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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South

 

Cirencester Town  4 – 1  Barnstaple Town

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

 

In a match that was supporting ‘The Big Yellow Bus Project’ with entry free for donations to be made to the project ‘The Centurions’ had to be patient against stubborn opponents and it took until the stroke of half-time for them to open the scoring but they finally put the game to bed with a late three goal blitz after Barnstaple had equalised around the hour mark.

 

Whilst Barnstaple are bottom of the league table their recent form has secured a victory and three draws in their last six games to put them in 15th place in the relevant table. Cirencester were 6th in the same table and 4th in the league table prior to this game but a difficult match was anticipated as Barnstaple are obviously determined to stay in the league. 

There was one change to the Cirencester starting eleven as Will Christopher returned at right back with Ellis Dunton moving to centre back to allow Adam Connolly to be rested for the battles to come.

 

With the wind behind them the visitors started the game very positively to win three corner kicks and a couple of free kicks in the first ten minutes but Cirencester dealt with them and began to work the ball down their flanks and by the 15 minutes mark Aidan Bennett had tested ‘keeper Steven Oliver with a low left footed strike from the edge of the box, and Alan Griffin had slid the ball through for strike partner Ben Whitehead to latch onto but before he could get his shot away Mike Humphrey covered to take it off his toe.

As the mid-point of the half approached Harry Stevens collected a free kick to the left side edge of the home penalty area and displayed some neat skill to create room for a cross that was blocked and cleared leading to another free kick that Steven Reed delivered from the left channel (25 yards out) to the far post where George Nancekivell was just unable to make contact as he darted forward.   

Cirencester responded to press their visitors as crosses were sent in from both flanks and whilst they won a couple of corner kicks that both Bennett and Baboucarr Jarra headed into the grateful arms of a well positioned Oliver they were finding it difficult to create any clear openings due to the well organised Barnstaple defence.

When the visitors were awarded a free kick 15 yards inside their half, right channel, Oliver sent it into the home penalty area for Mat Wieczorek to tip it over his cross-bar after a high bounce threatened his goal.  

Shortly afterwards the busy Stevens chased another ball to the left by-line before cutting right to shoot – Wieczorek parried his effort for a corner kick and after Ellis Dunton and Jarra had headed clear Reed drove the ball at the target for Wieczorek to catch and end the threat.

As the interval loomed Cirencester pressed again as Jordan Morris fired over the bar before both he and Will Christopher sent crosses into the box that were defended but on the stroke of half time Cirencester finally made the breakthrough. Mike Pook supplied the ball to Bennett who slid it down the right flank for an overlapping Christopher to cross to the far post where Morris collected and laid it back to Louis Spalding and he delivered an accurate ball to the right post that is food and drink to ALAN GRIFFIN who made no mistake with a trademark header inside the right post.  1-0.

The final effort on goal came from Barnstaple as Reed collected the rebound from his attempted cross to fire wide of the right post from 30 yards, left channel.

Half Time:  1-0

After the break Cirencester had the wind behind them and they immediately pressed to win a couple of corner kicks before working the ball from side to side for Morris to cross to the far right post where Whitehead headed wide.

As the hour mark approached Stevens collected the ball in the right channel, 30 yards out, and laid it back to Humphrey who carried it forward a few yards before delivering a superbly weighted pass down the right channel for HARRY STEVENS to collect, as he entered the home penalty area, and calmly slot inside the far left post.  1-1.  

Cirencester continued to press and probe but they were finding it difficult to break down Barnstaple with Oliver and Nancekivell particularly prominent. The ‘keeper caught a Whitehead cross as Griffin charged forward and then denied the former as he created room for a shot on the edge of the Barnstaple area – pushing the effort wide of his left post. 

A quick exchange of passes between Tommy Anderson and Jack Freeman created an opening for Anderson as he burst to the front edge of the penalty area, left of centre, to shoot narrowly over the bar.

Two minutes later the pressure finally told as Dunton sent the ball towards the right by-line where the indefatigable Freeman chased to collect and play into the path of a supporting Anderson who in turn slipped it left to BEN WHITEHEAD and he wasted no time in striking a fierce shot that Oliver couldn’t keep out of his net although he got something on it.  2-1.

The visitors barely had time to take stock when another pass from Dunton was collected by Freeman and this time he moved the ball left to AIDAN BENNETT as he moved towards the left front corner of the Barnstaple area and once there he dummied left but went right before striking a terrific right footed curler into the top right corner.  3-1.

A minute later Griffin released Christopher for a run down the right touchline to the corner where he crossed towards Whitehead who shaped for an overhead kick but the ball reached AIDAN BENNETT and he scored his second with a powerful strike from left of the penalty spot that flew under the crossbar before Oliver could react.  4-1.   

As the game drew to a close Freeman latched onto a through ball as he darted down the centre to find himself just inside the front edge of the Barnstaple area and as Oliver advanced he attempted to ‘chip’ him but the ‘keeper managed to block the effort.  

Full Time:   4-1

This was a patient performance from ‘The Centurions’ against defensively well organised opponents who certainly contributed to an entertaining game as they kept their hosts on their toes in the first half.

The 3-goal blitz secured the contest for Cirencester enabling them to retain their play-off place with 9 tough games to go.

 

Attendance:  346                                                        

Referee:   Neil Pratt                            

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN: 

 1.   Mat Wieczorek
 2.   Will Christopher
 3.   Louis Spalding
 4.   Michael Pook
 5.   Ellis Dunton
 6.   Baboucarr Jarra
 7.   Aidan Bennett                                          84, 85
 8.   Jack Freeman
 9.   Alan Griffin     (C)                                     44
10.   Ben Whitehead                                       83
11.   Jordan Morris 

12.   Tommy Anderson                           (Jordan Morris-63mins)
14.   Adam Connolly
15.   James Mortimer-Jones
16.   Max Arnold                                   (Will Christopher-90mins)
17.   Sam Ayres   (GK) 

 

 

BARNSTAPLE TOWN:

 1.   Steven Oliver
 2.   Mark Cann
 3.   Steven Reed
 4.   Mike Humphrey
 5.   George Nancekivell     (C)  
 6.   Aaron Harper-Penman
 7.   Jed Harper-Penman
 8.   Stuart Cameron
 9.   Harry Stevens                                           58
10.   Jack Langford
11.   Jack Rice-Lethaby

12.   Nick Glover                                   (Aaron Harper-Penman-6mins)
14.   Saddam Bello                                (Jed Harper-Penman-74mins)                           
15.   Ryan Welch
16.   Scott Sharp                                  (Jack Langford-79mins)
17.   Josh Pearce

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