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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South

 

Cirencester Town  0 – 1  Cinderford Town

 

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

 

Cirencester first home match of the 2018/19 season was a Gloucestershire derby against Cinderford Town and it was ‘The Foresters’ who took the points with a goal in ‘added-time’.

Like their hosts Cinderford also won their opening game (3-1 at home to Paulton Rovers) and as a result sat in 3rd place in the ‘Division 1 South’ table prior to this match. With Cirencester in 1st place (due to their 4-1 victory at Bristol Manor Farm) and bearing in mind previous contests between the Clubs it was bound to be a competitive match and so it proved.

Cirencester Manager Charlie Griffin named an unchanged side for the match.

 

The visitors kicked off playing towards ‘The Shed’ end of the ground and from the off the game was played at a brisk pace with both sides moving the ball from side to side – probing for gaps in their opponents formation.

Cirencester started quickly and after three minutes won a corner kick from the right flank that was headed away but minutes later they were back again as Tommy Anderson began a mazy run that took him to the front edge of the Cinderford penalty area where he cut left and shot – blocked.

The response from Cinderford was immediate as Lewis Binns played the ball down the left flank to Matt McDonald who crossed from the side edge of the area and after a sliced attempted clearance and a block the ball found its way back to a supporting Binns who fired over the bar.  

The home side came close to opening the scoring when Ben Whitehead closed in on Dan McDonald as he looked to send the ball forward from the edge of his penalty area and it struck the incoming striker to rebound a couple of yards wide of the left post with ‘keeper Alex Harris stranded.    

‘The Centurions’ had started positively and a neat move just after the mid-point of the half when Ellis Dunton sent the ball to the right corner for Alan Griffin to collect, back to Anderson, a couple of other passes on the front edge of the box, left to Henry Spalding (left channel of the area), inside to Whitehead and a firm strike into the net looked to have done the trick but the home sides joy was short lived as the Assistant Referee had his flag raised indicating ‘offside’ somewhere in the move.

The narrow escape seemed to spur Cinderford into action as a minute later home ‘keeper Matt Wieczorek pulled off a terrific save to deny Dan McDonald – leaping to his left to prevent the shot going into the top right corner.

Further encouraged Cinderford created a number of openings during the rest of the half – Craig Norman fired over the bar from the edge of the box, Lorcan Sheehan headed wide of the left post, Richard Greaves had an effort cleared from near the goal-line and a race between Wieczorek and Norman (who was chasing a long ball over the top of the home defence) resulted in the Cinderford man lobbing the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper but wide of the right post.

As the half was drawing to a close Norman was set free again in the right channel of the area but struck his shot wide of the right post.

Half Time:  0-0

Once again Cirencester started positively as two minutes in Whitehead produced a sharp turn, near the right front corner of the Cinderford area, before shooting wide of the near post and ten minutes later a counter attack reached Whitehead, left front edge of the area, but his shot was deflected for  a corner kick that the visitors survived.

On the hour mark Adam Connolly brought the ball forward to the centre circle before finding Aidan Bennett who cut-in from the left flank to fire wide of the left post.

Either side of Bennett’s effort Wieczorek caught a Greaves shot and Dan McDonald shot over the bar.

A few minutes later Cirencester mounted a flowing move down their left flank as Bennett slipped the ball to Louis Spalding, back to Bennett, inside to Henry Spalding, forward to Whitehead, out to Louis Spalding and a cross towards the penalty spot where Anderson rose to head but safely caught by Harris.

Around the mid-point Cinderford had another period of pressure as a looping header from Greaves was caught by Wieczorek under his cross-bar, Dan McDonald’s low shot was gathered by the ‘keeper and a low ‘cross-cum-shot’ from Binns, near the left by-line, struck the near post.

Into the final 15 scheduled minutes Dunton came forward from his defensive position and unchallenged he kept going into the Cinderford half until he was fouled, 25 yards out - right channel. Mike Pook sent the kick towards the far post where Griffin and Nick Grimes challenged for it with the ball dropping for Harris to collect.

A free kick for Cinderford six minutes later was headed wide of the right post by Greaves from near the penalty spot.

With 40 minutes on the clock a covering Jordan Morris brought Lewis Bamford’s progress to a halt, as the Cinderford man looked to cut in from the right side edge of the home penalty area, and the ball was quickly fed to Anderson who charged down the right channel into space. Binns was on the wrong side of the winger and resorted to pulling him back via his shirt and as a result ‘took one for the team’ as he received a Yellow Card.

Cirencester were finishing strongly and another run from Dunton took him from half-way to the edge of the box where he slipped the ball to Morris – shot deflected for a corner kick from the left.  Pook’s kick reached Dunton at the back post but just too high as he couldn’t get enough on it to trouble Harris.

89th minute – a Cirencester break down their left flank as debutant Antonio Gerrish exchanged passes with Morris to charge forward but as Morris returned the ball he was fouled and the Referee stopped the move in its tracks by blowing for the free kick. Once again Pook and Dunton combined from the kick and the latter’s header at the right post was just too high for Gerrish to collect at the left post.  

Four minutes into 'added-time' Whitehead took on a snap shot from 30 yards that fizzed narrowly wide of the right post.

A minute later BEN WATKINS won the ball in the centre circle and slipped it forward before continuing to run down the right channel. As he reached the Cirencester penalty area the ball was played into him and as he entered the box Wieczorek advanced but the mid-fielder confidently tucked it inside the far left post to break the dead-lock and secure the three points for his team.  

Full Time:   0-1

For the neutral a very entertaining, competitive match played at a brisk pace.

For Cinderford supporters - absolute delight.

For Cirencester supporters - disappointment to lose a goal so late in the game although Cinderford had looked the more likely winners on the night.

 

Attendance:  210                               

Referee:   Jack Clench (Bristol)                                  

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN: 

 1.   Matt Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   Mike Pook
 5.   Ellis Dunton
 6.   Henry Spalding
 7.   Tommy Anderson
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin
10.   Ben Whitehead
11.   Aidan Bennett

12.   Mason Lewis
14.   Mason Hathaway
15.   Jordan Morris                               (Aidan Bennett-78mins)
16.   Antonio Gerrish                            (Henry Spalding-88mins)
17.   Jack Freeman                               (Alan Griffin-78mins) 

 

CINDERFORD TOWN: 

 1.   Alex Harris
 2.   Sam Turl
 3.   Lewis Binns
 4.   Ben Watkins                                              90+5
 5.   Andy Lewis
 6.   Nick Grimes     (C)
 7.   Craig Norman
 8.   Lorcan Sheehan
 9.   Richard Greaves
10.   Dan McDonald
11.   Matt McDonald

 

12.   Jack Alderdice    
14.   Blaine Waugh                                (Sam Turl-90+2mins)
15.   Jacob Davidge
16.   Robbie Atkinson                            (Matt McDonald-50mins)
17.   Lewis Bamford                              (Craig Norman-73mins) 

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