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Evo Stik Southern League 2016/17

Premier Division

 

Redditch United  4 - 1  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  

 

The Centurions travelled to the Midlands in positive mood, following their encouraging performance against League Leaders Leamington last Saturday, to face ‘play-off’ chasing Redditch United but failed to get to grips with the new 3G pitch at The Valley Stadium and conceded three goals in the first half to bring them back down to earth with a bump.

In the week leading up to the match Redditch had recruited Gurjit Singh (ex Hednesford Town) and Dior Angus (ex Stratford Town) in an effort to sustain their drive for the play-off places and prior to the game they sat in 7th place in the Division Table and were in 12th place in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ whilst Cirencester were 19th and 18th respectively.

During the same period Cirencester had recruited Alan Griffin (brother of Manager Charlie) to provide a goal threat and focal point for their attacks but had lost the services of Jamie Chamberlain who had decided to move to Weston-Super-Mare.

The Cirencester Management can only dream of a settled defence at the moment and as in previous matches had to make yet another adjustment to the line-up as Sindri Scheving was unavailable, due to illness, and once again Matt Liddiard moved into the back line alongside Ben Brown and Jack Challis. Despite only having his broken nose ‘realigned’ during the week Kieran Diaz-Benitez made himself available and started on the left flank.

New recruit Alan Griffin started in the central striker role with Ross Langworthy alongside him.

 

The home side kicked-off proceedings on their new pristine 3G pitch on a cold, damp day and immediately took the game to their visitors and as early as the seventh minute opened their account when Matt Liddiard was robbed of the ball on the edge of the centre circle and it was quickly fed to LUKE KEEN who darted forward to the front edge of the Cirencester penalty area before placing a firm right footed shot inside the left post.  1-0.

Four minutes later the hosts were back again as Simeon Cobourne and Gurjit Singh combined to release Max Loveridge who had his effort deflected over the bar. The resultant corner kick from the left produced a goalmouth scramble and another corner kick - this time from the right and after another scramble a goal-kick.

Redditch had started the game strongly and a minute later Keen managed to work an opening for a shot from near the left by-line that Raajan Gill parried away from his goal.

In reply James Mortimer-Jones collected the ball in the left channel, just inside the Redditch half, and sent a diagonal pass towards the right channel front edge of the home sides penalty area where Alan Griffin headed it into the path of a charging Ross Langworthy and on the run he struck a firm half-volley with his right foot that flew over the cross-bar.

The Centurions were beginning to show signs of getting into the game and during the next few minutes mounted several attacks down their right flank - Jack Challis played the ball up to Griffin further down the right flank and facing his own goal Griffin flicked the ball with the outside of his right foot into the path of Langworthy as he darted down the side edge of the home area.  His progress came to a halt as the home sides defence moved across to cut him off – yielding a throw-in to Cirencester that they also defended.     

A minute later the action was at the other end as Danico Johnson fed Keen on the left channel front edge of the Cirencester area and he quickly fired a left footed shot that just went past the far right post.

Cirencester responded with a move involving Griffin and Will Hancox on the right flank as the former ‘back-heeled’ the ball to the latter as he burst down the touchline  to the corner. This was soon followed by a series of passes as the visitors worked the ball from right to left with Griffin, Mortimer-Jones, Adam Connolly and Langworthy involved. Once the ball reached Langworthy on the left side edge of the home area he cut back onto his right before crossing but once again the potential danger was cleared.

As the half hour mark approached Keen made a break down the right channel and when he cut left into the penalty area Gill was quickly out to dive at his feet and block.

Cirencester were pressing in the right corner through Langworthy and Hancox when Redditch won the ball and mounted a flowing move that took them from one end of the pitch to the other as they worked the ball to Loveridge in the right channel of the Cirencester penalty area. As he neared the by-line Loveridge shaped to shoot prompting Gill to cover his near post and a defender to come towards him but instead he squared the ball to the far post where SIMEON COBOURNE was arriving to drive it into the net from inside the 6 yard box.  2-0.   

Five minutes later Cirencester created an opening as Liddiard moved the ball forward to Griffin who slipped it to Langworthy and he in turn laid it into the path of a supporting Mortimer-Jones who drove it towards the bottom right corner of the home goal from 25 yards, right channel, causing Bradley Catlow to scamper across his goalmouth to gather.

Almost immediately Cirencester were back again as Hancox made a break down the right touchline before crossing to Langworthy who laid it into the path of Connolly as he charged forward. Once again Catlow had to make the save low to his left to keep it out.

Cirencester were making a determined effort to open their account during the latter phase of the half but instead they fell further behind when they failed to clear the ball from the edge of their area and GURJIT SINGH pounced to drive the ball through a ruck of players, past an unsighted Raajan Gill, and inside the right post.  3-0.

In added time Hancox made a break down the right and moved it on to Langworthy who slipped it inside to Griffin and on to Connolly as he burst forward. Connolly drove it at the target from 25 yards and Catlow parried his effort and the half was up.

Half Time:  3-0

A few minutes after the interval Cirencester created the first opening of the half as Langworthy cut left at the front right corner edge of the home penalty area and struck a fierce left footed shot that Catlow parried out of play for a corner kick on the right. The corner kick was easily defended however.

A minute later Redditch scored their fourth as a misunderstanding between two Cirencester players on their by-line provided an opportunity for Jordan Jones to move along the by-line unhindered before passing to the front edge of the 6 yard box where GURJIT SINGH was lurking to finish.  4-0.

With nothing to lose Cirencester pushed forward hoping to open their account and as the hour approached they were awarded a free kick that Griffin fired into the wall and Connolly collected the rebound, danced past a couple of would-be challenges before driving his left footed shot narrowly wide of the left post.  

Midway into the half Singh burst through in the left channel of the penalty area and shot but Gill was positioned to divert it over his cross-bar.

With ten minutes of normal time remaining a long ball down the centre of the pitch caused the home defence some problems and ALAN GRIFFIN latched onto it on the centre front edge of the home penalty area and struck a fierce left footed shot that clipped the underside of the crossbar on its way into the back of the net for a goal on his debut.  4-1.  

Encouraged Cirencester pressed forward and when the ball was worked from left to right it reached Connolly in the right channel and he fired over the bar from 25 yards.

Three minutes later Griffin collected the ball in a similar position and his effort was saved low down by Catlow at his left post.

Matt Liddiard played a ball from the right channel towards the left corner for Aidan Bennett but Jones got his head to it and it dropped to Griffin who shot wide of the left post.

Moments later the final whistle was blown.

Final Score:  4-1.

Cirencester struggled to get to grips with the 3G pitch and this enabled the home side to dominate much of the first half but despite being 3-0 down at the interval they gave it a go in the second half.

At the moment the side is being punished when mistakes are made but great character and determination is shown to fight back.

A settled back line would undoubtedly assist the defensive understanding in future matches.

Debutant Alan Griffin was heavily involved in the forward action linking play and having a few pots at goal himself – taking his goal well when the opportunity presented itself.

 

Attendance:     218

Referee:          Jon Kenny


Redditch United:

 1.  Bradley Catlow
 2.  Jordan Jones
 3.  Nat Kelly
 4.  Max Loveridge
 5.  Duane Courtney     (C)
 6.  Jordan Cullinane-Liburd
 7.  Simeon Cobourne                                        34
 8.  Ahmed Ali
 9.  Luke Keen                                                   7
10.  Gurjit Singh                                               43,53
11.  Danico Johnson

12.  Dior Angus                                     (Danico Johnson-57mins)
14.  Darren Byfield
15.  Liam Spink                                     (Ahmed Ali-76mins)
16.  Jordan Brown                                 (Duane Courtney-68mins)




Cirencester Town:

 1.   Raajan Gill
 2.   Kieran Diaz-Benitez
 3.   Jack Challis
 4.   Matt Liddiard     (C)
 5.   Ben Brown
 6.   Henry Spalding
 7.   James Mortimer-Jones
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin                                              80
10.  Ross Langworthy
11.  Will Hancox                                              

12.  Aidan Bennett                                (Will Hancox-55mins)
14.  Max Lloyd                                      (Henry Spalding-64mins)
16.  Robbie James
17.  Ka’lum Youngsam                           (Ross Langworthy-63mins)

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