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Evo Stik Southern League 2016/17

Premier Division

 

Dunstable Town  1 - 1  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  

 

Cirencester stretched their unbeaten run to four games when a very late penalty kick was converted to earn a point at Dunstable Town in an eventful match that had three penalty kicks and two Red Cards.

 

The destination for the latest league match was Bedfordshire to face Dunstable Town who prior to the game sat in 15th place in the Premier Division table, seven places above Cirencester, and who are in a similar run of form with 4 points from their last 6 games whilst Cirencester have obtained 5 from the 18 available.

There was only one change to the Cirencester starting eleven that has secured a win and two draws in their last three matches as Ben Brown replaced Kieran Diaz-Benitez who suffered a knock against St. Ives.

 

Dunstable kicked off and almost immediately it was Cirencester, with the wind behind them, that launched the first attack as Matt Liddiard burst down the left channel before being unceremoniously stopped in his tracks leading to an early free kick that was comfortably defended.

‘The Centurions’ took the initiative with Kerry Morgan prominent as he darted down the left flank and put in a dangerous cross that resulted in a corner kick from the right. Morgan took the kick and sent it to the back post where Gethin Jones volleyed wide of the left post.  

The busy Morgan then fired a couple of long range efforts wide of the target.

Whilst Cirencester had started well their hosts began to release Nathan Olukanmi who showed his pace as he drove down their right flank. He reached the by-line and worked along it before sending a low cross through the Cirencester 6 yard box to Shane Bush who saw his effort blocked and cleared by Jones.

Olukanmi then burst from the centre circle to the front edge of the Cirencester penalty area and this time his shot was initially parried by Glyn Garner and then picked up.

Shortly afterwards Cirencester were awarded a penalty kick for handball. Alan Griffin struck the kick firmly towards the bottom left corner where Jack Smith made a very good save to deny the striker.

During the next ten minutes or so both sides pressed but it was Dunstable who opened the scoring on the half hour when Zack Reynolds, on the right flank, slipped the ball to Danny Talbot, right channel, and he played it forward to the right front edge of the Cirencester penalty area. The dangerous NATHAN OLUKANMI darted behind the visitors back line to collect and cleverly chipped it over the advancing Garner and under the cross-bar.  1-0.

Undeterred Cirencester pressed forward and produced some neat play involving several players as they worked the ball down their left flank but Dunstable stood firm and countered with quick breaks with both Olukanmi and Vences Bola involved. The latter reached the right by-line and as he cut in Gethin Jones produced a terrific, well-timed challenge in the box to stop him.

The final penalty area action of the half came as the ball reached Griffin, right channel, who fired an instant shot over the bar on the turn.   

Half Time:  1-1

Almost immediately after the interval Cirencester were back on the attack as Dan Demkiv carried the ball to the right corner and crossed leading to a corner kick that quickly led to another that the home side survived.

Minutes later Matt Liddiard charged down the right channel before moving left and slipping the ball to Demkiv. The wide-man pushed forward into the left channel of the penalty area and fired a shot that cannoned off the top right corner of the home cross-bar and out.

Five minutes later Aidan Bennett tackled Shane Bush on the Cirencester left touch-line and the home player took exception to the challenge and reacted strongly leading to a melee as players charged in to support their respective team-mate. After a discussion with his Assistant the Referee, Bhupinder Gill, called Bennett and Bush over and issued a Yellow Card to them both. He then presented a further Yellow Card to Bola for his involvement in the melee.

Just after the hour Reynolds made a break down the left channel and slipped the ball to Bola on the left touchline who cut back and crossed to the far post for an incoming Olukanmi but his effort was blocked and cleared.

At the mid-point of the half Henry Spalding replaced Dan Demkiv and took a position at left back enabling Aidan Bennett to move alongside Alan Griffin and almost immediately Spalding fed Griffin in the left channel of the area for the striker to shoot wide of the right post.

Half an hour into the half Bola sent a low cross from the left through the 6 yard box but as Olukanmi looked to collect Jones arrived to clear the danger.

Cirencester began to increase the pressure on the home side and with ten minutes remaining brought Lewis Thompson, a new signing from Swindon Supermarine, on to work alongside Griffin and as a result Aidan Bennett dropped to right back in place of the departing Ben Brown.

A couple of minutes later Griffin was knocked over in the box and appeared aggrieved that there was no penalty kick awarded.

With two minutes of normal time remaining a long ball from the right to the centre front edge of the Cirencester penalty area was collected by substitute Kelvin Bossman and as he entered the area he shaped to shoot and Bennett attempted to block. The home player did not make a clean connection with the ball and fell to ground under the challenge and the Referee pointed to the penalty spot. He then awarded a second Yellow Card, quickly followed by a Red Card to Bennett. Danny Talbot stepped up to take the kick and drove it with his left foot against the right post where it rebounded and was cleared.   

With nothing to lose Cirencester pushed forward and in ‘added-time’ Spalding fed Morgan in the left channel of the home area. Morgan carried the ball to the by-line and crossed towards the back post and the waiting Griffin. As Griffin lined up his header he was pushed and Referee Gill immediately pointed to the spot. The culprit, Gedeon Okita, was promptly shown a straight Red Card.  

KERRY MORGAN drove the spot kick firmly down the centre to level the score.  1-1.

Two minutes later it was all over with honours even.

Full Time:  1-1

It was not the most entertaining game in terms of football quality, partly due to the wind that made control, weight and direction of pass difficult but it was certainly full of incident.

Cirencester showed tremendous character and stuck to their task to stretch their unbeaten run to four games.

Gethin Jones was outstanding in defence and even managed a couple of driving runs down the centre of the pitch.

 

Attendance:     94

Referee:          Bhupinder Gill

 

Dunstable Town:

 1.  Jack Smith
 2.  Zack Reynolds
 3.  Gedeon Okita
 4.  Danny Talbot
 5.  Bradley Hewitt
 6.  Adam Pepera     (C)
 7.  Nathan Olukanmi                                        30
 8.  David Long-King
 9.  Vences Bola
10.  Shane Bush
11.  Jack Green

12.  Adam Moussi                                  (Vences Bola-83mins)
14.  Jordan Odofin
15.  Sam Baffour
16.  Kelvin Bossman                               (Jack Green-70mins)
17.  Max Risby

 

Cirencester Town:

 1.   Glyn Garner
 2.   Ben Brown
 3.   Aidan Bennett
 4.   James Mortimer-Jones
 5.   Gethin Jones
 6.   Matt Coupe           
 7.   Matt Liddiard     (C)
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin
10.   Dan Demkiv
11.   Kerry Morgan                                            90+4p  

12.  Henry Spalding                              (Dan Demkiv-66mins)                           
14.  Kieran Diaz-Benitez
15.  Lewis Thompson                            (Ben Brown-79mins)
16.  Ryan Elliott
17.  Charlie Griffin 

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