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Pre-Season Friendly

Cirencester Town   0 – 1   Forest Green Rovers


Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

The Centurions faced a mixed squad of First Team and Youth players from Forest Green Rovers at The Corinium Stadium in their ninth pre-season friendly match as the build-up to the new season nears its end.

The visitors dominated for long periods of the first half as they pressed from the start with home ‘keeper Matt Wieczorek immediately called into action.

Cirencester responded as Aidan Bennett found space on the left to fire across goal but narrowly wide of the far post.

‘Rovers’ pressed and in the first 15 minutes Jordon Simpson, Jaye Malshanskyj, and Tahvon Campbell had shots from outside the box. Another Malshanskyj effort brought a terrific save from Wieczorek as he dived right to tip it over his cross-bar.

Cirencester also had opportunities during this period with former FGR scholars Tommy Anderson and Jordan Morris involved – Anderson chased an Ellis Dunton pass down the right channel but ‘keeper Lewis Thomas got there first as he dashed out of his area to launch it out for a throw-in that was quickly fed to Morris on the left who shot wide of the target.

Just after the mid-point Owen Windsor charged down the left flank before moving the ball on to Morris who slipped it inside to Bennett, then collected the return to shoot wide of the far post. 

On the half hour Anderson intercepted a cross-field pass and quickly advanced to the edge of the visitor’s area and once there his left footed shot was deflected towards the far left post - requiring a desperate dive from Lewis Thomas to keep it out.

During the final ten minutes of the half the game became more even as Cirencester appeared to be growing in confidence – working the ball down the flanks with quick passing – but the busy Isaac Pearce, who seemed to be popping up everywhere, brought another fine save from Wieczorek who ‘finger-tipped’ the shot round his left post.

A minute later the action was at the other end as Cirencester worked the ball down their right flank with Max Arnold overlapping to the corner. The run was covered by Will Davidson but his back-pass to Thomas wrong-footed the ‘keeper who had to scamper across his goal-line to clear.

 As the interval loomed Simpson intercepted a cross-field pass near the centre circle for Pearce to run down the centre but Cirencester quickly closed ranks forcing ‘Rovers’ to start again.

Half Time:  0-0

During the interval Cirencester made four changes as they brought on regulars involved in the successful conclusion to last season.

Forest Green pressed from the re-start to win a series of corner kicks but Cirencester survived and as they looked to be settling the visitors scored when AARON DAVIES received the ball in the box, right channel,  and avoided a couple of challenges before tucking it into the net from right of the penalty spot.  0-1.

Despite this Cirencester were playing with more confidence as Ben Whitehead released Morris down the left flank – his resultant cross was deflected by Davidson into the grateful arms of Thomas. Louis Spalding then charged forward and attempted a ‘chip-shot’ from 25 yards, left channel, that Thomas caught at full stretch.

Cirencester were back again a minute later as Whitehead (centre circle) sent the ball to Anderson (right wing) and followed his pass to collect the return near the right front corner of the visitor’s area where he turned sharply to drive his shot past the far left post.

Just before the mid-point of the half a lurking Whitehead intercepted, centre - 25 yards out, and quickly fed the ball to Morris as  he burst forward and on into the Rovers penalty area for a 1v1 with Thomas who managed to get his hand to the resulting right footed shot to enable a defender to clear. The ‘follow-up’ 25 yarder from Henry Spalding was also saved by Thomas.

As the game neared the final 15 minutes Cirencester survived another series of corner kicks to counter attack as Will Christopher fired wide of the left post.

Shortly afterwards Cirencester worked the ball down the centre - Mason Lewis to Mike Pook (centre circle) - and out to Anderson as he charged in from the flank to the right channel to be stopped 22 yards out. The resulting Free Kick was touched to Henry Spalding who sent a low drive towards the bottom of the right post where Thomas made the save.   

In the final few minutes Malshanskyj latched onto a defensive error for a 1v1 with substitute ‘keeper Luke Merchant who was quickly out to block at his feet.

Full Time:   0-1

A good game played in the right spirit on a very slick surface following the rain before and during the match.

Both squads will have been pleased to have some ‘match time’ as they look to sharpen up before the season gets underway.

Attendance:   134                                            Referee:          Oli Spender



 Matt Wieczorek (Luke Merchant 76), Max Arnold (Will Christopher 45), Louis Spalding (James Mortimer-Jones 70), Mike Pook, Ellis Dunton, Mason Lewis, Tommy Anderson, Jack Freeman (Henry Spalding 45), Aidan Bennett (Alan Griffin 45), Owen Windsor (Ben Whitehead 45), Jordan Morris.



 Lewis Thomas, Rendijs Kalnins, Scott Laird (Owen Orford 72), Will Davidson, Chris Barker, Aaron Davies (Sam Hendy 72), Jordan Simpson, Isaac Pearce (Lewis Spurrier 80), Jay Malshanskyj, Tahvon Campbell (Destiny Oladipo 72), Dan Ogunleye (Taylor Marsh 80).

Dec Lehman – Unused

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