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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South


Bideford  4 – 0  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Following their first home game in mid-week, since 1st September, ‘The Centurions’ were on the road again as they made the long journey to Devon to face Bideford - and for the second successive year they conceded a goal within the first couple of minutes to give their hosts the perfect start.

Prior to the game Bideford were in 10th position in the league table with 11 points from 8 games whilst Cirencester were 5th with 13 points from 7 games but examination of the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ revealed both sides had obtained 10 points in that period.

Charlie Griffin named an unchanged starting eleven for this match as a result of their terrific performance in mid-week in the enthralling game against Winchester City.  


Cirencester kicked-off and within two minutes they were a goal down as Billy Tucker chased a ball to the right front corner of the Cirencester area, collected, cut left and fired at the target for ‘keeper Matt Wieczorek to parry. The striker recovered the rebound near the right front corner of the 6 yard box and slipped it left to his co-striker, RYAN TURNER, who tapped it into the net from a couple of yards.  1-0.

Encouraged by the early goal the home side pressed through Turner, Tucker and Sean Downing tried a shot from 25 yards whilst Cirencester mounted a couple of breakaways down their flanks as they tried to get into the game.

As the 15 minute mark was approaching Tucker launched a long throw from the left flank towards the penalty spot where James Mortimer-Jones, under pressure, exhibited tremendous calmness to move it back and right for Tommy Ouldridge and Will Christopher to complete the clearance.  

Cirencester began to show signs that they were settling into the game as Ouldridge delivered the ball over the home sides back-line and into the path of Ben Whitehead, as he reached the left channel front edge of the home penalty area, but the striker fired narrowly wide of the right post.    

Liam Gregory made a couple of driving runs down the left flank for Bideford to keep Cirencester on their toes and Henry Spalding struck a free kick from 30 yards wide of the right post leading up to the mid-point of the half.  

During the next few minutes Cirencester worked the left flank as fullback Louis Spalding kept popping up in an advanced position – nearly receiving a pass to the left of the penalty spot and supplying Whitehead from the edge of the box who volleyed wide.

On the half hour Cirencester mounted another attack down the left flank as Aidan Bennett, Alan Griffin and Mortimer-Jones worked their way to the corner of the home box where a free kick was awarded. Tommy Ouldridge slipped the ball to Whitehead who laid it off to Henry Spalding as he moved towards the right channel front edge of the area but the resulting shot passed wide of the left post.  

As is often the case when a side is under threat they counter to score and Bideford did exactly that as the ball was delivered down the right channel for Tucker to chase to the by-line. Once there his clever footwork enabled him to avoid the incoming challenge and send the ball into the 6 yard box where RYAN TURNER swept it up onto the underside of the bar and as it came down Ellis Dunton cleared but the Assistant Referee raised his flag and pointed to indicate a ‘goal’.  2-0.    

Once again Turner and Tucker combined to win a corner kick that was defended before Christopher charged down the right flank and laid the ball inside to a supporting Ouldridge who produced a clever turn and shot with his left foot from 30 yards that clipped the top of the cross-bar.

Leading up to the interval Cirencester’s measured approach and their hosts more direct counter attacking style kept both ‘keepers involved in the action.

Half Time:  2-0

After the break Cirencester pressed as Griffin headed over and Oliver saved shots from Whitehead and Bennett whilst Bideford were dangerous on the break through Tucker in particular who shot wide of the left post as the mid-point of the half approached.

A couple of minutes later Will Christopher attacked the right flank and sent the ball towards the near post where a deflection took it across the face of the goal but as Griffin closed in it curled away from the left post so he laid it back to Bennett who drove it at the goal – blocked.

As the game neared the final 15 minutes Louis Spalding struck a free kick from a central position, 22 yards out, against the top left corner of the cross-bar, and when Bennett collected the rebound and sent it towards the penalty spot it was launched downfield for a counter attack as Turner took it into the penalty area, drew the recovering centre backs towards him and crossed to an unmarked BILLY TUCKER who dummied to shoot to wrong–foot Wieczorek and drove it into the net.  3-0.

Straight from the re-start Dunton sent the ball forward for Jack Freeman to collect on the front edge of the home area and as Oliver advanced he attempted to ‘chip’ the ‘keeper but Oliver leapt to push it into the air. Alan Griffin reached the dropping ball and sent it goal-wards but James Mayne was covering for his ‘keeper and got his head to it sending it into the grateful arms of Oliver as he turned to see what had happened after his contact. That just about summed up Cirencester’s match.  

As the game entered the last five minutes Bideford took a quick throw-in on their right flank to Will Hancox and he made ground to the right channel of the penalty area before crossing to the far post where LIAM GREGORY completed the scoring from the edge of the 6 yard box.

Full Time:   4-0

A disappointing result and score-line after Tuesday’s magnificent performance.


Attendance:  216                   

Referee:   Mr Devon Campbell (Plymouth)                                



 1.   Steve Oliver
 2.   Ian Sampson
 3.   Ben Palmer
 4.   Niall Heeney
 5.   Toby Down
 6.   James Mayne
 7.   Sean Downing
 8.   Ben Carter     (C)
 9.   Ryan Turner                                              2, 34
10.   Billy Tucker                                              80
11.   Liam Gregory                                           86       

12.   Kevin Squire
14.   Craig Allan
15.   Ben Wood                                     (Liam Gregory-88mins)
16.   Will Hancox                                  (Ryan Turner-85mins)



 1.   Matt Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   James Mortimer-Jones
 5.   Ellis Dunton
 6.   Tommy Ouldridge
 7.   Aidan Bennett
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin     (C)                                    
10.   Ben Whitehead                                        
11.   Henry Spalding

12.   Tommy Anderson                           (Henry Spalding-77mins)
14.   Owen Windsor      
15.   Jordan Morris
16.   Jack Freeman                               (James M-Jones-60mins)

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