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Evo Stik Southern League 2016/17

Premier Division

 

Cirencester Town   3 – 0   Weymouth

Click  photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

 

In the second of their Easter Bank Holiday fixtures, this time at The Corinium Stadium, Cirencester faced Weymouth who inflicted a 4-0 defeat on The Centurions in the reverse fixture in January. 

Prior to this match ‘The Terras’ sat in 10th place in the Premier Division table and 5th place in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table having secured 12 points of the 18 available and being unbeaten during this period.  Cirencester were 23rd and 13th respectively. 

Following their successful trip to ‘high-flying’ Slough Town on Friday the Cirencester starting eleven only had one change with Matt Liddiard replacing Matt Coupe who was unavailable.

This match was a ‘must-win’ if Cirencester were to have any chance of staying in the Premier Division next season - due to the results on Saturday for the teams around them at the bottom end of the table being unfavourable.

 

In perfect conditions Cirencester kicked off playing towards the Arena end of the ground and almost immediately took the game to their visitors as Glyn Garner sent a free kick to the left corner for Ellis Dunton to head into the Weymouth penalty area resulting in a corner kick. The visitors defended this kick but Cirencester collected the clearance and attacked the right flank through Matt Liddiard and Dan Demkiv in the corner resulting in a throw-in to Cirencester that was defended.

A few minutes later Cirencester opened their account as Kerry Morgan won a challenge on the Cirencester left flank and charged to the by-line. Once there he crossed to the centre front edge of the 6 yard box where DANNY GUDGER arrived to finish.  1-0

During the next couple of minutes Cirencester created chances for James Mortimer-Jones and Gudger as the former fired over the cross-bar and the latter’s heavy touch enabled ‘keeper Nick Thomas to collect. Gudger was soon back again as he was released to down the right channel to the front right corner of the 6 yard box where under pressure he fired just over the bar.

In between the visitors created a couple of chances as Ben Thompson shot wide of the left post and headed over the bar.

As the mid-point of the half approached Weymouth were beginning to settle and starting to have more of the ball without really threatening the home defence whilst Cirencester were looking dangerous as they broke quickly through Demkiv and Morgan.

Weymouth worked the ball down their right flank before crossing to the left channel of the home penalty area where Dom Panesar-Dower clipped it to front edge of the 6 yard box. Ellis Dunton headed clear but it was gathered by Mark Cooper, right front corner of the penalty area, who attempted an ambitious left footed volley that passed well wide of the left post. 

The visitors continued to move the ball around and switch play but the work-rate of the Cirencester team ensured Glyn Garner was not troubled.

As the interval approached Jake Wannell conceded a corner kick when his back-pass from near half way was well wide of Thomas providing Cirencester with another opportunity as Morgan sent the kick to the back post where Dunton’s firm header was parried by Thomas at full stretch. The ball dropped into the area in front of the 6 yard box where a couple of blocks kept it out of the goal. Once cleared it fell to Ryan Elliott who promptly sent it back into the penalty area where Dunton ‘chested’ it to Adam Connolly. As Connolly shaped to shoot he was knocked to ground in a strong challenge but nothing was given by the well placed Referee and play continued as Weymouth broke down their left flank.  

Cirencester pressed during the last couple of minutes with Elliott feeding Alan Griffin who flicked the ball into the path of an overlapping Demkiv as he sped to the right corner before crossing. His cross was blocked resulting in a corner kick that was defended by the visitors.

Would Cirencester regret not scoring more goals from the chances they had created when they defended the slope in the second half?    

Half Time:  1-0

During the break Weymouth replaced defender Jake Wannell with the well travelled striker Stuart Fleetwood and he was immediately involved in the action as he sent a free kick from the right channel, 25 yards out, to the far post for Thompson to head towards goal but Garner was in position to make the catch at his right post.  

Play became scrappy as the two sides vied for control.

Just after the hour mark Fleetwood collected the ball in the left channel and sent it dangerously through the front edge of the 6 yard box where a covering Morgan made a vital interception and clearance.

Minutes later a Cirencester cross-field pass was blocked by the Referee enabling Weymouth to drive forward – winning a free kick 2 yards outside the home penalty area. The defensive wall did its job as Griffin bravely stuck his head in the way to clear it.

As the mid-point of the half approached Garner sent a free kick up to Griffin who challenged and the ball fell to Gudger who attempted to collect but was knocked over. A strong appeal followed but was ignored by the Referee who was again in a good position. 

Minutes later Henry Spalding took a free kick in front of the home dugout and curled it with his left foot to the far left post where Griffin leapt to challenge. The ball dropped towards the centre front edge of the 6 yard box where ELLIS DUNTON provided the finish with a right footed volley.  2-0.

Six minutes later the lead was three as Dan Demkiv sent a 30 yard cross-field pass from the right to the left channel front edge of the Weymouth penalty area. The ball passed beyond an advanced Nick Thomas enabling DANNY GUDGER to collect and calmly slide it under the closing ‘keeper with his left foot.  3-0.

Into the last fifteen minutes and Weymouth attacked down their left flank, sending a cross into the box where Dunton, under pressure, headed out to concede a corner kick that was headed wide of the target.

A minute later another Garner free kick was met by the head of Griffin who flicked it on to Spalding as he broke into the visitor’s box. Spalding was prevented from collecting and once again the Referee was in position to award a penalty kick. Danny Gudger stepped forward to take it and struck it towards the bottom left corner but Thomas had read his intention and made the save to deny him his hat-trick.

After this reprieve Weymouth pushed forward again moving the ball from left to right and when the shot was finally attempted it struck a leaping Mortimer-Jones’s arm who was only a couple of feet away. A free kick was awarded near the right channel front edge of the home penalty area and Charlie Davis subsequently fired it towards the left post where it was deflected wide for a corner kick that Dunton headed out for one from the right.

With a minute of normal time remaining Kieren Diaz-Benitez sent a diagonal pass from halfway to Spalding, left of centre front edge of the Weymouth area, and his attempted header into the path of Griffin was comfortably gathered by Thomas.

In added-time Weymouth pressed and put the home defence under pressure but they were not to be denied their clean sheet although Charlie Davis came close when he clipped the outside of the right post from 25 yards.

Full Time:  3-0 

Cirencester produced a determined, resolute performance in a ‘must-win’ home encounter with Weymouth to keep their hopes of playing in the Premier Division next season alive.

Once again every member of the squad contributed as they all worked hard to ensure a positive result was obtained.

The writer would also like to commend the Referee, Andrew Sheppard, who was always near the action and decisive – one of the best we have seen this season.

 

Attendance:     213

Referee:          Andrew Sheppard

 

Cirencester Town:

 1.   Glyn Garner
 2.   Ryan Elliott
 3.   Ellis Dunton                                               69
 4.   James Mortimer-Jones
 5.   Ben Brown
 6.   Matt Liddiard     (C)         
 7.   Kerry Morgan
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin
10.   Danny Gudger                                            4, 75
11.   Dan Demkiv           

12.   Henry Spalding                             (Kerry Morgan-62mins)
14.   Charlie Griffin
15.   Robbie James                               (Danny Gudger-87mins)
16.   Kieren Diaz-Benitez                       (Dan Demkiv-76mins)   
17.   Scott Rose  (GK)

  

Weymouth:

 1.  Nick Thomas
 2.  Mark Cooper     (C)
 3.  Tiago Sa
 4.  Dean Evans
 5.  Jake Wannell
 6.  Ashley Wells
 7.  Calvin Brooks
 8.  Billy Lowes
 9.  Aaron Rodriguez
10.  Ben Thompson
11.  Dom Panesar-Dower

12.  Charlie Davis                                  (Billy Lowes-72mins)                            
14.  Stuart Fleetwood                           (Jake Wannell-46mins)
15.  Sean Stewart                                 (Dom Panesar-Dower-62mins)
16.  Mark Molesley      

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