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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South

 

Cirencester Town  2 – 3  Blackfield & Langley

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Second placed Blackfield & Langley ended Cirencester’s 5 match unbeaten run with a victory that was due in no small part to the overly zealous officiating of referee Ryan Williams who reduced the home side to ten men early in the second half.

Despite this imbalance ‘The Centurions’ showed lots of character to press their visitors until the final whistle and they nearly levelled as the game drew to a close.

 

Blackfield & Langley were promoted to the Southern League having won the Wessex League Premier Division title at the end of last season and they have established themselves as a very accomplished side.

In September ‘The Watersiders’ secured a 2-0 victory over ‘The Centurions’ and they would no doubt be looking for another favourable result to consolidate their position at the top end of the table.

In terms of current positions and form - prior to this game Blackfield & Langley were 2nd to Cirencester 4th in the league table whilst they were 5th and 3rd respectively in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table so everything pointed to a competitive match.

Cirencester Manager Charlie Griffin named an unchanged starting eleven for the 4th successive match.

 

The visitors kicked off but almost immediately lost the ball enabling Cirencester to attack down their right flank leading to a Jack Freeman shot that resulted in a corner kick that Freeman delivered to the near post where Alan Griffin headed on to the back post for ALEX ALBERT to dart forward to head home and give the home side the best possible start – a goal inside the first minute.  1-0.   

Cirencester had started confidently to press their visitors who responded with quick counter attacks from Liam Robinson who brought Mat Wieczorek into the game as the ‘keeper was first to the ball in a footrace before he saved a low shot at his right post as Robinson cut in from the left flank.

Ten minutes into the game Cirencester had to shuffle their backline when Will Christopher was unable to continue after suffering an injury five minutes earlier and as a result Ellis Dunton moved to right back and Adam Connolly came on in the centre of the defence.

The home side continued to press and a neat move down the right flank involving Griffin and Tommy Anderson released Ben Whitehead to the right channel of the visitor’s penalty area where he fired narrowly over the bar.

As the mid-point approached Blackfield were retaining the ball better and beginning to test their hosts as they probed the edge of the home penalty area and when they were awarded a free kick, centrally - 30 yards out, ADEOYI OLUMUYIWA stepped up to send a precise effort into the top right corner to level.  1-1.

Despite this setback the home side continued to push forward and the game became more even with excellent football on display for the neutrals in the ground.

On the half hour mark a superb pass reached Robinson as he darted to the left side edge of the home penalty area to send a low cross that passed through the front of the 6 yard box before Oliver Dennett could get to it.

Three minutes later a flowing move involving five home players, from right to left, ended with a free kick that Mike Pook slid down the left channel for Whitehead to collect and shoot – leading to a corner kick. Mike Pook delivered the kick to the back post where Griffin rose to head against the cross-bar and over.

Shortly afterwards Ellis Dunton won the ball on the right, slipped it inside to Freeman who sent it on to Aidan Bennett on the flank and he in turn supplied Louis Spalding as he burst forward to the left corner – the resulting cross passed through the Blackfield area without contact.  

As the interval loomed Cirencester produced another flowing move that switched play from left to right, Pook to Griffin, and on to Tommy Anderson who took it down the right side edge of the area to cross from near the by-line to the back post where BEN WHITEHEAD was arriving at pace to finish.  2-1.

The lead was short lived however as four minutes later a clever Blackfield free kick routine as Fatah Makhloufi slid the ball down the right of the ‘wall’ for Robinson to cross to Adam Tomasso who headed goal-wards. Mat Wieczorek made the save but it dropped into the mix and following several blocks the ball was eventually bundled over the line by ADEOYI OLUMUYIWA to level again going to the break.  2-2.

On the stroke of half-time Pook took a quick free kick and sent it to the far post where Griffin headed inside the right post but the referee made them re-take the kick.  

Half Time:  2-2

Within a few minutes of the re-start the referee intervened to turn an entertaining, competitive, flowing football match into what could have been a one-sided affair – but for the character and effort of the home players - as he awarded a second Yellow Card, followed by the obligatory Red Card, to Alan Griffin when he slid in to push the ball wide to a team-mate to be met by an equally strong challenge from an incoming defender. Charlie Griffin was also sent off for his protestations at the decision.

Undeterred Cirencester continued to press as Bennett fed Spalding on the overlap to the left corner and Dunton carried the ball forward down the right channel before sending it left to Bennett, forward to Freeman –free kick to Cirencester. 

After this initial reaction to being a man down from Cirencester the visitors began to assert their extra man advantage as they worked the ball forward to Robinson who shot over and then wide of the left post.

On the hour mark Blackfield defended a free kick to attack to the left corner leading to a couple of blocked shots from Connor Doe and Robinson before Tomasso fired over.

The visitors were soon pressing again as they released Dennett for a 1v1 with Wieczorek who came out to block his shot.

Cirencester responded as Anderson produced some of his trickery in the right corner before slipping the ball inside to Freeman who cut left to fire over the bar.

Just before the mid-point Blackfield broke down their left flank and the resultant cross was parried by Wieczorek leading to two home defenders attempting to clear and the ball dropping to OLIVER DENNETT who drove it into the net from ten yards.  2-3.

Cirencester refused to lie down and took the game to Blackfield as they pressed down both flanks with a Bennett shot being pushed round his right post by Lewis Noice, a Bennett cross headed behind, a Spalding overlap and cross being cut-out and another Bennett shot deflected wide. 

As ‘added-time’ was entered Bennett slid the ball inside the right back for Jordan Morris to collect and send a low cross to Whitehead who shot on the turn – blocked for yet another corner kick that was defended but recycled via a free kick on half way that reached Morris in the right channel of the visitors area. His resulting shot flew narrowly over the bar. 

With time running out Cirencester worked the ball forward again with Connolly, Whitehead and Freeman involved but the cross from Morris was caught by Noice and Blackfield had survived to take the points.

Full Time:   2-3

This game had a terrific first half as two top sides in the division competed with one another for ascendancy – Cirencester starting really well and Blackfield responding to work their way into the game – with flowing football that was a credit to the Southern League.

Once the home side were reduced to ten men, for what was no more than a strong challenge between two competitors – not ill-willed or rash, it handed the initiative to Blackfield but Cirencester showed resilience and character to come back and nearly get the point their performance deserved.     

 

Attendance:  198                                                         

Referee:   Ryan Williams                                 

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

 1.   Mat Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Alexandru Albert                                      01
 6.   Ellis Dunton
 7.   Tommy Anderson
 8.   Jack Freeman
 9.   Alan Griffin     (C)
10.   Ben Whitehead                                         39
11.   Aidan Bennett

12.   Jordan Morris                               (Tommy Anderson-71mins)
14.   Adam Connolly                              (Will Christopher-11mins)
15.   James Mortimer-Jones
16.   Owen Windsor                               (Louis Spalding-88mins)
17.   Scott Rose 

 

BLACKFIELD & LANGLEY:

 1.   Lewis Noice
 2.   Zak Sharpe
 3.   Ryan Oatley
 4.   Adeoyi Olumuyiwa                                     24, 43
 5.   Sam Poole     (C)         
 6.   Adam Tomasso
 7.   Liam Robinson
 8.   Connor Doe
 9.   Oliver Dennett                                           66
10.   Fatah Makhloufi
11.   Callum Baughan

12.   Mitchell Speechley-Price              (Connor Doe-65mins)
14.   Owen Fee                                      (Fatah Makhloufi-74mins)
16.   Connal Morrison                            (Mitchell S-Price-90+2mins)
17.   Lewis Waterfield

 

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