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Evo Stik Southern League 2017/18

West Division

 

Shortwood United  0 - 3  Cirencester Town

 

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography 

 

Cirencester made the short journey to Nailsworth knowing that they had to win their last game of the season and hope that results elsewhere would be favourable to stand any chance of making the ‘play-offs’.

The home side have already announced that they are stepping down from the Southern League at the end of the season and whilst this was their 8th match this month they would undoubtedly be looking to leave on a high with victory over their neighbours.

Shortwood sit in 16th place in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table with victories over Larkhall Athletic and Barnstaple Town providing their 6 points whilst Cirencester are in 2nd place (on goal difference) with 16 points.  

‘The Centurions’ starting eleven was unchanged from the side that secured a hard-fought victory in the mid-week match against Winchester City.

 

The home side kicked-off in perfect conditions on a soft pitch but almost immediately lost the ball enabling Cirencester to attack down their right flank, switch left then back to the right as Ben Whitehead fed Tommy Anderson.  Will Christopher overlapped to the corner resulting in a corner kick that Mike Pook played back to Christopher 10 yards outside the home penalty area, right channel. The young fullback took on the shot and it curled narrowly wide of the top left corner.

The home side responded as Nick Humphreys and Jordan Morris combined to provide a shooting opportunity for Alex Kibble, 25 yards out - left channel, that brought a comfortable save near his left post from Matt Wieczorek.

A minute later Cirencester made an early break-through as Will Tunnicliff overlapped to the left corner and crossed towards the front edge of the 6 yard box where BEN WHITEHEAD darted forward to head home.  0-1.

Encouraged Tunnicliff made a couple of driving runs down the left flank during the next few minutes – the first for 30 yards before releasing the ball to Aidan Bennett and the second a one-two with Alan Griffin that resulted in the young fullback firing wide of the left post.

As a result of the pressure from Cirencester the home side had to rely on counter attacks with Yesh Lometey heavily involved as he supplied Humphreys a couple of times but Cirencester comfortably defended.  

A little later Lometey played a pass with the outside of his right foot into the path of Humphreys as he burst to the left front corner of the Cirencester area and his resulting cross was cut out for a corner kick from the left. This led to another corner kick from the right but once again Mike Pook defended the kick.  

Cirencester continued to press and there was the rare sight of Adam Connolly making a 20 yard weaving run down the left channel and as the half hour approached the two Tommy’s (Ouldridge and Anderson) combined in the right corner enabling the former to fire a left footed shot at the target that was saved by custodian Lloyd Price.

As the interval loomed the visitors produced a sustained period of pressure with a couple of corner kicks after a Bennett shot was deflected wide and two efforts from Whitehead that were wide of the left post.

Half Time:    0-1

Shortwood came out after the break with the bit between their teeth as Morris made a determined run down the right flank, cut left to the front corner of the penalty area, and shot but his effort was blocked and collected by Kibble who had his strike blocked.

Just after the hour mark of the game Christopher overlapped to the right corner and sent a cross towards the 6 yard box that deceived Price who had to back-pedal to palm the ball into the air from under his bar and as it dropped AIDAN BENNETT arrived from the back post to head home.  0-2.

Shortwood responded as Kibble sent a through ball from right of the centre circle to Lometey as he burst forward down the left channel but the forward didn’t connect cleanly with his left foot and Wieczorek was able to gather the ball.  Lometey was back again a couple of minutes later and as he was about to shoot a well timed tackle from Connolly denied him.   

This action was almost immediately followed by an accurate Tunnicliff cross from near the left front corner of the home area to right of the penalty spot where ALAN GRIFFIN produced a deft header that looped over Price and under the bar.  0-3.

During the next ten minutes or so Shortwood created several openings with Kibble and Will Hawes prominent but they were unable to open their account.

As Cirencester pressed Connolly sent a superb pass from the centre circle that curled between centre back and left back for Anderson to collect near the by-line but the resulting cross had no end product.

The home side mounted a counter attack as Hawes released Morris to the right side edge of the area where he cut left and shot but it was blocked by Tunnicliff, rebounding to Kibble who saw his shot blocked inadvertently by Morris.

As the game was drawing to a close Christopher laid the ball back to Max Arnold on the right flank and his ball into the box reached Whitehead who was bundled over as he collected but the Referee saw nothing untoward in the challenge.

A minute later Arnold was involved again as Griffin supplied the ball and he sent a first time volley-pass to Whitehead, right of the penalty spot, who had his shot deflected wide of the right post.

Full Time:  0-3

Another solid performance from the team to continue their 16 match unbeaten run (13 wins and 3 draws) but unfortunately results for other teams competing to finish in the top six meant that Cirencester finished in 7th place due to ‘goal difference’.

 

A truly magnificent effort from everyone involved that kept the season interesting until the very last game. So near.......  

 

Attendance:     160                                           Referee:          D.Flynn

 

SHORTWOOD UNITED: 

 1.  Lloyd Price
 2.  Ryan Meredith
 3.  Ryan Thwaite
 4.  RichThwaite
 5.  Alex Kibble
 6.  Jack Freeman
 7.  Yesh Lometey
 8.  Harry Burns
 9.  Nick Humphreys
10.  Will Hawes
11.  Jordan Morris

12.  Dan Lander                                     (Alex Kibble-80mins)
14.  Chris Burns

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

 1.  Matt Wieczorek
 2.  Will Christopher
 3.  Will Tunicliff
 4.  Michael Pook
 5.  Alex Albert
 6.  Tommy Ouldridge
 7.  Tommy Anderson
 8.  Adam Connolly
 9.  Alan Griffin     (C)                                      68       
10.  Ben Whitehead                                          4
11.  Aidan Bennett                                            61

12.  Henry Spalding                              (Aidan Bennett-75mins)
14.  James Mortimer-Jones
15.  Mason Lewis
16.  Max Arnold                                    (Tommy Anderson-84mins)
17.  Scott Rose (GK)

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