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Evo Stik Southern League 2017/18

West Division

 

Cirencester Town   1 – 2   Larkhall Athletic

 

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography  

Match Report by Dave Pyzer  


Larkhall Athletic FC was the latest visitor to The Corinium Stadium for what is believed to be the first competitive encounter between the two Clubs.

So far this season ‘The Larks’ have met with similar results as they sit in 16th place in the West Division table with 8 points (albeit from one less game then Cirencester) whilst the home side are one place above them with 9 points. In the ‘6-match form guide’ table Larkhall are placed 14th to Cirencester’s 19th.

The Cirencester starting eleven saw a couple of changes to that which took to the pitch 4 days earlier against high-flying Evesham United with Matt Jones returning from injury in place of the departed Louis Loader (due to work commitments) in midfield, and Aidan Bennett returning after his short break (but in an attacking role) in place of Felipe Barcelos.

The visitors kicked-off playing towards the Arena end of the pitch in perfect conditions for football as it was a cool, dry afternoon and they immediately pressed down their left flank. The early pressure led to a break to the by-line by Cory Simpson but his cross was behind his supporting team-mates and Cirencester were able to clear the danger. But not for long as Alex Lambert played the ball from the right to Joe Tumelty (left channel front edge of the home area) and he fired a low left footed shot that brought a solid save from Matt Wieczorek in the home goal.

Somewhat against the run of play it was Cirencester who opened the scoring as they worked the ball down the left flank through James Mortimer-Jones and Matt Jones before Adam Connolly switched play to the right flank – finding Henry Spalding on the touchline. The youngster cut-back and sent a cross towards the area just outside the right front corner of the Larkhall 6 yard box where BEN WHITEHEAD darted forward to produce a deft ‘back-header’ that beat ‘keeper Shaun Semmens, as he advanced, to find the back of the net.  1-0.

In response to this set-back Larkhall pressed forward and during the next fifteen minutes fired several shots at the home goal with Wieczorek required to parry one (from Simpson) and push another (from George King) wide of his goal.

After the mid-point Cirencester began to see more of the ball in an attacking sense as they worked their flanks - with a couple of crosses cut-out by ‘The Larks’ defence on the edge of their 6 yard box.

Ten minutes from the scheduled interval Mike Pook launched a long throw from the right flank into the Larhall penalty area and when it was eventually headed out (at the second attempt) it was dropping to Pook who attempted an audacious right footed volley from just outside the right front corner of the area that passed narrowly wide of the far left post.

Minutes later Mortimer-Jones broke from the edge of his area and carried the ball 50 yards down the centre of the pitch before sending it forward to Whitehead (right flank) who laid it back to Will Christopher. The young full-back drove the ball to the far left post where Spalding popped up to collect and as he neared the by-line he ‘dinked’ the ball over the incoming defender towards goal where Semmens tipped it over his bar.

As the half entered the final five minutes Tumelty slid a clever ball into the home area for Lambert to collect as he burst into the area - resulting in a 1v1 with Wieczorek. The ‘keeper immediately closed him down and did well to block the shot from close range and the threat was cleared.

The half was drawing to a close with frantic activity at both ends as Simpson and Whitehead pressed to the left corners for their respective sides in the closing minutes.

Half Time:  1-0

After the interval Larkhall continued to press and a few minutes into the half Simpson, under pressure from Jordan Stoddart, managed to get his shot away from a narrow angle and struck the outside of the left post.

Minutes later Simpson was released by Tumelty into the left channel of the home area and this time his shot was wide of the right post. The influential Tumelty, who seemed to be involved in everything, then chased a ball to the left by-line and worked it back to Jay Adams, centre front edge of the penalty area, who fired over the cross-bar.

Around the hour mark Cirencester’s Connolly sent the ball forward to Whitehead who crossed from the left corner resulting in a corner kick. The kick was punched out and re-cycled back to the corner for a throw-in to the home side. The throw was launched into the box and again punched out - for Connolly to collect and fire over the bar.

Larkhall pressed again and finally they were rewarded following a corner kick from the right. Tumelty took the kick and played it to Matt Guy (right channel of the area) who returned it to him to cross to the centre front edge of the 6 yard box where GEORGE KING burst forward to power his header into the back of net.  1-1.

Cirencester nearly regained the lead seven minutes later as they worked the ball to the right corner and won a throw that was played to Christopher who crossed to the far post where Jones collected and retained it in the corner, eventually he was able to cut right to the left channel front edge of the area where he unleashed a right footed strike that cannoned off the left post and was cleared.  

Five minutes later King had the chance to score for Larkhall after Neil Arndale had released Lambert to the left corner but the striker was unable to connect with the resulting cross.

Into the final ten minutes and Cirencester had the next goal-mouth action as Whitehead slid the ball along the front edge of the Larkhall area for Aidan Bennett to collect, cut left and fire at goal but Semmens was in position to make the save.

A minute later Larkhall took the lead as the ball was played from the right for ALEX LAMBERT to collect, left channel of the area, and without hesitating he drove his right footed shot off the underside of the crossbar, top left corner, and down into the net.  1-2.

Cirencester pressed for the remaining 12 minutes or so (including added time) but were unable to break through a stubborn defence.

Full Time:  1-2

A very disappointing result following the much improved performances in the last two games but Larkhall had the match winner in the performance of Joe Tumelty who was a thorn in Cirencester’s side all afternoon.

Mention should also be made of Mason Lewis who is growing in confidence, with another accomplished performance, since returning from his loan spell at Longlevens.

 

Attendance:     118

Referee:          Stacey pearson (Bristol)

 

Cirencester Town:

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

12.   Matt Coupe
14.   Sam Walsh                                    (Will Christopher-84mins)
15.   Felipe Barcelos                              (Henry Spalding-57mins)
16.   Jack Horrell                                    (Michael Pook-84mins)            
17.   Jack Watts

 

Larkhall Athletic:

 1.  Shaun Semmens
 2.  Mason Winter
 3.  Neil Arndale
 4.  Jay Adams
 5.  Dan Restorick
 6.  Matt Guy     (C)
 7.  Alex Lambert                                             83
 8.  Abrahima Diallo
 9.  George King                                               63
10.  Joe Tumelty
11.  Cory Simpson

12.  Matt Britton                      
14.  Ed Dryden
15.  Geraint Bater

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