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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South

 

Cirencester Town  6 – 2  Thatcham Town

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


Another highly entertaining game at The Corinium Stadium resulted in the home side scoring six goals against Thatcham Town – their conquerors in the FA Trophy.

Three weeks ago Cirencester were knocked out of the FA Trophy by Thatcham Town when they produced a lack-lustre performance and this game was their opportunity to ’step-up’ and show what they were made of and they certainly did with a second half performance of quick, pass and move, flowing football that enabled them to add four more goals to the two scored in the first half.

The home sides last game was 11 days ago when they lost by the odd goal in five to Gloucester City of the National League South in the GFA Senior Challenge Cup and as a result of the break they were ‘champing at the bit’ to get back into action.

There were a number of changes to the starting eleven from their last match with Mat Wieczorek back in goal, Alex Albert replacing Ellis Dunton (injured), Alan Griffin returning in place of Jack Freeman and Henry Spalding coming in for Jordan Morris (unavailable).

In terms of current form Thatcham were 11th in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ to Cirencester’s 8th and their League table positions were 14th and 11th respectively but of course Thatcham had the FA Trophy victory over their hosts so an interesting match was in prospect.  

 

Thatcham kicked off playing towards The Shed end of the ground and immediately attacked down right flank but Mat Wieczorek was quickly out to gather at the edge of his box as Lewis Coyle looked to collect a through ball.

The visitors were soon back again as Shane Cooper-Clarke chased a ball to the right corner but Adam Connolly was quickly across to ‘snuff out’ the threat and switch play to the right for Cirencester to attack as Will Christopher delivered the ball to the far post where Michael Miller cleared.

The game had started at a frantic pace, and when Thatcham were awarded a free kick in their half ‘keeper Chris Rackley launched it towards the left corner resulting in a corner kick that was headed clear by Alan Griffin but recycled to Lewis Gabbidon who struck a firm shot at the home goal from 25 yards that was deflected over the bar for another corner kick.

Thatcham were really pressing at this stage and it was Cirencester who were having to mount counter attacks and they were rewarded as they worked the ball down their right flank as the ball was fed to Griffin (centre circle), out to Tommy Anderson (right channel), forward to Tommy Ouldridge as he burst down the centre, out to HENRY SPALDING (just inside the left channel of the Thatcham penalty area), one touch and smash – it flew into the back of the net to open the scoring.  1-0.

A minute later Cirencester worked the ball down the centre with Ouldridge. Henry Spalding, and Mike Pook involved as they fed Christopher who fired over the bar from 25 yards.

Shortly afterwards Thatcham mounted an attack down their left flank as Curtis Angell galloped forward to win a corner kick and a few minutes later they worked it forward again – winning a series of corner kicks as they looked for an equaliser but Cirencester’s defence stood firm.

As the half hour mark was reached Mike Pook delivered a clever ball over the Thatcham back line towards Ouldridge as he burst down the centre but Rackley was quickly off his line to collect from the midfielder’s outstretched toe. The ‘keeper then launched the ball down the pitch and with the wind behind him it reached the edge of the Cirencester area where Alex Albert and Cooper-Clarke got in a tangle as they challenged for the dropping ball and a penalty kick was awarded. GEORGE JEACOCK stepped up to drive his kick down the centre to level the score.  1-1.   

Both sides produced moves that led to action in their opponents box as half time approached but with three minutes to the interval Anderson charged to the right corner again leading to a free kick just outside the right channel front edge of the Thatcham area. Tommy Ouldridge tapped it left to BEN WHITEHEAD who struck a shot of such ferocity Rackley couldn’t prevent it going inside his left post despite getting a hand to it.  2-1.

There was still time for another fine move from Thatcham and a shot and cross from Henry Spalding – Rackley parried the shot and a defender cleared the cross over his bar under pressure.

Half Time:  2-1

The opening two minutes after the interval were eventful as Jeacock had a pot at goal, bringing a low save from Wieczorek at his left post, and Cirencester countered as Anderson burst down the right flank to the corner to provide a cross that BEN WHITEHEAD met as he darted towards the near post to produce a delicate flick with the outside of his left boot that flew inside the post.  3-1.

Thatcham responded to this setback as Lewis Gabbidon sent a cross shot wide of the left post from the right channel of the home area as they pressed but Cirencester now had the bit between their teeth and began to play some fast, fluid, passing football with Anderson often involved, ably supported by the rampaging Christopher down the right flank. One of Anderson’s runs took him down the right flank, across the front edge of the penalty area before he released the ball to Henry Spalding, near the left corner by-line, as he was bundled to the ground – but he was quickly on his feet to receive the return pass and clip a cross to the back post that was just too high for Whitehead as he came in.

During the next ten minutes or so the right flank was heavily involved in the action as Griffin, Anderson and Christopher combined a number of times to put pressure on the Thatcham defence and although Thatcham looked dangerous on the break they were being starved of possession as Cirencester moved the ball about from flank to flank with their fluid passing game.

Just before the mid-point of the half Coyle fed James Tennant, central front edge of the area, but his shot was comfortably saved by Wieczorek.

Cirencester then took a four goal lead with two goals in as many minutes as the ball was worked forward for Griffin to supply BEN WHITEHEAD, near the right channel front edge of the area, and he drove it inside the right post to complete his hat-trick.  4-1. 

Before Thatcham could catch their breath Cirencester scored again as a superb pass reached HENRY SPALDING in the left channel of the visitor's area and he confidently struck it home.  5-1.

The home side were now rampant and a period of one touch football followed as they moved the ball about at pace with good touch and movement leading to Whitehead playing the ball inside from the left flank towards Griffin who had the presence of mind to ‘step-over’ to wrong-foot the Thatcham defence enabling Anderson to collect,  right channel front edge of the area, and he slid the ball towards the left front corner of the 6 yard box as Whitehead darted forward but just too far ahead of the incoming striker – but an example of the fluid football being played at this point. 

As the game entered the final 15 minutes Louis Spalding played the ball down the left touchline for brother Henry to collect and cross from the by-line – Rackley punched it clear under pressure and a counter attack followed as Jeacock made ground down their left flank before crossing but the indefatigable Ouldridge was in position to cut it off on the edge of the Cirencester box.  

With seven minutes of normal time remaining Thatcham scored their second when Jeacock intercepted a pass and charged down the left side edge of the area to the by-line, drawing Wieczorek out of position in the process, and from there he played the ball into the path of JAMES TENNANT who finished from near the penalty spot.  5-2.

Three minutes later AIDAN BENNETT completed the scoring with an adept flick of his heel at the near post after Anderson had made yet another charging run from the flank to the penalty area before crossing.  6-2.

As the game was drawing to a close Tennant ‘chipped’ the ball forward towards Coyle but Wieczorek was quickly out to take it off his toe and Griffin displayed some neat footwork on half way to release Jack Freeman down the centre.

Full Time:   6-2

This was certainly the proverbial game of two halves as Cirencester defended with determination during the early onslaught from Thatcham but scored a couple of quality goals to take the lead into the interval.

After their early goal in the second half they began to believe and displayed the flowing football the home fans have become accustomed to in recent matches.

It was an excellent team performance and I could go through the entire team who all contributed to the result but I feel Alex Albert deserves mention as despite this being only his second game this season it looked like he had never been away.

 

 Attendance:  131                                      Referee:   Richard Walker                              

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN: 

 1.   Matt Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Alexandru Albert
 6.   Tommy Ouldridge
 7.   Tommy Anderson
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin
10.   Ben Whitehead                                         43, 47, 66
11.   Henry Spalding                                          10, 67

12.   Aidan Bennett                               (Ben Whitehead-75mins) 86
14.   Jack Freeman                               (Tommy Ouldridge-78mins)
15.   Owen Windsor                               (Henry Spalding-80mins)
16.   James Mortimer-Jones
17.   Scott Rose   (GK) 

 

THATCHAM TOWN:

 1.   Chris Rackley
 2.   Michael Miller
 3.   Curtis Angell
 4.   Scott Rees
 5.   Gareth Thomas     (C) 
 6.   Tom Moran
 7.   Lewis Coyle
 8.   Lewis Gabbidon
 9.   Shane Cooper-Clarke
10.   George Jeacock                                        32p
11.   Ekow Elliott

12.   Jordy Ngathe      
14.   James Tennant                              (Ekow Elliott-58mins)   83
15.   Stuart Cattell                               (Shane Cooper-Clarke-72mins)
16.   Jack Alexander                            (Scott Rees-24mins)
17.   Jack Stanley 

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