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Evo Stik Southern League 2017/18

West Division

 

Cirencester Town  6 – 1  Shortwood United 

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography 

 

Cirencester faced fellow Gloucestershire side Shortwood United for this mid-week fixture looking to put Saturday’s late loss to 2nd placed Salisbury behind them and this they surely did with a dominant performance and six goals.

Whilst Cirencester suffered a late loss at the hands of Salisbury in their last match tonight’s visitors also conceded a late goal to Didcot Town on Saturday that cost them two points and prior to this match they too would be looking to get back on track with current form placing them 19th (Cirencester 10th) and in 18th position in the league (Cirencester 14th).

The Cirencester starting eleven had one change from the previous match with Alan Griffin replacing Adam Connolly who has been a little under the weather and dropped to the bench.

 

The home side started very positively and dominated the early possession with Louis Spalding making a couple of runs down the left flank within the first couple of minutes and crossing into the box – the second of which earned an early corner kick that eventually led to a low shot from brother Henry Spalding that ‘keeper George Burton saved.

Cirencester retained the ball for the next few minutes moving it across the pitch searching for an opening until Alex Albert sent a terrific 40 yard pass from right of the centre circle to Aidan Bennett on the left side edge of the Shortwood penalty area. As the wide-midfielder cut in he was blocked and despite his pleas play continued for Shortwood to clear the danger.

The home side continued to press with a neat exchange of passes between Alan Griffin, Bennett and Henry Spalding near the left front corner of the Shortwood area creating space for the latter to cross through the 6 yard box and out for a goal kick.  

As the 15 minute mark arrived Shortwood made their first deep foray into the home sides half as Jack Freeman darted down the left touchline and crossed resulting in a corner kick and a counter attack from the home side as Bennett headed clear to Ben Whitehead who slipped it to Henry Spalding and out to an overlapping Louis Spalding who took it to the by-line before crossing. The cross was deflected into the arms of a grateful Burton.

Encouraged by their success on the left the visitors attacked down the right flank but the final cross was behind the goal and failed to trouble ‘keeper Matt Wieczorek although he was brought into action a couple of minutes later as Jordan Morris switched play from the left touchline to Joe White just inside the home area, right channel, and his shot was deflected wide of his right post by the ‘keeper. The resultant corner from the left was sent to the front edge of the 6 yard box where Wieczorek initially caught but dropped under pressure and whilst Shortwood smashed it into the net the ‘goal’ was disallowed for an earlier infringement.

Shortwood now had the bit between their teeth and pressed for the next few minutes, winning a corner kick that was defended, but it was Cirencester who opened the scoring with a swift break as Henry Spalding slid the ball through to BEN WHITEHEAD and he carried it down the right channel to the by-line before pulling up, cutting back and smashing the ball inside the top left corner of the Shortwood goal from the narrowest of angles (how did he do that?).  1-0.

Shortwood responded to this setback and pressed for the next few minutes but Cirencester doubled their lead as Louis Spalding sent a deep cross from the left flank to the far right post where it was knocked down to the centre of the 6 yard box for ALAN GRIFFIN to force over the line from a couple of yards.  2-0.

As the interval approached Ellis Dunton advanced down the left flank before sending a raking cross to the far post where Bennett headed over the bar.

Minutes later Shortwood were offered a life-line when a pass from defence went astray for Nick Humphreys to collect and switch to JACK FREEMAN in the right channel of the home area and he confidently tucked it inside the left post.  2-1.

Cirencester ended the half on the attack as a flowing move involving several players resulted in a corner kick and an Albert header that was safely gathered by Burton.

Half Time:  2-1

Shortwood attacked the right flank from the re-start and within minutes Liam Meredith broke down the right side edge of the home area and attempted to chip Wieczorek who caught the ball at full stretch.

Two minutes later Cirencester had regained their two-goal cushion following a flowing move from right to left involving a Griffin lay-off to Tommy Ouldridge, moved left to Henry Spalding, back right to Ouldridge to shoot – deflected for a left wing corner kick that reached Albert at the back post. The Cirencester defender shot but it was parried into the path of BEN WHITEHEAD who headed home from a few yards.  3-1.

Cirencester increased the pressure and on the hour a visiting defender lost his footing near the front left corner edge of his area (from a Cirencester perspective) allowing Whitehead to dart forward to collect the ball and move into the area before striking a fierce shot that Burton parried. The ball rebounded back to the striker and he promptly sent it towards the far post where ALAN GRIFFIN was lurking to score his second ‘tap-in’ of the night from a couple of yards.  4-1.    

Shortly afterwards Cirencester were probing the front edge of the visitors area and this resulted in a free kick, following a foul on the industrious Ouldridge - just outside the area in a central position. Ben Whitehead stepped up and struck his kick towards the top left corner but it clipped the top of the bar denying him his hat-trick. But not for long!  

At the mid-point of the half Henry Spalding played a sublime first-time pass from the centre circle to substitute Tommy Anderson, right channel, and he played a superbly weighted ‘wall-pass’ into the path of BEN WHITEHEAD as he charged down the left channel. When the ‘in-form’ striker reached the front edge of the visitor’s area he let fly with a ferocious left footed shot that flew inside the left post despite Burton getting a hand to it. 5-1.

Ten minutes later a misplaced clearance kick was collected by HENRY SPALDING and he wasted no time in driving the ball inside the right post although once again Burton did manage to get his hand to it.  6-1.

In reply William Hawes sent a 30 yard effort from the left channel that fizzed past the far right post.

Cirencester continued to press and in the final minutes Henry Spalding produced a terrific pass with the outside of his left foot to bend the ball into the path of his brother as he charged down the left touch-line for the umpteenth time. Louis collected the pass and returned it to his brother who crossed but it was cut-out.

As the final whistle blew Cirencester were working the ball to the left corner with several players involved.

Full Time:  6-1

Another terrific game of fluid football – we are being spoilt at present and long may it continue – with everyone in a Cirencester shirt playing their part.

The young fullbacks drive forward at every opportunity encouraging Michael Pook to spray the ball about as chief play-maker and if they are not available then the wide players are or he starts from the back with the two centre backs involved.

Up front there is the industry of the prolific Ben Whitehead ably supported by Alan Griffin and the hard-working Tommy Ouldridge.

The understanding of Alex Albert and Ellis Dunton in the centre of the defence improves with every game and Dunton in particular enjoyed a commanding performance.

 

Attendance:     109                               Referee:          Neil Pratt (Evesham)

 

Cirencester Town:

 1.   Matt Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding                                          
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Alexandru Albert
 6.   Ellis Dunton          
 7.   Tommy Ouldridge
 8.   Aidan Bennett
 9.   Alan Griffin     (C)                                     37, 52 
10.   Ben Whitehead                                       29, 52, 68
11.   Henry Spalding                                        78       

12.   Adam Connolly                             (Tommy Ouldridge-68mins)
14.   Max Lloyd                                     (Ben Whitehead-77mins)
15.   Mason Lewis
16.   Tommy Anderson                           (Aidan Bennett-65mins)
17.   James Mortimer-Jones                

 

Shortwood United:

 1.  George Burton
 2.  Ryan Meredith
 3.  Ryan Thwaite
 4.  Richard Thwaite
 5.  Ashley Davies
 6.  Jack Freeman                                             42
 7.  Samyan Ismail       
 8.  Jordan Morris
 9.  Nick Humphreys
10.  Joe White
11.  Liam Meredith     (C)

12.  William Hawes                               (Joe White-65mins)
14.  Tristan Haswell                              (Samyan Ismail-60mins)
15.  Alex Kibble                                    (Ashley Davies-65mins)

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