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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South

 

Cirencester Town  3 – 3  Slimbridge

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

 

The Corinium Stadium was the place to be on Tuesday evening as Cirencester Town and Slimbridge produced an exciting ‘six-goal’ thriller of a football match with the result uncertain right up to the final whistle. 

Before the match the visitors sat in 17th place in the league table and 13th place in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table, whilst Cirencester were in 5th and 4th places respectively, but relative positions count for nothing in Gloucestershire derby matches – and so it proved on the night with a pulsating game. 

The Cirencester starting eleven had two changes from the side that took the points at Evesham United at the weekend as Will Christopher and Henry Spalding replaced Ellis Dunton and Aidan Bennett.

 

The home side kicked off and mounted a couple of forays down their flanks but four minutes into the match Slimbridge countered with a quick break from Jamie Martin to the right by-line before switching play to the left flank where Danny King unleashed a fierce drive that pole-axed Alex Albert who needed attention.

Cirencester had started with their measured passing game as they worked the ball forward slowly but were a little careless and this enabled Slimbridge to counter through the pace of the hard-working Martin who reached the right bye-line again after ten minutes to win a corner kick. Liam Smith delivered the ball to the far post where a header from close range struck ‘keeper Martin Horsell’s chest to drop down in the 6 yard box and WILL HAWES was quickest to react as he drove it into the roof of the net to open the scoring.  0-1.  

In reply Tommy Anderson attacked the right channel and shot but it was parried by ‘keeper Eric Edge and recycled to Henry Spalding on the left who crossed towards the near post where Alan Griffin’s effort just cleared the bar.

Cirencester were soon back to win a couple of corner kicks on the right but Slimbridge defended and mounted another charge through Martin who reached the home sides penalty area, right channel, where he dummied to create the space to shoot wide of the left post.

As the mid-point of the half was approaching Cirencester attacked down both flanks and the centre – Anderson a 40 yard run down the centre to feed Griffin, Louis Spalding to the left corner to cross, and Ben Whitehead the right flank to cut-in and fire wide of the left post but Slimbridge remained intact.

The visitors countered as Jaden Maddock carried the ball across the pitch, 25 yards out– right to left, before supplying Hawes who sent it past the right post.  

As Slimbridge worked their way out of defence Connolly intercepted and played a superb pass for Anderson to collect as he burst down the right channel resulting in a corner kick and a couple of efforts that were blocked by the resolute Slimbridge defence.

When Cirencester returned a couple of minutes later Slimbridge again countered through Martin and his cross from the right corner was initially headed out by Albert but recovered and fed towards the left channel of the home area where Anderson conceded a corner kick.

At this stage the match was ‘end-to-end’ and a neat move between Connolly and Louis Spalding released brother Henry to the edge of the box but Edge was quickly off his line to block.

With ten minutes to the interval ADAM CONNOLLY equalised from just outside the 6 yard box - when he came in behind Albert to head home a corner kick from the right.  1-1.

As the interval loomed Cirencester pressed harder and Griffin had an effort blocked and Will Christopher fired wide of the right post but Slimbridge, with their more direct approach, were very dangerous on the break and when Maddock supplied Martin in the right corner the ball reached Smith who attempted an ambitious overhead volley that cleared the bar.

On the stroke of half-time the busy Martin nearly reached a through ball down the centre but Louis Spalding quickly recovered to send it back to Horsell who calmly played it back to the fullback.

Half Time:  1-1 

During the interval EWEN DUNBAR replaced goal-scorer Will Hawes and he wasted no time in making an impact as within two minutes of the re-start he darted forward at the near post to meet a Maddock cross from the right to produce the deftest of touches with the inside of his right heel to deflect the ball inside the back post.  1-2. 

Ben Whitehead’s immediate reply was parried by Edge and Tommy Ouldridge’s follow-up effort passed wide of the target but within minutes it was all-square again as BEN WHITEHEAD met a low Henry Spalding cross from the left corner to finish from a few yards.  2-2. 

A minute later Smith nearly latched onto a Cirencester back-pass but Horsell had spotted the danger and raced forward to clear. 

Almost immediately the ‘keeper was called into similar action as he once again had to race out to clear when King chased after a ball down the Slimbridge left flank.

Both sides were now ‘going for it’ and both ‘keepers had to make saves as Christopher shot for Cirencester and Smith won the ball to drive forward and release Dunbar who shot from the edge of the box. 

It was back to ‘end-to-end’ and when Cirencester worked the ball down their right flank to cross Joe Noakes headed out and Christopher collected in the right corner to cross to the far post where Edge’s outstretched right hand cushioned initially before gathering as Griffin closed to challenge.

At the other end Martin and Dean Turner had efforts blocked but on the hour the ball was clipped over the Cirencester back line for EWEN DUNBAR to chase and collect in the right channel of the area – as he attempted to move left for a better shooting position he was tackled a couple of times but kept going and when the third challenge came in the ball rebounded past everyone to enter the net inside the left post.  2-3.   

Two minutes later Edge pulled off another superb reaction save as he pushed a Connolly header round his right post following a corner kick, and then caught the subsequent cross that resulted from the resulting corner kick. 

The game was certainly not over and as the mid-point approached Slimbridge broke for Dunbar to send the ball towards Martin but he couldn’t collect at full stretch, then King sent a terrific pass down the left channel for Dunbar to chase but Horsell was out to collect at his feet. 

Back came Cirencester as they worked the ball down the left flank and into the box – Whitehead and Aidan Bennett were denied clear shooting chances by the determined Slimbridge defence so the ball was fed right to Anderson. Free kick to Cirencester – defended. 

Into the final quarter hour and King and Myron Turner had shots blocked leading to further pressure from the home side as they searched for an equaliser. 

Ben Whitehead carried across the pitch, rode a couple of challenges and shot wide of the right post, Henry Spalding won a corner kick from the right that reached Michael Pook – fierce drive deflected wide for another corner kick that was defended. 

The pressure was increasing as Cirencester worked the ball right to left to win yet more corner kicks but Slimbridge were defending for all they were worth – blocking a series of shots from Ellis Dunton, Bennett and Ouldridge. 

Into ‘added-time’ Dunton carried the ball forward and fed Whitehead as he darted into the penalty area – another corner kick and this time ELLIS DUNTON bundled it over the line to draw the sides level again.  3-3.   

A couple of minutes later Dunton sent a 30 yard pass from the left channel to Whitehead on the centre front edge of the Slimbridge area and he cleverly turned his marker to enter the area for a 1v1 with Edge who advanced and pulled off a terrific save – getting his hand to the attempted ‘chip’ as he dived at the strikers feet.

There was still time for Cirencester to win another corner kick and when Pook sent it to the back post Dunton rose to head back across goal and clip the top left corner of the bar.

Seconds later it was all over.   

Full Time:   3-3

This was yet another fantastic game of football between two sides who gave everything for the cause. 

Slimbridge’s performance belies their position in the league table as they were determined in defence and dangerous on the break due to their pace whilst Cirencester refused to accept it was a lost cause and could have ‘pinched’ the three points – but a fair result in the end.

  

Attendance:  125                                                       

 

Referee:   Wayne Barrett                               

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN: 

 1.   Martin Horsell
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Alexandru Albert
 6.   Tommy Ouldridge
 7.   Tommy Anderson
 8.   Adam Connolly                                           35
 9.   Alan Griffin
10.   Ben Whitehead                                         49
11.   Henry Spalding

12.   Aidan Bennett                               (Alan Griffin-66mins)
14.   Ellis Dunton                                   (Adam Connolly-78mins)  90+2
15.   Jordan Morris                               (Tommy Anderson-72mins)
16.   Jack Freeman
17.   James Mortimer-Jones

 

SLIMBRIDGE: 

 1.   Eric Edge
 2.   Jaden Maddock
 3.   Danny King
 4.   Korey Pring
 5.   Christian Turner         
 6.   Joe Noakes
 7.   Dean Turner     (C)
 8.   Myron Turner
 9.   Jamie Martin
10.   William Hawes                                          11
11.   Liam Smith

12.   Ewen Dunbar                                 (William Hawes-46mins)  46, 60         
14.   Ben Hands
15.   Maxwell Harper-Emerson
16.   Leshaya Lomotey
17.   Edjidja Mbunga                             (Danny King-89mins) 

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