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BetVictor Southern League 2019/20

Division 1 South

 

Highworth Town  0 – 1  Cirencester Town

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

 

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

 

The Bank Holiday fixture took Cirencester to near neighbours Highworth Town on one of the hottest days of the year and given the conditions the teams put in a considerable amount of effort but on a challenging pitch neither side was able to keep the ball long enough to produce any flowing football or create any openings to test their opponents defence.

 

With two ‘back-to-back 5-0 victories’ Cirencester Manager, Charlie Griffin, named an unchanged starting eleven for the third match in a row and whilst they started positively, playing down the slope, as Oliver Artwell laid the ball off to Aidan Bennett on the centre front edge of the home penalty area it took a nasty bobble and his shot was wide of the target.

Three minutes into the game Cirencester were awarded the first corner kick after some neat football down the right flank but this was easily defended. 

After this initial surge by Cirencester the home side began to close down quicker and with the uneven surface the visitors passes began to go astray enabling Highworth to counter.

A moment of indecision inside the penalty area as Steve Robertson challenged Will Wellon caused a little concern but Wellon recovered to clear the ball leading to a charge from Darren Jeffries into the right channel of the area where he shot past the far left post.

Ten minutes later Edjidja Mbunga produced some trickery as he darted to the left corner to win a corner kick that Shayne Anson headed away and as the first ‘Drinks Break’ approached Highworth pressed again through Jeffries.

A couple of minutes after the re-start Bennett and Griffin combined down the right flank for the latter to chip a ball into the home box for Josh Parsons to chase but ‘keeper Connor Johns darted from his line and they collided with the Ciren player awarded a Yellow Card.       

In this game of Free Kicks the home side fired one into the Ciren box where Griffin blocked and cleared for a counter attack down the left flank as Parsons slipped the ball to Artwell leading to pressure and ‘throw-ins’ in the left corner followed by a Free Kick from a central position 25 yards out. Josh Parsons stepped forward to take the kick and with the home defensive wall standing well inside the required 10 yards (as demonstrated when Griffin marched the distance – with no acknowledgement from the Referee) he struck the bottom of the right post.

As the half was drawing to a close Highworth pressed again with Jeffries often involved but as Dan Comer moved the ball down the line towards Mbunga it was intercepted by Will Tunnicliff who quickly exchanged passes with Artwell as he charged down the flank to the left corner to cross towards the near post where Griffin arrived to flick it over his shoulder and the bar.

In the final minutes of the half a Bennett cross on the turn was headed out by Matt Cheetham for a throw-in that reached Jack Freeman who fired over the bar as he cut left into the home box.    

Half Time:  0-0

Almost immediately from the re-start Cirencester were awarded a Free Kick in the right corner that was initially cleared but re-cycled for Will Christopher to clip a curling cross to the back post where Anson headed back towards goal for Johns to gather.

When Cirencester were awarded another Free Kick the home side defended and countered down their right channel before Sean Wood switched play to the left for Jeffries to drive forward but when he reached the edge of the area progress came to a halt.

Minutes later Cirencester worked the ball down their right flank with several players involved – Mike Pook, Bennett, Freeman, Will Christopher, Pook to Bennett who had his cross from the right by-line blocked for a corner kick that Freeman sent to the far post where Anson headed back across goal for Bennett and a defender to challenge near the post.    

The next action of note was at the edge of the Cirencester penalty area as Robertson kept control of the ball and exchanged passes with Ryan Morgan before shooting on the turn but his effort lacked the power to trouble ‘keeper Lewis Clayton.

Just before the hour mark a Cirencester throw-in in the right corner resulted in Griffin and ‘keeper Johns challenging for the ball near the by-line with the Ciren man landing on top of the ‘keeper.

Just before the second ‘Drinks Beak’ Highworth’s Cheetham had a shot blocked and Wood fired over.

With 15 minutes or so remaining Highworth introduced Jordan Roberts and within seconds he latched onto a clearance to produce a right footed volley that was just over the bar from the edge of the visitors penalty area. 

Shortly afterwards another Ciren Free Kick was launched to the edge of the home box – eventually falling to Griffin who turned to shoot but a terrific, strong block from Jacob Davidge denied him. 

As the game moved into the final minutes Cirencester worked the ball down the right flank and played it towards Levi Irving near the centre front edge of the home penalty area. With his back to goal he allowed it to run across his body, drawing a defender in the process, and on to JONNY DENNIS, left of centre front edge of the area, who collected and moved right to strike a superb right footed shot inside the right post.  0-1.

Another Highworth Free Kick on the stroke of full time was punched clear by Clayton and some Dennis wizardry in the left corner enabled Cirencester to obtain a clean sheet and victory.

Full Time:   0-1

Not a memorable match in terms of football quality due to the conditions but certainly a game of plenty of endeavour with local pride at stake – littered with Free Kicks.

 

Attendance:  282                                

Referee:   Andrew Hobbs        

 

HIGHWORTH TOWN:

1.   Connor Johns
2.   Dan Comer
3.   Jacob Davidge
4.   Ryan Morgan     (C)
5.   Leon Morrison
6.   Sam Morris
7.   Edjidja Mbunga
8.   Matthew Cheetham
9.   Steve Robertson
10.  Sean Wood
11.  Darren Jeffries

12.  Corey King                                      (Sam Morris-90mins)
14.  Sol Pryce                                       (Steve Robertson-79mins)
15.  Jordan Roberts                              (Matthew Cheetham-74mins)
16.  Matthew Grabe
17.  Curtis Meare                     

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

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

12.  John Dennis                                   (Oliver Artwell-71mins)  89
14.  Tommy Ouldridge                           (Jack Freeman-67mins)
15.  James Mortimer-Jones                 
16.  Levi Irving                                      (Josh Parsons-79mins)                                         
17.  Sam Ayres   (GK)

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