot from just outside the front edge of the area, right channel, that Ben Brown bravely blocked with his body resulting in a corner kick. The kick was sent to the area between penalty spot and 6 yard box and bobbed about as both sides tried to get a good head on it. Eventually TONY BURNETT managed to head the ball downwards and towards the goal from about 4 yards out and had a stroke of luck as it passed through the legs of a defender on the line.  1-0.  

Cirencester responded with an attack that won them a corner kick on the left and when it was cleared it was collected by James Mortimer-Jones, right channel – 25 yards out, and he lobbed it back in - over the advancing defence – for Kalum Youngsam to volley into the arms of a grateful ‘keeper from left of the penalty spot.

Shortly afterwards Youngsam sent a deep cross to the far post but just too far ahead of Bennett.

The visitors were pressing the home defence and another attempted clearance looked to be clearing the head of Sam Hunt on half way but with great skill he turned as it dropped and pulled it out of the air and played it down the left flank. Youngsam collected the pass and laid it off to Adam Connolly who struck a fierce low drive from 25 yards, left channel, that ‘fizzed’ narrowly wide of the left post.

Biggleswade had survived the pressure and worked the ball down their left touchline and across the front edge of the Cirencester box before laying it off to Craig Daniel who shot wide of the right post.

Shortly afterwards Hoenes crossed from the right flank for Inih Effiong to head powerfully towards goal from the centre front edge of the 6 yard box and once again Gill produced a superb point blank reflex save to push it over the bar. The resulting corner kick on the left flank led to a run from Hoenes along the by-line, evading challenges en-route, and as he neared the near post he released the ball for TONY BURNETT to poke home from about 2 yards.  2-0.

Once again Cirencester pushed forward with Ollie Knight prominent as he completed many crosses from the left flank and Ross Langworthy got on the end of two of them in the right channel of the home penalty area and volleyed the first wide of the target whilst the second was deflected wide.

With five minutes of the half remaining Hoenes played a ball into the right corner for an overlapping Callum Lewis to collect and cross for Effiong to head – Gill pushed his header against the bar and a follow-up attempt from Burnett was blocked and cleared for a Cirencester counter attack down their right flank.

As the half drew to a close Cirencester were pressing down their left flank with Bennett supplying the ball to Connolly for another shot from 25 yards that Brown caught near his right post.

Half Time:  2-0

Cirencester started the second half quickly as they worked the ball from left to right for the first couple of minutes but when the home side won the ball they broke very quickly down their right channel with the speedy Hoenes carrying the ball forward before slipping it to Effiong on the left channel front edge of the Cirencester penalty area. Effiong cut right and sent a right foot curler towards the top right corner where Gill pushed it over to concede a corner kick.

Four minutes later Langworthy released Youngsam to the right corner and he won a corner kick that Sam Hunt sent through the area – surprisingly without contact from anyone. Henry Spalding collected it and sent it back into the box – resulting in another corner kick but this time a foul was committed and a free kick awarded to Biggleswade.

Back came Cirencester as they worked the ball down the left flank with Mortimer-Jones and Hunt combining before switching play to the right as Matt Liddiard advanced. He played the ball forward for Langworthy to cross first time and it was cleared to the Cirencester left flank where Connolly fired his shot over the bar.

Cirencester continued to press in search of an opening goal but Biggleswade stood firm – launching a counter attack just after the hour that once again brought a fine save from Gill as he blocked a firm shot from Effiong after Lucas Perry had slipped the ball to him.

A couple of minutes later a free kick from the home side’s right flank found the head of Connor Hall, near the penalty spot, but Gill managed to push it over his bar.

Within minutes the action was at the other end of the pitch as Spalding fired a low drive at the target that required a good save from Brown to keep it out.

Midway through the half the home side increased their lead with a goal of simplicity as a clearance was collected near the half way line and quickly fed down their right channel for INIH EFFIONG to latch onto. The tall striker collected the ball and struck a fierce shot from just inside the area that flew inside the left post.  3-0

Four minutes later Biggleswade attacked down their left flank and when Gill saved from Hoenes it broke to Effiong, left side edge of the 6 yard box, and his shot was pushed over the bar by Gill.

Despite being 3 goals down Cirencester continued to push forward and a Bennett cross from the right corner was volleyed wide of the left post by Knight at the back post.

Cirencester continued to press but Biggleswade countered with a quick break as Hoenes carried the ball down their right channel and into the box with Liddiard in hot pursuit. Liddiard attempted a block and the home player fell to ground with the referee awarding a penalty kick and a Yellow Card against the defender.  TONY BURNETT stepped up and calmly tucked the kick inside the right post to complete his hat-trick as Gill dived to his right.  4-0

Three minutes later the home side increased their lead as they won the ball in the right corner and crossed to the centre front edge of the Cirencester 6 yard box and this time CONNOR HALL put the ball in the back of the net.  5-0.

With four minutes of normal time remaining TONY BURNETT completed the scoring when a shot rebounded to him just outside the Cirencester penalty area, left channel, and with Gill unsighted he curled the ball inside the far right post.  6-0.

Final Score:  6-0.

Whilst this was a comprehensive victory for Biggleswade in terms of goals scored it has to be said that Cirencester competed valiantly and played some good football but were unable to break through a solid home defence.

New goal-keeper, Raajan Gill, had a superb debut (despite the score-line) and but for him the home side could have scored another half dozen. Such was his performance the Biggleswade fans generously showed their appreciation by applauding him as he left the pitch.

Henry Spalding also made a solid debut and showed some quick feet and good link-up play.


Attendance:     132

Referee:          Tom Bishop

Biggleswade Town:

 1.  Ian Brown
 2.  Callum Lewis
 3.  Lucas Perry
 4.  Connor Hall                                             82
 5.  Russell Short
 6.  Gavin Hoyte
 7.  Craig Daniel
 8.  Jordan Patrick
 9.  Inih Effiong                                               67
10.  Tony Burnett                                            20,34,79p,86
11.  Rhys Hoenes

12.  Harry Norman                                (Callum Lewis-80mins)
14.  Evan Key                                      (Jordan Patrick-74mins)
15.  Conrad Lucan                                (Tony Burnett-87mins)
16.  Luca Stalham
17.  Sam Gibson

Cirencester Town:

 1.   Raajan Gill
 2.   Kieran Diaz-Benitez
 3.   Sam Hunt
 4.   Matt Liddiard     (C)
 5.   Ben Brown
 6.   Henry Spalding
 7.   James Mortimer-Jones
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Aidan Bennett
10.  Ross Langworthy
11.  Ollie Knight                                               

12.  Ka’lum Youngsam                           (Kieren D-Benitez-16mins)
14.  Max Lloyd                                      (Aidan Bennett-83mins)
15.  Robbie James
16.  Charlie Griffin

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