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Pre-Season Friendly

Cirencester Town   7 – 1   Cheltenham Town U23’s

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


Cirencester had hoped to play their first match on the new 3G pitch against Cheltenham Town U23s but as work is not yet complete the former Academy pitch was used instead.

The game started in slight rain but became heavier as the first half progressed – encouraging the precise passing and movement that both sides displayed. 

The Cirencester starting eleven consisted of Arie Peursum in goal with Ryan Elliott, Matt Coupe and Max Arnold in front of him. James Mortimer-Jones anchored midfield with Louis Loader and Henry Spalding in the centre and Kieren Diaz-Benitez and Mason Lewis on the flanks. Sam Walsh and Aidan Bennett were up front.  


The young Cheltenham side had the first clear opportunity when their No. 7 cut in from the right to the centre and fired a left footed shot wide of the left post.

Cirencester responded with a 30 yard pass from Louis loader to the left corner for Mason Lewis to collect and cross into the penalty area. The ball reached the penalty spot where Aidan Bennett and then Loader had shots blocked.

The home side opened the scoring a couple of minutes later when Loader sent a free kick from the left channel, 25 yards out, to the near left post where MATT COUPE met it with a firm header that flew into the net.  1-0.

Back came Cheltenham with a break down their left flank that required Arie Peursum to advance off his line to block the cross on the side edge of his penalty area.

The Cheltenham wingers No.11 and No.7 were seeing a lot of the ball at this stage and they combined for the latter to shoot from the centre front edge of the area – Peursum was positioned to make the catch.

Cirencester doubled their score when Bennett slid the ball into the area from the left channel for SAM WALSH to collect on the centre front edge of the Cheltenham penalty area. Walsh controlled the ball, moved right and placed his shot inside the right post.  2-0. 

Undeterred by this further setback Cheltenham’s No.10 broke into the right channel of the Cirencester area where his shot was blocked, rebounding to No.7 who had his cross from the right blocked.

Just after the mid-point of the half SAM WALSH scored his second – a superb strike as he received the ball from the right flank, back to goal, took one touch to bring it under control and struck a right footed volley on the turn into the top left corner.  3-0.

Around the half hour mark Cheltenham created a couple of openings – No.7 shooting over the bar  and their No.3 sending a great ball from the left flank to the far post where No.10 got his head to it – his effort was blocked but he was deemed to be offside anyway.

In the final minutes of the half a forward pass to Bennett was flicked up and then controlled by a Cheltenham arm and the Referee awarded a penalty kick that JAMES MORTIMER-JONES drove inside the right post with the ‘keeper going in the opposite direction.  4-0.

Half Time:  4-0

During the interval Matt Coupe and Louis Loader were replaced by Ellis Dunton and Jack Horrell respectively and the shape of the team remained unchanged.

Within two minutes Cirencester were awarded a free kick that Jack Horrell sent to the back post for Bennett to volley from a few yards but his effort was blocked and gathered by the ‘keeper.

The Cheltenham No.12 collected a deflection on the centre front edge of the home area, moved right, and fired just wide of the left post.

A couple of minutes later Cirencester increased their lead following a left wing corner kick that SAM WALSH latched onto at the near post and despite the efforts of a couple of defenders he managed to force the ball into the net from close range for his hat-trick.  5-0.

HENRY SPALDING then embarked on a driving run down the left channel to the front edge of the penalty area where he fired a terrific shot into the top right corner.  6-0.

During the next twenty minutes Cirencester mounted a number of attacks but Cheltenham survived and on the half hour No.12 took the ball to the by-line and crossed. The cross was parried by Peursum and collected by No.7 who fired a left footed shot towards the unguarded goal but Max Arnold threw himself in the way to make the block.

With eight minutes remaining a corner kick from the right reached JORDAN STODDART who managed to get his head to it near the penalty spot. His downward header rebounded up into the roof of the net.  7-0.

Two minutes later Cheltenham scored a deserved consolation goal as a ball from the right flank reached No.19 who scored in the top left corner.  7-1.

Full Time:   7-1

Another good work-out in difficult conditions against a side that moved the ball around well but were unable to match the power of Cirencester.

As in the last couple of games Cirencester moved the ball quickly and looked dangerous going forward.


Cirencester Town:

Arie Peursum, Ryan Elliott, Matt Coupe, Max Arnold, James Mortimer-Jones, Kieren Diaz-Benitez, Louis Loader, Henry Spalding, Mason Lewis, Aidan Bennett, Sam Walsh, Jack Horrell, Ellis Dunton, Ben Whitehead.


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