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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South


Cirencester Town  4 – 0  Fleet Town


Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

The latest visitors to The Corinium Stadium were Fleet Town but the home side never allowed them to settle as they returned to their fluid football on the 3G surface to produce a dominant performance - scoring twice in each half and striking the woodwork on several other occasions. 

Prior to this match Fleet Town were in a reasonable run of form having obtained 9 points from their last six matches to place them 10th in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ whilst Cirencester were in 12th place having obtained 8 points. At this point in the season Fleet have 10 points in total from their 13 games played so it suggests a change in fortunes for them and therefore they should not be taken lightly due to their 19th place in the table.

Cirencester remain in 5th place despite their defeat at leaders Yate Town in the last match.

The Cirencester starting eleven included new recruit Baboucarr Jarra, who transferred from Swindon Supermarine 24 hours earlier, at centre back. Baboucarr spent last season at Thatcham Town and was voted ‘Man of the Match’ in their FA Vase win at Wembley. As a result of the late signing he was introduced to his new team-mates just before the ‘warm-up’ to the match.

Other changes saw the return of Luke Merchant between the sticks and the inclusion of Jack Freeman in midfield for his first start in a league match.


Cirencester kicked-off and nearly opened their account in the first minute as Alan Griffin charged down an attempted clearance kick from ‘keeper Brendan Norris – the ball rebounding narrowly over the Fleet goal.

Encouraged the home side pressed forward and within the first five minutes Ben Whitehead tested the visitors twice and Alan Griffin had a shot blocked before Fleet mounted their first attack on the home goal as Sam Williams sent a diagonal ball from the right channel, half way, to the left corner where Joe Wilson produced a ‘jinking’ run that took him into the penalty area. His shot was blocked but recovered by a supporting Callum Abraham-Barlow who clipped his effort over the bar.   

Two minutes later Cirencester opened the scoring following a slick series of passes on their right flank. Ellis Dunton down the channel to Whitehead, right to Tommy Anderson as he cut inside from the flank before sending a superbly weighted pass down the channel to AIDAN BENNETT as he burst into the Fleet penalty area. As he collected Bennett took stock and struck a fierce drive that Norris managed to get a hand to but not enough to delay its progress to the back of the net.  1-0.

Cirencester were seeing a lot of the ball as they worked it across their backline before moving forward down their flanks, switching the point of attack and pressing their visitors as Mike Pook fired over and a Griffin effort was saved by Norris.

As the mid-point of the half was approaching Cirencester won a series of corner kicks from the left but Fleet stood firm and mounted a quick counter through Kofi Halliday who cut in from the right corner to shoot over the bar.

Shortly afterwards Norris had to dash from his area to clear a through ball intended for Whitehead but the striker was soon back again as his cross-shot passed wide of the far left post before he actually struck the same post from the left channel of the area.

The Fleet ‘keeper was certainly busy as minutes later he pushed an Anderson effort wide of his goal. 

Despite being under intense pressure Fleet still posed a threat on the counter and one such attack reached the home area where Baboucarr Jarra came across to clear the threat and start another Cirencester move. 

The pressure on Fleet was building and after Whitehead had another effort saved Louis Spalding, who had visited the left corner many times as he overlapped in support of Bennett, embarked on a driving run that culminated in a 30 yarder that struck the top right corner of the goal frame. 

As the interval approached the pressure finally told as Ellis Dunton clipped the ball down the right flank for BEN WHITEHEAD to collect and fire home from the narrowest of angles after being forced wide by Norris.  2-0. 

In the closing minutes Fleet threatened as Halliday reached the left channel of the area to shoot towards the far right post but Luke Merchant got down well to take the sting out of his shot, enabling it to be cleared. 

There was still time for Anderson to supply Jack Freeman who crossed from the right for Bennett to head over as he darted towards the penalty spot. 

The final action of the half saw Meshach Williams put the ball in the net for Fleet but his joy was short-lived as he was adjudged to be ‘offside’.

Half Time:  2-0 

After the break it was more of the same as Whitehead, Bennett and Griffin threatened but Fleet survived and around the hour mark they enjoyed their most sustained period of pressure as Halliday tested Merchant with a dangerous cross that the ‘keeper punched clear. 

A few minutes later there was a long delay as Norris received treatment following a collision and within three minutes of the re-start he had conceded two further goals. 

The first came after Anderson cut in from the right flank to lay the ball into the path of JACK FREEMAN, right channel – 25 yards out, who struck a low shot towards the bottom right post. It took a slight deflection en-route to the back of the net.  3-0.

A minute later it was four as Anderson and Freeman once again combined on the right flank before laying the ball off to Pook who sent a low, firm pass down the right channel to ALAN GRIFFIN who collected in the penalty area to turn and unleash a fierce shot inside the far left post.  4-0.

Before Fleet could catch their breath Cirencester were back again as Spalding played the ball inside to Pook, out to Dunton on the right flank who sent a pin-point cross to Griffin, just inside the penalty spot, but his controlled header struck the top right corner and the follow-up effort was wide of the target. 

Cirencester were totally in control now and during the next few minutes a strong Freeman cross from the left by-line was deflected by Norris onto Whitehead preventing the striker from finishing, followed by a glancing header from Griffin that passed wide of the left post. 

Shortly afterwards Jordan Morris replaced Griffin and almost immediately the wing-man combined with Bennett to be set free into the Fleet area – once there he drove the ball across the goalmouth but too firm for an incoming Whitehead to reach. 

The visitors had also made a couple of changes to their personnel and countered to the left by-line through Enow Ojong who attempted to lay it back to a team-mate but Anderson had back-tracked to intercept to concede a corner kick that Spalding cleared from near his goal-line. 

Cirencester pressed again as Bennett burst forward to see his shot parried by Norris for a corner kick that was played short to Morris who fired over the bar. 

As the final whistle loomed Merchant punted the ball downfield and as it dropped inside the front edge of the Fleet area, right channel, Bennett produced a moment of sublime skill as he ‘killed it’ with one touch, turned and fired a fierce right footed shot in one movement that Norris did well to parry.

In reply Fleet attacked down their right flank and when Halliday crossed from the corner it was deflected to produce a looping ball that Merchant, under pressure, managed to push clear.

Due to the injury delay there was still time for Dunton to intercept on half-way and slip to Anderson who fed Whitehead and he in turn cut left before clipping a dipping shot that struck the stanchion behind the left post. 

The final action of the game came as Pook took a free kick from the right touchline, 40 yards out, and seeing Norris off his line he went for goal. The ‘keeper managed to back-pedal and push it over his bar.   

Full Time:   4-0

A dominant performance from The Centurions against a young Fleet side.

A solid display from Baboucarr Jarra that suggests he should fit in well and a busy performance from Jack Freeman who marked his league debut with a goal.  


Attendance:  126                                                       

Referee:   Alan Cox                             



 1.   Luke Merchant
 2.   Ellis Dunton
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Alexandru Albert
 6.   Baboucarr Jarra
 7.   Tommy Anderson
 8.   Jack Freeman                                          70
 9.   Alan Griffin     (C)                                     71
10.   Ben Whitehead                                        39
11.   Aidan Bennett                                           9

12.   Tommy Ouldridge                          (Jack Freeman-81mins)
14.   James Mortimer-Jones
15.   Adam Connolly
16.   Scott Rose  (GK)
17.   Jordan Morris                               (Alan Griffin-78mins) 



 1.   Brendan Norris
 2.   Rylan Myers
 3.   Callum Abraham-Barlow
 4.   Sam Williams
 5.   Lewis Harvey              
 6.   Jordan Stepney
 7.   Kofi Halliday
 8.   Billy Oram     (C)
 9.   Meshach Williams
10.   Harryson Wickens
11.   Joe Wilson

12.   Danilo Cadete       
14.   Abdulbasit Rajab
16.   Ronan Silva                                   (Harryson Wickens-54mins)
17.   Daniel Framp
18.   Enow Ojong                                   (Lewis Harvey-54mins) 

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