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Guts and quality from Cirencester Town as they rescue a point at Bristol Manor Farm.

Evo- Stik Southern League West 

Bristol Manor Farm  2 - 2  Cirencester Town

Match Report reproduced by kind permission of Danny Hall - Sports Editor of The Wilts & Glos Standard newspaper.


DAFT as it sounds, given the team has taken just one point from their last two games, Cirencester Town may have turned the corner.

Apart from the odd blip – the home horror show against Paulton – performances have generally been much improved of late even if the points tally doesn't reflect it.

But the last two displays versus Wimborne and on Saturday at second-placed Bristol Manor Farm have been top notch. The hard-earned weekend point could prove pivotal in their season.

Charlie Griffin's team currently boasts three very exciting talents on loan from League Two clubs.

Thom Jonkerman has just two games left before returning to Bristol Rovers but has bought into the Centurions cause so clearly that he raced the full length of the pitch to celebrate Ben Whitehead's late equaliser.

Another teenager, Tommy Anderson, has been such a popular and effective addition from Forest Green that Griffin is close to extending his loan deal, and Swindon Town's Tommy Ouldridge, who only met his new squad at training on Thursday, slotted in as seamlessly as if he had been playing with them all season.

On another day he could easily have had two goals and couple of assists.

But Ciren have experience too and look a more secure unit when James Mortimer-Jones starts, as he did on Saturday, and when versatile captain Adam Connolly plays at centre back.

Ciren took the game to The Farm from the outset despite playing up the slope and into the first-half wind.

Playing slick, controlled football allied to a prodigious work rate they repeatedly opened up the hosts. Whitehead, Anderson, Henry Spalding and Ouldridge could have had four first half goals – although keeper Ashley Clark played his part in keeping them out.

The very vocal Farm have an effective style, hitting the ball direct and early to four pacy attacking players – Ben Bament, Dean Stamp, Jordan Metters and Troy Simpson. And down that slope you can see how they could overwhelm teams.

They broke through the resolute Ciren defence in the 32nd minute when, after Bament had been forced wide by Jonkerman, he pulled the ball back for Stamp to finish neatly from 15 yards.

Right on the whistle it could have been 2-0 but Alexandru Albert – very good on his debut last week and outstanding here – made a timely late tackle in the box to deny Simpson.

The Farm did make it 2-0 in the 52nd minute. For once Town lost their defensive shape, gave Harley Purnell – a clever player – too much time and he curled a delicious curler into the top right corner from 20 yards.

The hosts were in the middle of their best spell in the game but Ciren survived and gradually started probing again with Alan Griffin off the bench and helping Whitehead up front.

In the 66th minute the prolific Whitehead made no mistake from 15 yards after good work and a canny pull-back from Anderson.

Griffin and Anderson then both had chances as the visitors pressed determinedly before Whitehead stole in at the back post to secure the point that was the least Ciren deserved after a tremendous effort.

Cirencester Town: Jonkerman, Christopher, Dunton, Mortimer-Jones, Albert, Pook (Griffin, 58), Anderson, Connolly (capt), Ouldridge (Bennett, 88), Whitehead, Spalding. Unused subs: Lewis, Rose.

Attendance:  132

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