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Evo Stik Southern League 2016/17

Premier Division

 

Slough Town  0 - 2  Cirencester Town

 

Click  photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  

 

Cirencester travelled to Slough for this Bank Holiday fixture determined to improve on last Saturday’s performance against Cambridge City and managed to bring back the points on offer despite intense pressure from their ‘high-flying’ hosts.

Prior to the match ‘The Rebels’ were in 4th place in the Premier Division table and 9th place in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table (Cirencester were 23rd and 20th respectively). Much of the Slough success has been built on their impressive home form with six successive victories on their new 3G pitch at their superb new home, Arbour Park.

The Cirencester starting eleven had a few changes from that which took to the pitch against Cambridge City as Kieren Diaz-Benitez had not recovered from the injury he sustained in that match and his place was taken by the patient Ryan Elliott who has waited for some time for his opportunity. Matt Liddiard was unavailable so Ben Brown moved to centre back to cover for his absence and Ellis Dunton returned at left back following completion of his one-match suspension.

The continued absence of Aidan Bennett (serving the 3rd of his 4 match suspension in this match) resulted in Manager Charlie Griffin promoting the Development Team’s prolific goal-scorer, Danny Gudger, to the starting eleven.


Cirencester kicked-off in perfect conditions on the 3G pitch, in what will be an impressive stadium at this level once work is completed on the main stand, but it was Slough that had the first pot at goal as Chris Flood tried his luck from 25 yards. Glyn Garner comfortably gathered the effort low to his right. 

The response from the visitors was immediate as Kerry Morgan took the ball to the left corner and crossed to the back post where Dan Demkiv was making a determined run to get on the end of it but in his eagerness he was adjudged to have fouled his opponent and a free kick was awarded to the home side.

Encouraged Cirencester pressed again a few minutes later down the right flank resulting in a back-pass to ‘keeper Shaun Rowley who got the ball stuck under his feet as Danny Gudger closed in on him. The ‘keeper managed to get the ball away but continued pressure produced the first corner kick of the match to Cirencester from the right but the visitors failed to capitalise.

The lively Gavin James received a pass on the right front corner of the Cirencester penalty area and sent a low cross towards the penalty spot that Ben Brown managed to clear for a throw-in. It was quickly fed back in to the area and Glyn Garner had to be alert - diving at the feet of James before he could get his shot away.

The game was being played at a frantic pace and after blocking a couple of Cirencester crosses in quick succession the home side attacked through Flood as he dribbled into the penalty area. Matt Coupe came across and stopped his progress, conceding a corner kick in the process. When the kick was delivered Coupe’s view was obscured and the ball struck him full in the face leading to a second corner kick. This in turn led to a third corner kick, this time from the left, which was cleared by Alan Griffin amid loud appeals for handball from the home support behind the goal. The Referee was unmoved and signalled for play to continue.

Cirencester responded with a couple of attacks down their left flank through Morgan and Ellis Dunton who headed a Coupe free kick towards the home penalty spot but the danger was cleared.

At the mid-point of the half Ryan Elliott came to the fore as he cut out a cross from the Slough right as James Dobson was lining up his shot and shortly afterwards delayed the charge of James as he cut in from the left. Eventually winning the ball and clearing the threat.

On the half hour the Cirencester defence reacted calmly to another Slough attack as Brown won the ball and worked it forward via Morgan and Griffin to a charging Demkiv.

During the next ten minutes Dobson fired a free kick over the Cirencester cross-bar and James had a shot deflected wide of the left post leading to a couple of corner kicks whilst Cirencester also had a corner kick and a strong run from Dunton, down the left channel, after he had won the ball in a firm challenge.

Back came Slough as Nathan Webb received the ball in the right corner and slipped it inside to James to set up Dobson who fired over the cross-bar.

As the half was drawing to a close Cirencester worked the ball down their right flank with Danny Gudger, James Mortimer-Jones and Demkiv combining for the latter to shoot at the target but it was intercepted en-route.

The final goal-mouth action of the half came as a result of a long ball down the right channel by Brown that was collected by Gudger just inside the home penalty area. The striker moved forward for a 1v1 with Rowley and the ‘keeper stood his ground and managed to block Gudger’s shot with the ball rebounding to the ‘keeper’s right. Gudger tried to collect the rebound but it wouldn’t sit down and was cleared out of the area by a defender leading to a free kick on the Cirencester left flank. Morgan sent the kick to the front edge off the 6 yard box where Griffin competed with Rowley as he attempted to make the catch. A free kick was awarded to Rowley and the danger was over. 

Half Time:  0-0

Despite plenty of effort neither side had managed to break through in the first half but within two minutes of the re-start it all changed as Kerry Morgan latched onto a Slough clearance and slipped the ball to DANNY GUDGER, just inside the home penalty area – left channel. The striker exhibited great composure as he evaded the covering defender’s challenge to find himself facing a rapidly closing ‘keeper. He moved left towards the by-line and clipped a low left footed shot inside the far right post to score his first senior goal.  0-1.

Five minutes later DANNY GUDGER scored again as he latched onto a long ball down the centre, near the front edge of the home penalty area, took a touch, turned, and without showing his intention to Rowley poked it inside the bottom left corner before the ‘keeper could set himself.  0-2.

Within minutes the Slough management introduced Lewis Putman in place of Nathan Webb to increase their goal threat and they pushed forward putting the Cirencester defence under increasing pressure with the result that the visiting defence was forced back towards the front edge of their penalty area.

As Slough threw everything but the kitchen sink at them Cirencester, as a team, dropped deeper and deeper in an effort to keep their hosts at bay and hang on to what they had.

Cirencester restricted the home side to shots from distance (or under pressure) or crosses that Garner was able to save or catch comfortably and managed a few counter attacks of their own.

As the game entered the final ten minutes the visitors worked the ball down their right flank where Adam Connolly slipped it inside to Demkiv who sent a low shot from the front corner of the home penalty area that Rowley collected moving to his right.  

Into the last five minutes and Cirencester worked the ball to the left corner where they kept possession for a while but as the game drew to a close Slough’s Simon Dunn fired over the bar from 25 yards, left channel, and they were wide of the target with late headers.

Full Time:  0-2

It is fair to say that Slough looked dangerous in the first half whilst Cirencester did pose a threat but after Danny Gudger scored his two quick goals it was ‘backs-to-the-wall’ defending with everyone playing their part for Cirencester in a determined performance that gives them some hope of avoiding relegation to the South & West Division at the end of the season. 

Of the two players making their League debuts for the season:-

Danny Gudger took his goals well to open his account for the Senior Team - as befits a confident, ‘in-form’ striker who has scored 32 goals for the Development Team this season.

Ryan Elliott played his part defending soundly to contribute to the defensive clean sheet after having waited patiently for his opportunity.

An excellent if somewhat unexpected result.

 

Attendance:     780

Referee:          Alex Blake

 

Slough Town:

 1.  Shaun Rowley
 2.  Sean Fraser     (C)
 3.  Paul Stonehouse
 4.  Nathan Smart
 5.  Mark Nesbit
 6.  Lee Togwell
 7.  James Dobson
 8.  Simon Dunn
 9.  Gavin James
10.  Chris Flood
11.  Nathan Webb

12.  Josh Jackman                               
14.  Jesse Wilson
15.  Lewis Putman                                (Nathan Webb-54mins)
16.  Liam Enver-Marum                         (Gavin James-73mins)              
18.  Callam Bunting                              (Nathan Smart-77mins)

 

Cirencester Town:

 1.   Glyn Garner
 2.   Ryan Elliott
 3.   Ellis Dunton
 4.   James Mortimer-Jones     (C)
 5.   Ben Brown
 6.   Matt Coupe           
 7.   Kerry Morgan
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin
10.   Danny Gudger                                            47, 52
11.   Dan Demkiv           

12.   Henry Spalding                            (Kerry Morgan-66mins)
14.   Lewis Thompson                          (Danny Gudger-92mins)
15.   Charlie Griffin                              (Alan Griffin-75mins)
16.   Robbie James                               
17.   Scott Rose  (GK)

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