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Pre-Season Friendly

Bradford Town   5 – 2   Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


Cirencester travelled to Bradford-on-Avon for their first pre-season friendly of the 2017-18 Season with a number of potential new recruits to face a team that finished in 5th place in the Western League Premier Division last season.  

In blisteringly hot conditions that required a ‘drinks break’ mid-way through each half the teams put on an entertainingly open, end-to-end display but inevitably tired during the latter stages.

The starting eleven for Cirencester contained seven new faces in a 3-5-2 formation – Matt Wieczorek (goal), Jordan Stoddart and Mason Lewis (defence), Jack Watts, Jack Horrell, Felipe Barcelos (midfield) and Ben Whitehead (forward) – and whilst their hosts created the first opening (comfortably saved by Matt Wieczorek) Cirencester had the better opportunities during the first period with Ben Whitehead and Jack Watts lively.   

After the ‘drinks break’ the home side fired a couple of shots over the Cirencester cross-bar but it was the visitors who opened the scoring after half an hour when Whitehead chased a ball to the left corner and won a corner kick. Felipe Barcelos delivered the kick to the far corner of the penalty area where Ellis Dunton headed to the right front corner of the 6 yard box for ALAN GRIFFIN to collect, turn and drive into the back of the net. 0-1.

Seven minutes later Cirencester doubled their tally after some neat defensive work by Jordan Stoddart enabled him to move the ball on to Adam Connolly who sent a terrific 40 yard pass from the centre circle to the right corner for Watts to collect. The winger won a throw which reached the feet of Griffin on the near side edge of the home 6 yard box and spotting BEN WHITEHEAD darting forward Griffin ‘back-heeled’ the ball into his path and Whitehead made no mistake to finish inside the right post. 0-2.

The home side reacted positively and attacked down their left flank before switching play to the right where Mason Lewis was required to make a brave block to clear the danger.

A couple of minutes before the half-time interval Bradford opened their account as Dan Cottle darted to the by-line to collect the ball and pull it back for MARTIN LENIHAN to shoot inside the right post from left of the penalty spot.  1-2.

Half Time:  1-2

During the interval Cirencester made some changes to their personnel and changed to a 4-4-2 formation with Ryan Elliott coming on at right back , Ellis Dunton moving alongside Jordan Stoddart, James Mortimer-Jones replacing Adam Connolly , Darnell Sinclair replacing Henry Spalding and Felipe Barcelos moving alongside Ben Whitehead.

The home side started very quickly and one of their replacements, Sam Jordan, was denied by Wieczorek in a 1 v 1 before shooting wide after a neat turn in the first three minutes.

The lively SAM JORDAN levelled the score seven minutes into the half from the front edge of the 6 yard box as Cirencester were slow to settle.  2-2.   

Two minutes later Bradford took the lead after Cirencester gave the ball away near the centre circle and it was quickly fed to WILL HAILSTON who fired inside the right post from the edge of the area.  3-2.

In reply Whitehead clipped the ball to Barcelos in the right channel of the home penalty area who cut back and fired a left footed shot that was blocked by the ‘keeper, rebounding back to Barcelos who had another go, blocked and rebounded to Whitehead who shot low towards the left post – saved by the ‘keeper.

A couple of minutes later Whitehead was denied again as his free kick from 22 yards struck the cross-bar.

Just before the second ‘drinks break’ Jack Watts made a strong run down the left channel before moving the ball on to Whitehead who slipped it right to Barcelos and the resulting shot was pushed wide for a corner kick.

Bradford again started quickly after the break and in the next couple of minutes clipped the top of the cross-bar with a free kick from 25 yards and shot over the bar.

Just after the half hour mark Ryan Elliott carried the ball out of defence and moved it on to ‘the ‘always available’ Jack Horrell who sent a superb 40 yard cross-field pass from the right channel to Watts on the left touchline.

As the game entered the last ten minutes Cirencester were once again caught in possession enabling WILL HAILSTON to advance towards goal and whilst his shot was partially blocked by Wieczorek it had enough power to find the back of the net.  4-2.

In added time the home side completed the scoring as a long ball forward was laid back from the by-line and smashed into the net from right of the penalty spot by ANTHONY CONRADI5-2.

Full Time:   2-5

The match was a good work-out for the team, after only three training sessions, due to the extremely hot conditions and lively opponents.

A first look at a number of new faces in a match situation to provide ‘food for thought’ for the Management Team.


Bradford Town:

Jamie Bartlett, James Moon, Ricky Scott, Chris Peck, Kurt James, Ritchie Chandler, Dylan Hatt, Mark Wall, Anthony Conradi, Dan Cottle, Martin Lenihan, Will Hailston, Olly Harrison, Sam Jordan, Billy Fletcher, Kieron Taylor, Zac Berryman.


Cirencester Town:

Matt Wieczorek, Ellis Dunton, Jordan Stoddart, Mason Lewis, Jack Watts, Henry Spalding, Adam Connolly, Felipe Barcelos, Alan Griffin, Ben Whitehead, Jack Horrell, James Mortimer-Jones, Darnell Sinclair, Ryan Elliott.

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