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Evo Stik Southern League 2017/18

West Division

 

Taunton Town   2 – 1   Cirencester Town

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography  

 

Cirencester made the long journey down the M5 to Somerset to face Taunton Town - the ‘run-away’ leaders of the ‘Southern League – West Division’. ‘The Peacocks’ currently have a 12 point lead at the top of the division having only dropped 9 points from the 57 available.

The two sides last met in August for the opening match of the league season when Taunton secured a comfortable 2-0 win on the ‘brand new’ 3G pitch at The Corinium Stadium that had only been released for use earlier in the week.

Cirencester however go into the match with some confidence having achieved ‘back-to-back’ wins in their last two matches and been unlucky not to bring some points away from 2nd placed AFC Totton the week before. During this run of improved form they also took a point at 3rd placed Bristol Manor Farm.

Cirencester Manager, Charlie Griffin, kept faith with the starting eleven that had earned the victory against Slimbridge but Tommy Anderson returned to take a seat on the bench (having been unavailable last week).

 

The visitors kicked off proceedings on a pitch that looked damp and slippery underfoot on an overcast day and struggled to get to grips with it early on and whilst this was the case the home side took full advantage scoring two goals in the first 15 minutes.

As early as the 4th minute Taunton won a corner kick from the left that was just too high for Chris McGrath to direct his header goal-wards but a minute later they attacked down their right flank and won a throw-in that DAN SULLIVAN was able to collect, as Alexandru Albert lost his footing, to dart into the right channel of the Cirencester penalty area before sending a firm, low shot inside the far left post.  1-0.

For the next few minutes the home side pressed, although Cirencester did mount a couple of counter attacks that were comfortably dealt with, as Sullivan shot over the bar and McGrath headed over following a free kick.

Their pressure was rewarded, albeit by Route 1 football, as a long punt down-field by ‘keeper Lloyd Irish was flicked on by Shane White to Sullivan as he raced to the left channel of the Cirencester box. The defenders moved towards him and he managed to pull the ball back towards the penalty spot where LES AFFUL, under pressure, managed to get a telling toe poke that sent the ball inside the right post to double their lead.  2-0.

At this point it might have been game over but Cirencester are made of sterner stuff nowadays and within four minutes they had pulled a goal back.  Henry Spalding received the ball on the right flank and with quick feet he worked his way forward to a more central position just outside the home penalty area, shaped to shoot but slipped the ball left to BEN WHITEHEAD who was darting forward down the left channel of the penalty area. The ‘in-form’ striker looked up and from a fairly narrow angle smashed the ball inside the near left post. Lloyd Irish managed to get a hand to it but the power of the shot was too much for him to prevent it entering the net.  2-1.  

Encouraged by their success Cirencester began to move the ball about with more conviction as they worked their way down the flanks with quick ‘one-touch’ passing.

During this phase of the game neither side was retaining the ball for long and Sullivan tried an ambitious shot on the turn, having been found by White, but it cleared the bar.

In response Henry Spalding carried the ball down the right flank before sliding it to the centre front edge of the home box where Aidan Bennett collected but was forced to his right releasing the ball to Whitehead, right channel of the area, and he didn’t hesitate to fire a low shot towards the right post that Irish managed to smother.

A minute later Cirencester were back again as Henry Spalding fed Will Christopher as he overlapped to the right corner. As he neared the by-line he pulled the ball back towards the penalty spot where it was cut-out but rebounded to Michael Pook, 10 yards outside the area, and he instantly fired towards goal but his effort was blocked.

As the half was about to enter the final five scheduled minutes Tommy Ouldridge collected the ball midway into his half and fed Whitehead, 10 yards inside the Taunton half, who moved it forward to Henry Spalding. The midfielder drew the defence before slipping the ball left to Bennett who cut back onto his right foot and sent a curling shot from the left channel of the area that passed narrowly wide of the far right post.

Just before the interval Matt Wright collected a cross from the right near the left corner and worked his way back before unleashing a shot that Matt Wieczorek caught.

Half Time:    2-1

Almost immediately from the re-start Ellis Dunton won the ball and fed Louis Spalding who carried it down the left flank before switching it to brother Henry on the right who again showed his dribbling prowess as he cut inside to the centre line of the pitch before being crowded out.

Dan Sulivan then released Pierce Mitchell to the right channel of the Cirencester area but the fullback sliced his cross behind for a goal kick.

A promising start to the half.

Cirencester worked the flanks for the next few minutes with their neat first time passing but when the final ball came in the home defence stood firm.

During this period Ross Staley sent a deep cross from left to right that Wright headed over the bar and as the mid-point of the half approached the home side came close to adding to their goal tally as Ryan Brett sent a free kick into the box where it was defended and returned to him. His second cross into the box may have taken a slight deflection off Mitchell’s head and Wieczorek must have seen it late as he reacted to make a full length diving save to his right to push it wide for a corner kick.

Shortly afterwards Louis Spalding began to make strides down the left flank and as he cut-in to the left front corner of the area he slipped the ball to Ouldridge as he darted into the left channel to fire a low left footed shot at the left post that Irish saved.  

Louis Spalding was back again a minute later as he drove to the corner before crossing but the home defence managed to clear.

As the match was about to enter the scheduled final 15 minutes a sharp turn from Whitehead deceived his marker, Ben Adelsbury, resulting in the defender bringing Whitehead to the ground. As a result the Referee, Andrew Evans, decided a second Yellow Card was appropriate which inevitably was followed by the customary Red Card and Taunton was reduced to 10 men.

Shortly afterwards substitute Tommy Anderson sent a cross from the right towards the Taunton 6 yard box where both Whitehead and Alan Griffin had attempts blocked near the line.

The game then entered a silly phase as Referee Evans awarded a couple of Yellow Cards to Cirencester players before issuing a straight Red Card to Shane White for a lunging challenge on Henry Spalding.

With the two man advantage Cirencester pressed and Griffin had a header saved low down by Irish, Anderson had a pass taken off his toe as he shaped to shoot, Griffin another header pushed out by Irish (but offside anyway), and deep into ‘added time’ another well constructed move involving several players released Whitehead into the left channel of the penalty area but his shot was just over the bar and the home side survived to take the three points.

Full Time:  2-1

This was an eventful game with two quick goals and a valiant response from Cirencester who played some excellent first time ‘pass and move’ football to stretch their illustrious hosts.

There was incident in terms of goalmouth scrambles plus Yellow & Red cards due to the commitment being shown.

Another great advertisement for Non-League football.

 

Attendance:     442                                       Referee:          Andrew Evans (Trowbridge)

 

Taunton Town:

 1.  Lloyd Irish
 2.  Pierce Mitchell
 3.  Ross Staley
 4.  Shane White
 5.  Chris McGrath
 6.  Ben Adelsbury
 7.  Matt Buse
 8.  Ryan Brett
 9.  Matt Wright     (C)
10.  Dan Sullivan                                               5
11.  Les Afful                                                    15

12.  Omar Simpson                               
14.  Brett Trowbridge                           (Les Afful-83mins)
15.  Ben Palmer
16.  Tom Stone
17.  Michael Meaker

 

Cirencester Town:

 1.   Matt Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding                                          
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Alexandru Albert
 6.   Ellis Dunton          
 7.   Tommy Ouldridge
 8.   Adam Connolly     (C)
 9.   Aidan Bennett
10.   Ben Whitehead                                         19
11.   Henry Spalding     

12.   Alan Griffin                                  (Michael Pook-77mins)
14.   James Mortimer-Jones
16.   Mason Lewis                                 
17.   Tommy Anderson                         (Tommy Ouldridge-72mins)

Cirencester Town FC © 2011 - 2020