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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South

 

Cirencester Town  1 – 1  AFC Totton

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

 

Another entertaining game at The Corinium Stadium between two teams that were looking for the ‘winner’ right up to the final whistle.

‘The Stags’ arrived at The Corinium Stadium sitting in 10th place in both the League and ‘6-Match Form Guide‘ tables - with 15 points from 10 games and 8 points from their last 6 games. Cirencester were in 5th place (20 points from 11 games) and 4th (13 points) respectively.

The last two fixtures for Totton resulted in ‘draws’ against Winchester City and Yate Town.

There were a couple of changes to the side that produced such an exciting match against Slimbridge in midweek as Luke Merchant was in goal for his League debut (having recovered from his work injury) and Ellis Dunton returned at centre back in place of Alex Albert (injured).

 

Almost immediately from kick-off Totton showed their intent as Craig Feeney tested ‘keeper Luke Merchant with a powerful shot from the edge of the box – the young custodian parried the effort low to his right and the danger was cleared before Feeney could regain it.

Within the first five minutes both sides had attacked to their right corners to win corner kicks and from Cirencester’s second a Tommy Anderson shot was deflected for ‘keeper Adam Siviter to catch at his left post.

With 12 minutes on the clock Mike Pook drove a fierce free kick, left channel - 19 yards out, at the Totton goal but a slight deflection sent it past the right post for a corner kick that resulted in a second when a defender headed over his own bar. This time it reached the far post where Ellis Dunton clipped it back into the mix of the 6 yard box for Tommy Ouldridge’s effort to be blocked.

Cirencester were pressing to open their account and after working the ball down their left flank it was slipped to Ben Whitehead, left of the penalty spot, who shot narrowly wide of the right post.

Whilst Cirencester had been pressing the visitors, with Jack Masterton pulling the strings, were dangerous on the counter and a quick break down the left channel reached Justin Bennett, who with great awareness back heeled it into the path of Feeney as he burst forward in support to the edge of the home area. The striker took a touch and shot towards the bottom left post where Merchant dived to save.

A minute later Masterton clipped a superb ball from the right channel to Matthew Bozier as he darted to the left of the penalty spot to head but once again Merchant saved as he dived right to push it round his post.

Just before the mid-point of the half Ouldridge moved to collect a miss-hit clearance and as he did he was quickly closed down but managed to flick the ball over his challenger before sending it right to Will Christopher to start another attack down the right flank.  

The two Spalding brothers had been heavily involved on the left flank and when Louis embarked on a run to the front edge of the area his resultant shot brought a fine save from Siviter who managed to push it wide of his left post – corner kick.  Once again the kick, taken by Henry reached Dunton at the back post who sent it into the 6 yard box where it was cleared.

A few minutes later Perrett delivered another fine ball down the left channel for Feeney to collect and drive into the box but as he was about to pull the trigger Christopher got back to take it off his toe – corner kick.

As the half entered the final 15 scheduled minutes Whitehead won the ball off a Totton defender on the right side edge of the area and squared it to Alan Griffin who fired inches wide of the left post from right of the penalty spot.   

Six minutes from the interval Feeney chased a loose ball to the right corner as Cirencester hesitated and fired into the side netting.     

As the half was drawing to a close Cirencester pressed but couldn’t make the breakthrough.

Half Time:  0-0

Almost immediately from the re-start Totton were awarded a free kick that reached the left corner where a cross followed towards the penalty spot - Merchant punched it clear and Cirencester attacked down their right flank before crossing to the left for Louis Spalding to supply Whitehead, near the penalty spot, who finished inside the right post but his joy was short-lived as he was adjudged to be ‘offside’.

During the next few minutes Cirencester really pressed, particularly down the left flank, but Totton survived to counter as Jason Brookes sent the ball down the right channel for Stuart Green to chase into the home area but Merchant was quickly out to gather.

Another forward move from Totton was intercepted by Dunton who moved forward 10 yards before sending a well weighted pass into the path of Whitehead as he entered the Totton area. The striker took a touch and fired towards the right post but Siviter dived left to thwart him.

The visitors then tested Cirencester as a Masterton shot was blocked for a corner kick that was headed downwards to be cleared from near the line by Anderson for another corner kick that Griffin headed clear (not for the first time in the match).

Totton soon returned as Ben McLean supplied Brookes as he advanced to the right corner to slide the ball to Bennett (front corner of the 6 yard box – back to goal) and in one move Bennett turned and shot at the target. Merchant parried the shot and it rebounded to be re-cycled to the left channel for McLean to shoot – Merchant dived right to save at his post.  

In response Christopher produced a driving run down the right touch-line before slipping the ball forward to Anderson who took it to the corner and cut left along the by-line but his cross hit the side netting.

Just after the hour mark Louis and Henry Spalding combined to reach the left corner where Henry crossed to the penalty spot – a diving header cleared it out but it was fed to Louis who crossed to the far post where Griffin headed back for BEN WHITEHEAD to dart forward to finish from a few yards.  1-0.

Cirencester pressed another couple of times before the mid-point of the half but shortly afterwards Robin Nicholls headed a clearance kick back into the home area where Bennett attempted to latch onto it but Merchant spotted the danger and darted forward to dive at his feet to smother the ball.  

The visitors were making a determined effort to get back on level terms and after Merchant had pushed a Brookes effort over his bar they did just that. A swift counter attack resulted in CRAIG FEENEY collecting the ball in the left channel of the home area and he rifled the ball into the net as Merchant advanced.  1-1.

Back came Cirencester and a quickly taken free kick was fed to Whitehead near the right front corner of the 6 yard box but Siviter dashed out to smother his effort.

Minutes later Dunton slid the ball from halfway to Ouldridge who slipped it into the path of Griffin as he entered the box, right channel. As Griffin collected he was confronted with a charging Siviter and as a result fired over the top right corner.

During the final ten minutes both sides threatened – Ouldridge fired into the arms of Siviter, Griffin chipped just over and Aidan Bennett reached the left by-line to cross into the box a couple of times, whilst Totton sent a corner kick and a free kick into the home area – but honours remained even.  

Full Time:   1-1

This was another entertaining game of football at The Corinium Stadium with the late push from both sides keeping spectators interested until the final whistle.

 

Attendance:  138                                                       

Referee:   Neil Pratt                           

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

 1.   Luke Merchant
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Ellis Dunton
 6.   Tommy Ouldridge
 7.   Tommy Anderson
 8.   Adam Connolly
 9.   Alan Griffin
10.   Ben Whitehead                                         62
11.   Henry Spalding

12.   Aidan Bennett                               (Henry Spalding-83mins)
14.   Jack Freeman
15.   James Mortimer-Jones
16.   Owen Windsor
17.   Jordan Morris                               (Tommy Anderson-89mins) 

 

AFC TOTTON:

 1.   Adam Siviter
 2.   Jason Brookes
 3.   Matthew Bozier
 4.   Robin Nicholls
 5.   Callum Chugg              
 6.   Eddie Perrett
 7.   Ben McLean
 8.   Jack Masterton     (C)
 9.   Craig Feeney                                              73
10.   Justin Bennett
11.   Alex Haynes

12.   Oluwatobi Adekunle                      (Jason Brookes-76mins)           
14.   Stuart Green                                 (Alex Haynes-46mins)
15.   Matthew Wootton
17.   Adam Wilde 

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