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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South

 

Highworth Town  0 – 3  Cirencester Town

 

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

 

Cirencester made the short journey to face Southern League newcomers Highworth Town in this Bank Holiday fixture and came away with the points despite the home side dominating large periods of the second half.

 

‘The Centurions’ kicked off playing towards the Clubhouse and within the first minute Ben Whitehead fired over the bar.

‘The Worthians’ replied with a driving run and cross from the left flank by Darren Jefferies but too high for Aaron Nesbeth to reach.

This was an early indicator of the frantic ‘end-to-end’ half that was to come as the sides tried to get the upper hand.

Four minutes into the match there was a long delay after Antonio Gerrish (making his first start for Cirencester) and Jordan Roberts competed for a Cirencester headed clearance and clashed heads resulting in both players receiving treatment and Gerrish having to be replaced by Henry Spalding.  

During the early stages a couple of crosses from the Cirencester left flank were too long to get any meaningful contact but about 15 minutes in Cirencester produced a flowing move as they worked the ball from the left back area to the right corner, involving Whitehead, Alan Griffin and Tommy Anderson en-route to Will Christopher who crossed to the penalty spot where Whitehead and Aidan Bennett had efforts blocked.

A couple of minutes later Highworth tested ‘keeper Matt Wieczorek with a low shot towards the left post that he managed to push round for a corner kick.

Just after the mid-point of the half Chris Taylor sent a 30 yard pass from the centre circle to Jefferies as he charged to the left corner. When he reached the side edge of the area he cut right into the box and in the process fell over under challenge but a well placed Referee ignored any suggestions of foul play.  

Once again the response came from Jefferies as he cut into the Cirencester area and sent a low right footed shot towards the left post where Wieczorek saved.

A minute later Highworth had a corner kick from the left that Sean Wood delivered to the penalty spot where Callum Parsons managed get his strike away but against the underside of the bar and out to be scrambled clear.  

Inside the final 5 minutes of the half Cirencester worked the ball down their left flank to an advanced Louis Spalding and the young fullback managed to toe poke the ball to BEN WHITEHEAD and just as he thought he was through on goal for a 1v1 he was bowled over by a covering defender and the Referee pointed to the spot. The striker picked himself up and smashed the penalty kick inside the right post with ‘keeper Connor Johns diving in the opposite direction.  0-1.

Half Time:  0-1

Early in the second half Anderson made a break down the right channel before slipping the ball to Whitehead who pushed the ball round the advancing Johns but as he went to collect Rory Sproule had recovered to protect the ball and clear the danger.

Almost immediately Cirencester were back again as Mike Pook robbed Jefferies of the ball on the edge of the Cirencester penalty area and launched it to Bennett on the left flank and he in turn laid it into the path of Henry Spalding who struck a firm shot over the bar.

Aidan Bennett was involved again soon after as he displayed great control of a high ball to him, clipped it over his head and past the incoming Wood to turn and send a left footed cross from the corner to the far post where it was cleared.

The home side responded with a counter attack down their left flank through Jefferies who crossed to the back post where Parsons arrived to volley but Wieczorek spread himself to deny the striker – only to see a raised flag indicating ‘offside’.

As the mid-point of the half approached Highworth were beginning to keep the ball for longer periods and pressed their visitors back into their own half – working the ball forward, back and across the pitch in search of an opening and as a result Cirencester were having to counter attack.

One such attack came about after Jordan Morris won the ball 20 yards inside the Cirencester half and sent it down the right channel for Whitehead to chase. The striker outpaced the defender, collected and cut left towards the penalty area and as he approached the penalty spot he shot - blocked near the line but regained by Bennett on the left flank and as he cut right he was fouled for a free kick just outside the area in a central position. Whitehead drove the kick at the target but Johns managed to parry for a corner kick.

As the game entered the final scheduled 15 minutes Whitehead chased to the left corner and managed to win and keep the ball under tremendous pressure before laying it back to a supporting AIDAN BENNETT who cut right and his ‘cross-cum-shot’ dropped inside the top right corner.  0-2.

A couple of minutes later Griffin was being harried in the same corner and he produced a delicate ‘chip’ pass into the path of Whitehead as he burst into the box resulting in a corner kick. The home defence blocked two efforts inside the 6 yard box before it was cleared to Louis Spalding who supplied his brother, Henry, but his shot was saved at the left post.   

Once again Highworth kept possession for a period with Parsons sending a free kick over the bar but another Cirencester counter attack down their right flank resulted in a throw to the visitors that was delivered into the home penalty area where under challenge it reached Jack Freeman who quickly slipped it left to a lurking HENRY SPALDING, right channel – 20 yards out, and he calmly placed his precise left footed shot inside the right post.  0-3.

The home side came forward again as they worked the ball from left to right – Harrison Bennett to Wood, to Taylor and a shot from Parsons that Wieczorek gathered at his right post.

The final shot of the game saw a Wood effort from 25 yards go over the bar.

Full Time:   0-3

 A highly entertaining game of football for the neutral with plenty of endeavour and commitment.   

 

It seems appropriate to mention that AIDAN BENNETT and ELLIS DUNTON made their 250th and 200th starts respectively for the First Team in this match - especially as they played in many tournaments at the adjacent ground whilst Cirencester Town Juniors.

Aidan has now amassed 305 appearances (44 goals) and Ellis 224 appearances (22 goals).

 

Attendance:  298                                                         Referee:   Adam Baker                        

HIGHWORTH TOWN: 

 1.   Connor Johns
 2.   Sean Wood
 3.   Ryan Morgan
 4.   Wayne Turk     (C)
 5.   Rory Sproule
 6.   Chris Taylor
 7.   Aaron Nesbeth
 8.   Jordan Roberts
 9.   Jason Milhench
10.   Callum Parsons
11.   Darren Jefferies  

12.   Callum Ferguson   
14.   Aaron Ferris                                 (Aaron Nesbeth-58mins)
15.   Harrison Bennett                           (Jason Milhench-52mins)
16.   Matty Grabe                                 (Darren Jefferies-79)

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

 1.   Matt Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   Mike Pook
 5.   Ellis Dunton
 6.   Antonio Gerrish
 7.   Tommy Anderson
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin     (C)                                    
10.   Ben Whitehead                                         42p                                         
11.   Aidan Bennett                                           75

12.   Jordan Morris                               (Tommy Anderson-58mins)
14.   Mason Lewis
15.   Mason Hathaway
16.   Jack Freeman                               (Alan Griffin-81mins)
17.   Henry Spalding                             (Antonio Gerrish-8mins)  87

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