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Evo Stik Southern League 2017/18

West Division

 

Cirencester Town   0 – 1   Evesham United

 

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  

 

Following their success against Paulton Rovers at the weekend, which had moved them up to 13th position in the West Division table, Cirencester faced 5th placed Evesham United for this mid-week league fixture.

Evesham reached the ‘play-offs’ for a second time in three years last season and are looking to go one better this time. To aid them in their quest they have recruited a number of well known and talented players at this level including former Centurion Captain Matt Liddiard who has already contributed a number of vital goals for his new Club.   

The home side’s performance against Paulton Rovers was much improved – being full of commitment and teamwork – and as a result Charlie Griffin named a virtually unchanged starting eleven. The only change being enforced as Aidan Bennett (who had a terrific game at left back on Saturday) was away on a mid-week holiday. To accommodate this James Mortimer-Jones moved to left back and Michael Pook (who had been away on business at the weekend) came into midfield.  

The visitors kicked-off in perfect conditions for an evening match – dry and cool – and attacked down their left flank and Cirencester responded with one down their right as Henry Spalding took the ball to the corner.

Almost immediately Evesham left back Leroy Odiero cut out a cross-field pass and moved the ball on to Paul Fahy who sprinted down the left touchline to the corner before crossing – James Mortimer-Jones headed the ball clear on the far side of the penalty spot but it was recovered by the visitors and fed to Archie Haskayne who fired just over the bar.

This was a sign of things to come as the opening period (and match) was played at a frenetic, ‘end-to-end’ pace.

During the next few minutes Evesham tested the home defence as Bradley Gray drove a couple of free kicks from outside the box low to test ‘keeper Matt Wieczorek and Lewis Powell fired wide of the left post.

Cirencester replied through Ben Whitehead and Felipe Barcelos who combined for the latter to cross into the Evesham area where it was headed out and collected by Will Christopher on the right flank to cross to the back post - resulting in a throw-in to Cirencester on their left flank. The ball was eventually worked to Barcelos who fired over the bar.

Felipe Barcelos was seeing a lot of the ball for the home side at this point and within the next couple of minutes he crossed from the left into the Evesham area (headed clear) and after cutting right fired a fierce right footed shot from just outside the left channel front edge of the area that was bravely blocked by Matt Liddiard.

It was then Evesham’s turn to press as Fahy and Powell worked the ball down their left flank – free kick taken by Gray punched out by Wieczorek. Another Gray free kick bobbled about the home penalty area and arrived at Fahy who volleyed wide of the left post. This was soon followed by a Gray cross from the right flank in open play – caught by Wieczorek.

Just before the mid-point of the half Barcelos played a measured pass down the left channel of the Evesham penalty area as Whitehead burst forward. The striker latched onto the pass and struck a powerful left footed shot that fizzed narrowly wide of the left post.

Back came Evesham as during the next ten minutes Ethan Moore flicked wide of the left post, and both he and Powell had headers caught by Wieczorek.

Into the final 15 minutes of the half and Cirencester were awarded a free kick 35 yards out, right channel, that Michael Pook sent to towards the far post where Odiero managed to clear from under his crossbar – right wing corner kick. The kick was cleared and re-cycled to the left flank where a home foul enabled the visitors to clear the threat.

Shortly afterwards Cirencester probed the visitors defence as they mounted a series of passes that worked the ball from defence (Mason Lewis) to Whitehead, out to Barcelos, inside to Whitehead, back to Mortimer-Jones, forward to Barcelos, inside to Louis Loader and a right footed shot that was partially blocked enabling ‘keeper Kevin Sawyer to collect.

As the half was drawing to a close Cirencester pressed again as Barcelos fired wide of the right post and ‘ballooned’ a free kick high over the bar.

The final action of the half was a driving run from Liddiard followed by a pass to Powell who cut right from the left channel, 22 yards out, and fired wide of the right post.

Half Time:  0-0

The first half had been played at a fast pace and spectators looked forward to more of the same after the interval.

Cirencester started positively as they attacked from the re-start down their left flank with a neat flowing move involving several players but Evesham made the breakthrough 3 minutes into the half following a corner kick from the left that LEROY ODIERO powerfully headed home from just outside the 6 yard box.  0-1.

Encouraged, the visitors pushed forward and after collecting a defensive header Powell had his firm shot parried by Wieczorek and Fahy sent the rebound wide of the right post.

A couple of minutes later Cirencester were awarded a free kick and when the ball reached Spalding on the right flank he crossed towards the penalty spot where Whitehead headed over the bar. Another Spalding cross, this time from the left side edge of the Evesham penalty area, was deflected towards the far right post where a covering defender managed to clear.

Evesham responded down their left flank as a long throw into the home box was collected by Liddiard and the former Centurion Captain brought a fine, low save out of Cirencester custodian Matt Wieczorek.

The Centurions countered but Evesham were soon back again as they worked the ball from right to left until Cirencester won the ball and worked it down their left flank through Mortimer-Jones, Adam Connolly and Spalding resulting in a Whitehead shot past the right post.

Into the final quarter and Cirencester worked the ball down their right flank to the corner – corner kick and a Barcelos shot blocked.

By this stage former Centurion Carl Brown had replaced Adam Mann for ‘The Robins’ and he produced a moment of skill on the edge of the Cirencester box as he turned sharply to create space for a right footed shot that Wieczorek had to dive full length to his left to push wide of his goal.

Into the final five minutes and Cirencester were pushing forward in search of an equaliser and when Jack Watts fed Whitehead the striker’s shot was deflected into the air and was dropping under the bar before being headed clear.

Cirencester then produced a flowing move from half way to the right channel of the Evesham penalty area - resulting in  a corner kick that was headed behind by a defender but the kick was awarded to Evesham – not clear if it was a goal kick or a free kick as Sawyer was injured as the header was made.

In ‘added time’ Cirencester were awarded a free kick on their right flank and with the state of the game ‘keeper Wieczorek joined the attack for a final flurry. Jordan Stoddart launched the kick into the area but it was cleared and sent back in again by Spalding to be caught by Sawyer.     

Moments later the whistle blew to signify the end of a terrific match.

Full Time:  0-1

This was a very entertaining game of football with both sides attacking at every opportunity.

Cirencester put in another spirited performance with Matt Wieczorek, Jordan Stoddart and young 19 year old centre back Mason Lewis all acquitting themselves well against the much vaunted Evesham front line.

On the balance of play Evesham probably deserved their victory but the result was in doubt until the final whistle as Cirencester pressed during the final minutes.

 

Attendance:     182

Referee:          Harry Moore (Abingdon)

 

Cirencester Town:

 1.   Matt Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   James Mortimer-Jones                                         
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Mason Lewis
 6.   Jordan Stoddart  
 7.   Louis Loader
 8.   Adam Connolly     (C)
 9.   Ben Whitehead     
10.   Felipe Barcelos                             
11.   Henry Spalding     

12.   Jack Watts                                   (Felipe Barcelos-79mins)
14.   Sam Walsh                                  (Michael Pook-80mins)
16.   Jack Horrell                                 (Louis Loader-68mins)
17.   Matt Coupe                      
18.   Scott Rose  (GK)

  

Evesham United:

 1.  Kevin Sawyer
 2.  Linden Dovey     (C)
 3.  Leroy Odiero                                              48
 4.  Archie Haskayne
 5.  Matt Williams
 6.  Matt Liddiard
 7.  Bradley Gray
 8.  Adam Mann
 9.  Ethan Moore
10.  Lewis Powell
11.  Paul Fahy

12.  Lorcan Sheehan                            
14.  Ashley Williams                             (Leroy Odiero-76mins)
15.  Carl Brown                                     (Adam Mann-62mins)
16.  Lewis Binns
17.  Greg Peel                                       (Ethan Moore-80mins)  

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