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BetVictor Southern League 2019/20

Division 1 South


Cirencester Town  5 – 0  Melksham Town

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


The Centurions reacted positively to their opening day defeat to score five against a Melksham Town side that topped the league table after Saturday’s fixtures following their 6-3 victory over Slimbridge.


The Cirencester starting eleven had a new face for the regular supporters to monitor as Oliver Artwell has joined the Club on a month’s loan from Forest Green Rovers where he is a 2nd Year Scholar.


After their disappointing 2nd half performance at Cinderford on Saturday the home side would undoubtedly be looking to put that behind them and produce the football that was a regular feature last season when they finished second to obtain a ‘play-off’ place.



The visitors kicked off and immediately worked the left flank before switching to the right with a ball intended for Luke Ballinger but it was intercepted by Will Tunnicliff who galloped down the left flank to the corner where his cross was partially blocked enabling ‘keeper Liam Kingston to collect.

This was an early sign of what was to come as both sides pressed and countered at pace to produce an entertaining ‘end-to-end’ game of football.

During the early stages Ballinger was particularly prominent for the visitors as he popped up around the edge of the home penalty area and seven minutes in he received the ball from Cameron Allen as he darted to the left channel of the area to strike a fierce shot at the target that ‘keeper Lewis Clayton managed to parry.

Melksham were soon back again as Matt Hurley clipped a ball into the left channel of the area for Jack Ball to chase, collect and shoot but Clayton was in position to catch at his right post.  

With 15 minutes gone Josh Parsons slipped the ball right to Oliver Artwell who returned the favour as he slid it down the line to the right channel of the area where Parsons collected to shoot – blocked for a corner kick that was headed behind at the near post for another one that was also defended.

At this stage Cirencester were pressing with neat football down both flanks but were not averse to the long ball as Clayton launched a kick that dropped near the left channel front edge of the visitors penalty area where Parsons, with great awareness and skill, controlled the ball and slipped it past the advancing Kingston in one movement - but narrowly wide of the right post.

At the mid-point of the half Parsons was involved again as he laid the ball back to Aidan Bennett, left channel of the area, but his shot also passed wide of the right post.

Back came Melksham with a couple of corner kicks that were defended followed by a period of pressure from Cirencester that also resulted in corner kicks and from one of these they opened the scoring as the ball bobbed about around the edge of the 6 yard box before reaching AIDAN BENNETT, to the left of the penalty spot, who promptly headed it over the defenders and into the back of the net.  1-0.  

Melksham responded to this setback as Cameron Allen sent a free kick into the home box for Clayton to punch clear but it was recycled to Hurley who fired it back at the home goal resulting in a corner kick from the right and one from the left but no goal for the visitors.

With the interval looming Cirencester worked the ball down the right flank, Parsons to Will Christopher – forward to Artwell who cut left from the flank to send a peach of a cross with his left foot towards the far post where ALAN GRIFFIN rose to produce a trademark header inside the top left corner from left of the penalty spot.  2-0.

The visitors responded as Josh Bennett fired over the bar and Oscar Latas collected a clearance just outside the home box to shoot straight at a well positioned Clayton. 

On the stroke of half time Cirencester worked the ball to the left corner where Tunnicliff’s throw-in reached Aidan Bennett as he turned and cut into the penalty area and as he did so two defenders decided to challenge him resulting in him being brought to ground and a penalty kick being awarded.  MIKE POOK confidently tucked the spot kick inside the left post as Kingston dived towards it.  3-0.

Half Time:  3-0

Melksham started the 2nd half strongly and within five minutes a Ballinger free kick from 30 yards, central position, looked destined for the top right corner until Clayton launched himself to push it round his post for a corner kick.

A minute later the ball was in the back of the net at the other end following a quick counter attack as Parsons slipped the ball to Griffin who moved it on to Aidan Bennett as he drove down the left flank to the side edge of the Melksham area to send a left footed cross to the far post for an incoming OLIVER ARTWELL to finish inside the right post.  4-0.   

In the busy opening period of the second half Jack Ball received the ball on the front edge of the Cirencester area, central position, and cut left to strike a fierce left footed shot that crashed against the home bar.

Almost immediately the action was at the other end as a Cirencester free kick from their left flank was initially punched clear to be collected by Parsons who darted towards the right by-line where he was tripped as he cut back for a penalty kick to be awarded.  JOSH PARSONS stepped up to convert from the spot.  5-0.

Despite the score-line Melksham continued to press forward and Clayton was called upon to leap to his right to push another Ballinger effort from 35 yards onto his cross-bar for a corner kick.

A few minutes later Ball headed over from near the penalty spot but there must have been contact en-route as a corner kick to the back post followed and this was headed back to Dan Dempsey who volleyed over.

Cirencester continued to probe with attacks down both flanks and an Aidan Bennett cross from the left reached an unmarked Parsons at the far post but his firm header was wide of the target.

As changes were made to the Melksham line-up right back Josh Bennett was getting more involved in an attacking role as he supplied Cameron Allen in the home box, who lost control as he burst forward to collect, before shooting over the Cirencester bar.

In between these efforts there was the sight for home fans of Will Christopher charging down the right flank for some 60 yards before he was brought to a halt as he was unceremoniously tripped.

In the final minutes Melksham continued to press as balls were sent into the home area and on the stroke of time Clayton had to push a point blank header over his bar to keep a clean sheet. 

Full Time:   5-0

A much improved performance for the full 90 minutes from Cirencester as they sought to get back on track after the opening day defeat.

This was another terrific match at The Corinium Stadium with everyone playing their part in an entertaining, solid performance - including the opposition who kept attacking at every opportunity until the final whistle. 

Special mention for Oliver Artwell who ‘scored one’ and provided an ‘assist’ on his debut for The Centurions.


Attendance:  184                                

Referee:   Neil Pratt   



1.   Lewis Clayton
2.   Will Christopher
3.   Will Tunnicliff
4.   Mike Pook                                                 45+2p
5.   Shayne Anson
6.   Will Wellon
7.   Oliver Artwell                                             51
8.   Jack Freeman
9.   Alan Griffin     (C)                                      39
10.  Josh Parsons                                           56p
11.  Aidan Bennett                                           30

12.  John Dennis                       (Oliver Artwell-62mins)
14.  Jordan Morris                   
15.  Tommy Ouldridge               (Alan Griffin-70mins)
16.  Adam Connolly                   (Jack Freeman-83mins)
17.  Sam Ayres   (GK)



1.   Liam Kingston
2.   Josh Bennett
3.   Ian Jeffery
4.   Daniel Dempsey
5.   Sam Hedges
6.   Matthew Hurley
7.   William Thomson
8.   Luke Ballinger
9.   Jack Ball     (C)
10.  Oscar Latas
11.  Cameron Allen

12.  Sayeed Ibrahim                 (Jack Ball-72mins)
14.  Jacob Hutchings                (Luke Ballinger-75mins)
15.  Christopher Allen               (Matthew Hurley-66mins)
16.  Tom Warren
17.  Harry Pickering   (GK)        

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