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Evo-Stik Southern League 

League Challenge Cup - Round One

Swindon Supermarine  1 - 3  Cirencester Town

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Report by Terry Keogh


CIRENCESTER TOWN faced a full-strength Swindon Supermarine in a Southern League Cup encounter yesterday evening and progressed into the next round with a terrific 3-1 win at the Webbs Wood.

In the light of their crucial FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round game this coming Saturday against league rivals Winchester City, Centurions gaffer Charlie Griffin rested five of his regulars; Ben Whitehead, Alan Griffin, Adam Connolly, Tommy Anderson and Antonio Gerrish. Filling their shoes were Max Arnold, Owen Windsor, Jack Freeman, Jordan Morris and the ever dependable James Mortimer-Jones. And all five of them played their part in the victory. 

The side was skippered by Aidan Bennett who played 'up-top', scored two, and work his socks off all evening. 

Both teams were quick off the blocks looking for an early advantage, and it was the home side that drew first blood five minutes in; Brad Hooper intercepting a Max Arnold clearance to fire low past Ciren 'keeper Matt Wieczorek.

Marine continued their bright start with neat play between right full back Dan Williamson and the diminuitive Joe Selman, but Williamson's fine cross was dealt with by Ciren centreback, Ellis Dunton. 

Although the home side started the brighter, Ciren looked dangerous on the counter; some delicate, precise passing from Freeman, Morris and Henry Spalding, found Aidan Bennett on the edge of the area, but his swivelled, first time effort cleared the cross bar.
The game went through a messy ten minutes mid-half, with Marine having most of the ball but failing to capitalise on their possession.

On 32 minutes, Ciren scored a very clever equalizer. Henry Spalding delievered a sumptuous free kick that the ever alert Bennett was the first to react to; he lost his marker Zac Westlake and found the corner of the net with the deftest of touches. 

Then, a minute later, a flick on by Bennett fell into the path of Ciren wide man Morris, but his firm, low strike was dealt with by Marine 'keeper Kev Sawyer. 

Five minutes before the break the visitors took the lead; a well-drilled Spalding corner flew over most of those waiting to attack the ball and landed at the feet of Jordan Morris. He smashed his first time effort into the roof of the net, despite the efforts of Marine skipper Westlake to head over. 

Supermarine came out with 'all guns blazing' in the second half, looking for an equaliser, but the Ciren defence, and those in front of them, martialled by the excellent Mortimer-Jones, stood firm.  

Speculative efforts by Marine's Williamson, Campbell, Selman, Fleetwood and Thompson, were either dealt with comfortably by Wieczorek (a terrific save from the Williamson strike) or blazed over the bar. 

For all of the home sides' 'huff and puff' and clever, quick passing football, they never looked like salvaging something from the game.

It was the Centurions who produced the move of the match on 72 minutes; superb interaction between Freeman, Will Christopher and Spalding found Bennett on the edge of the box, he turned and laid it back to the on-running Freeman, who fired a corner bound shot that was superbly steered round the post by a full stretch Kev Sawyer. 

On 83 minutes, manager Griffin made his first change of the night: Tommy Anderson replacing the hard-working Owen Windsor. 

It was in the last minute that the game was finally 'put to bed' after a mix up between Marine left back Michael Hopkins and 'keeper Sawyer, the 'keepers hurried clearance from a poor back pass was smothered by Bennett who found the unprotected net.

Full time: Swindon Supermarine 1, Cirencester Town 3

This was a terrific win for Cirencester Town with everyone in white and red playing their part. After his slightly 'iffy' first five minutes, Max Arnold slotted in really well aside Ellis Dunton in the heart of the defence and made several telling interceptions.

If we take this attitude, belief and skill into Saturday's game, we must quietly fancy our chances.


Attendance:   102                      Referee:  Grzegorz Komasiewicz (Oxford)


 1.  Kevin Sawyer
 2.  Dan Williamson  
 3.  Michael Hopkins  
 4.  Sam Morris 
 5.  Jerel Ifil 
 6.  Zak Westlake     (C) 
 7.  Joe Selman 
 8.  Brad Hooper                                                6 
 9.  Stuart Fleetwood
10.  Connor Thompson
11.  Ryan Campbell

12.  Jon Else
14.  Joe Shepherd
15.  Kieran Diaz-Benitez
16.  Luke Williams
17.  Dave Bampton



 1.   Matt Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   Max Arnold
 5.   Ellis Dunton
 6.   Jack Freeman
 7.   Owen Windsor
 8.   James Mortimer-Jones
 9.   Aidan Bennett     (C)                                   32, 90 
10.   Henry Spalding   
11.   Jordan Morris                                              43

12.   Ben Whitehead
14.   Alan Griffin
15.   Tommy Anderson                                (Owen Windsor-83mins)
16.   Adam Connolly
17.   Antonio Gerrish  


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