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Evo Stik Southern League 2017/18

West Division

 

Cirencester Town   4 – 4   Yate Town

 

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography  

Match Report by Dave Pyzer   

 

‘Storm Brian’ battered The Corinium Stadium and as a result the players had to compete with the conditions as much as their opponents and the strong wind had a hand in a couple of the goals in this 8-goal thriller.

This was an important match for both teams as before the game Yate Town sat in 18th position in the West Division table with the same points as Cirencester (9 points) but one place above them due to their better goal difference. In terms of current form Yate are four places above Cirencester, based on the ‘6-match form guide’, and within those matches they secured an impressive 4-1 win at leaders Taunton Town.

The Cirencester starting eleven had three changes from that which started at Bideford – two enforced due to the harsh Red Card awarded to ‘keeper Matt Wieczorek in that match and the recall of Jordan Ricketts to Chippenham Town.  The goal-keeping position was taken by Arie Peursum of the Development Team who was making his First Team competitive debut (having played in several of the pre-season friendly matches) whilst Ricketts was replaced by Tom Anderson (a First Year Professional at Forest Green Rovers) who is on loan for a month.

The other change was the return of Matt Coupe at the expense of Mason Lewis.

 

The visitors kicked off into a very strong wind due to ‘Storm Brian’ that was battering the UK, playing towards the Arena End of the ground, and it soon became evident that the conditions would play a significant part in proceedings.

Cirencester started positively and attacked down both flanks during the opening ten minutes but it was Yate who opened the scoring after a well constructed move down their right flank resulted in Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist shooting at goal and Adam Connolly producing a determined block to concede a right wing corner kick. The kick reached the far post where EUGENE KEARY rose to head back across goal, over ‘keeper Arie Peursum, and into the net off the underside of the cross-bar. 0-1

A couple of minutes later Matt Coupe pulled up after attempting an interception with what looked to be a ‘hamstring’ strain and was replaced by Mason Lewis.

The Cirencester response to going a goal down was fairly immediate as Matt Jones carried the ball across the pitch, near the half way line, before slipping it to Tom Anderson who moved it on to Henry Spalding on the right flank and darted forward to accept the return pass on the side edge of the penalty area. Anderson carried the ball to the by-line, cut back and played a measured pass to AIDAN BENNETT who was lurking near the penalty spot. Bennett shaped to move right but switched left to evade his marker and drove a powerful left footed shot into the net.  1-1.

A couple of minutes later Cirencester won a corner kick from the right following another run and cross from Anderson. HENRY SPALDING took the kick with his left foot and sent it towards the far post where the strong wind assisted to crash it against the inside of the post and into the back of the net.  2-1.

Despite the difficult conditions both sides were moving the ball quickly and the game was ‘end-to-end’ as the teams attacked down the flanks. Yate enjoyed a series of counter attacks that resulted in crosses that flew through the Cirencester area whilst the home side probed the visitor’s area and from one such attack Leigh-Gilchrist cut out a ball into the box and brought it forward before releasing Steve Davis down the right channel. The former Centurion carried it to the edge of the home area before shooting wide of the right post under pressure from a covering Mason Lewis.

Within minutes Jack Horrell intercepted a pass near the centre circle and played it forward to Ben Whitehead who instinctively turned and fired a low left footed shot at goal from 30 yards that custodian Harvey Rivers pushed around his left post.

Shortly before the scheduled interval LEWIS LEIGH-GILCHRIST collected the ball and decided to take a pot at goal from 30 yards. His low strike nestled in the bottom left corner of the net despite the despairing dive from Peursum to level the score. 2-2.

As the break loomed Bennett fired narrowly wide of the Yate goal and Horrell cut in from the left flank to the front corner of the box and sent a right footed curler that looked destined for the back of the net but struck the right post and rebounded out to be cleared.

Half Time:  2-2

During the interval the gentle rain that had started towards the end of the first half became heavier resulting in even more difficult conditions for the players as the wind was still very strong and the pitch was livelier requiring accurate passing.

Cirencester pressed from the re-start, working the ball down their left flank, and eventually winning a corner kick from the right that was defended but they were not to be denied and five minutes into the half they were rewarded when Horrell played the ball up to BEN WHITEHEAD, with his back to goal - left of the penalty spot. Whitehead swivelled and smashed the ball inside the left post.  3-2.   

Two minutes later AIDAN BENNETT scored his second as another Anderson cross into the box held up in the wind and dropped near the penalty spot where Bennett latched onto it to produce a composed finish – calmly tucking the ball inside the left post - to give his side a two-goal cushion.  4-2.  

Encouraged by this success Cirencester pressed forward with Will Christopher and Anderson linking well on the right flank and Jones and Spalding on the left. During this period a Whitehead strike was parried to Connolly but his follow-up shot was saved by Rivers.

Mid-way into the half Yate attacked down their left flank as Chris Gregan sent a cross into the box resulting in a corner kick that was headed out to Theo Llewellyn who slipped it left to Leigh-Gilchrist but his right footed shot passed wide of the far right post.

As the half hour mark of the half approached Yate were making a determined effort to get back on terms and were pressing their hosts and as a result Peursum was required to make a couple of good saves from Luke Bryan and Mayson Evans to keep them at bay.

Twelve minutes from time the strong wind, at the backs of the visitors in the second half, had a hand in them reducing the deficit as former Cirencester goal-keeper HARVEY RIVERS launched a free kick from 10 yards inside his half towards the Cirencester goal and the wind carried it over Peursum into the net.  4-3.

Into the final ten minutes and Bennett sent a low cross from the left corner towards the front edge of the visitor’s 6 yard box where Whitehead made a darting forward run to flick the ball narrowly wide of the right post.

Yate responded with another low strike from Leigh-Gilchrist that Peursum pushed wide to concede a corner kick.

Back came Cirencester, down their left flank, for the ball to be cleared downfield by Rivers - to the right of his box - but it landed at the feet of Connolly who immediately fired towards the empty net. A covering Charlie Hitchings managed to head the ball away from under the cross-bar.

Into the final minutes and Bennett fed Horrell, forward to Anderson, back to Horrell, right channel front edge of the Yate area, right foot shot blocked, left foot shot deflected for a corner kick.

With two minutes on the clock Cirencester attempted to retain the ball near the right corner flag but Yate managed to gain possession and launch it downfield for Davis to chase and cross from the right corner to the back post where LEWIS LEIGH-GILCHRIST, who had made ground in support, placed his shot inside the right post to secure a point.  4-4.

Full Time:  4-4

A very entertaining game of football despite the difficult conditions that the players had to contend with and plenty of goals – you have got to love non-league football.

Arie Peursum will certainly remember his debut with several good saves during the second half mixed with some difficult moments due to the conditions.

 

Attendance:     111

Referee:          Andrew Sheppard

 

Cirencester Town:

 1.   Arie Peursum
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Matt Jones                                               
 4.   Jack Horrell
 5.   Matt Coupe
 6.   Jordan Stoddart  
 7.   Henry Spalding                                          21
 8.   Adam Connolly     (C)
 9.   Aidan Bennett                                           19, 52
10.   Ben Whitehead                                         50                               
11.   Tom Anderson  

12.   James Mortimer-Jones
14.   Danny Gudger
15.   Mason Lewis                                  (Matt Coupe-17mins)
16.   Michael Pook                                 (Henry Spalding-75mins)                     
17.   Scott Rose  (GK)

 

Yate Town:

 1.  Harvey Rivers                                              78
 2.  Mayson Evans
 3.  Chris Gregan
 4.  Brad Abraham
 5.  Ben Morgan
 6.  Charlie Hitchings     (C)
 7.  Eugene Keary                                              14
 8.  Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist                                  34, 89
 9.  Steve Davis
10.  Ben Brooks
11.  Cameron Ebbutt

12.  Luke Bryan                                     (Ben Brooks-68mins)                
14.  Tom Harrison
15.  Theo Llewellyn                               (Eugene Keary-61mins)
16.  Sam Boulton
17.  Trey Anderson

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