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Evo Stik Southern League 2017/18

West Division

 

Cirencester Town  4 – 2  Swindon Supermarine  

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography  

Match Report by Dave Pyzer   

 

In an entertaining match, played at a high tempo despite the atrocious weather conditions, Cirencester recovered from a goal down after three minutes to record a valuable victory against their high-flying neighbours, Swindon Supermarine.

The visitors for this Boxing Day league fixture currently sit in 4th place in the West Division table and 5th in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table whilst Cirencester were 15th and 13th respectively but in local derby matches this counts for little as the two sides vie for the ‘bragging rites’.

The home side had to make a couple of positional changes to the starting eleven that played so well at Taunton Town on Saturday as Alex Albert had been delayed in traffic on the M4 due to an incident – thus breaking up the developing 7 match partnership with Ellis Dunton in the centre of the back line.  As a result Adam Connolly moved from his central midfield position to fill the breach and Alan Griffin started his first game since mid September alongside Ben Whitehead.

 

Just before Cirencester kicked-off the promised rain had arrived and it was to get heavier throughout the game making playing conditions difficult as judging distance, weight of pass and balance was a challenge in itself.

Despite kicking-off Cirencester had to intercept a pass from their high-flying opponents to gain possession and have the first shot at goal as Ben Whitehead intercepted and Henry Spalding (son of Lee Spalding - former Centurion Captain and Marine Assistant Manager) fired wide of the left post from 30 yards.

A minute later the home side were a goal down as JOE SELMAN latched onto a Brad Hooper pass and galloped down the right channel and into the home penalty area before firing low and hard at the target. Cirencester custodian Matt Wieczorek back-pedalled and got a hand to it but it had enough momentum to get over the line and give his side a very early lead.  0-1.

The Cirencester response was to release Aidan Bennett to the right corner and his cross towards the penalty spot resulted in a muddled clearance as Alan Griffin challenged for the ball, and a counter attack from the visitors that produced a corner kick from the right and a ‘tip-over’ from Wieczorek of a Josh Parsons shot from the edge of the home penalty area.

The game had started at a frantic pace and minutes later Henry Spalding crashed a 25 yard shot against the Marine cross-bar and after the rebound had been recovered brother Louis Spalding fired wide of the left post.

Marine responded with a neat move down the left flank as Brad Hooper, Ryan Campbell and Aaron Woodley combined but the final pass into the corner was over-hit providing Cirencester with a throw-in.

Shortly afterwards it was Cirencester who built a move from defence, down their left flank to the corner where Bennett’s cross was cut-out.

As the mid-point of the half approached Ellis Dunton headed a long punt back into the visitors half where Griffin headed on to Whitehead as he burst forward to the front edge of the Marine box. Former Centurion Matt Coupe’s challenge brought the striker to the ground and the Referee’s whistle blew. What would his interpretation be? Last man – Red Card? Was it inside the area – Penalty? The decision was a Yellow Card and post match photographs indicate the initial challenge was outside the box. The subsequent free kick was blocked and Marine had survived a scare.

At the mid-point of the half Cirencester equalised with a goal of simplicity but quality as they worked the left corner with Bennett and Louis Spalding having shots blocked before Spalding slipped the ball to TOMMY OULDRIDGE near the left front corner of the Marine penalty area. The young Swindon Town loanee looked up and struck a sublime dipping right footed shot into the top right corner for his first goal in Cirencester colours.  1-1.  

Both sides attacked down their flanks for the next ten minutes but neither was able to make the break-through until Louis Spalding switched play from the left to the right flank as he found Bennett who immediately drove to the front corner of the Marine area before letting rip with a powerful shot that ‘keeper Josh Hill could only parry into the air to his right. BEN WHITEHEAD was lurking and was quickest to the ball and managed to bundle it over the line from a few yards.  2-1.

Encouraged Cirencester pressed for the next couple of minutes and when a Will Christopher pass was intercepted near half way by Ryan Campbell, who immediately charged down the touchline, the young Cirencester full back showed his powers of recovery as he raced after his opponent and managed to get a challenge in to concede a throw-in.  

The final moments of the half were typical of the half with both sides probing, having shots blocked and counter attacking.

Half Time:  2-1

The visitors came out of the blocks quickly after the break and produced a couple of attacks down their right flank with the speedy Selman involved as he set up Parsons who managed to clear the bar from goal-side of the penalty spot. Parsons returned the favour a minute later as he worked the ball along the front edge of the home penalty area before slipping it to Selman who cut left and shot, blocked for a counter attack.

After they had survived this initial surge from Marine the home side switched play from their right flank to the left where Bennett and Ouldridge created an opening for a cross from the by-line by Bennett but it was too long for his team-mates enabling Swindon to counter but they too over-hit the resultant cross.

Just before the hour mark Swindon introduced recent recruit from Evesham United, Bradley Grey, and he was involved within a minute of his arrival as he collected the ball in the right channel, moved forward and left for a couple of yards before striking a left footed curling shot that looked destined for the top left corner of the home goal. That was until Wieczorek produced a fantastic save as he dived right and upwards to stretch out his right hand and push it round the post. Josh Parsons fired the resulting corner kick narrowly wide of the left post.

As the mid-point of the half was approaching Marine countered down their left flank but the cross was caught by Wieczorek and a long ball found Grey in the left corner and as he cut-in his shot was wide of the left post.

Undeterred Supermarine did level at the mid-point of the half when they intercepted a pass near the half way line and quickly fed JOSH PARSONS who made no mistake as he tucked the ball inside the left post from the edge of the box.  2-2.

The celebration was short-lived as within a minute Cirencester had regained the lead following a neat move down their left flank as Mike Pook supplied Bennett who moved right and sent a low cross into the box, to the right of the penalty spot, where Griffin instantly cushioned it into the path of HENRY SPALDING who without hesitation placed his left footed shot inside the right post.  3-2.  

Three minutes later Cirencester doubled their lead as Whitehead worked the right side edge of the Marine area before his resulting shot was blocked, and before it could be cleared Griffin challenged and the ball broke to AIDAN BENNETT, left channel of the penalty area, who smashed it into the netting inside the far right post.  4-2.

Almost immediately Supermarine were awarded a free kick, 35 yards out - left channel, that Parsons took and his effort clipped the top of the home crossbar.

Following this Antonio Gerrish and Grey had shots from distance caught by Wieczorek

Into the final ten scheduled minutes and a Cirencester attack was brought to an abrupt end and Henry Spalding sent the resulting free kick from the right side edge of the Marine area to the area just outside the 6 yard box where first Dunton and then Bennett had efforts to drive it over the line blocked.

In the final minutes Bennett fired wide of the far right post and Grey robbed Dunton of the ball and charged down the right channel towards the home area with the defender in pursuit. When he neared the area he fired his shot wide of the right post.

Full Time:  4-2

This was another wonderful advert for non-league football as the two sides produced an entertaining game in difficult conditions with plenty of effort, commitment and goals befitting of a local derby.

 

The result should boost the growing belief in the Cirencester squad who look to climb the table - having suffered a number of narrow defeats so far this season.

 

Attendance:     207                              Referee:          Simon Wales (Bristol)

 

Cirencester Town:

 1.   Matt Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding                                          
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Ellis Dunton
 6.   Tommy Ouldridge                                      22       
 7.   Henry Spalding                                          67
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin     (C)
10.   Ben Whitehead                                         34
11.   Aidan Bennett                                           70       

12.   Alexandru Albert                          (Alan Griffin-77mins)
14.   Sam Farr
15.   James Mortimer-Jones
16.   Mason Lewis                     

 

Swindon Supermarine:

 1.  Josh Hill
 2.  Kieran Diaz-Benitez
 3.  Ryan Morgan
 4.  Harrison Bennett
 5.  Matt Coupe
 6.  Zak Westlake     (C)
 7.  Joe Selman                                                 3
 8.  Brad Hooper
 9.  Aaron Woodley
10.  Josh Parsons                                              66
11.  Ryan Campbell

12.  Antonio Gerrish                             (Harrison Bennett-62mins)
14.  Sam Morris
15.  Brad Grey                                      (Ryan Campbell-58mins)
16.  Ryan Wood                                     (Zak Westlake-73mins)
17.  Joe Shepherd

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