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G.F.A. Senior Challenge Cup 2019/20

First Round


Cirencester Town  2 – 1  Yate Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


In a cup-tie full of energy and fast flowing football Aidan Bennett scored two goals in 3 minutes in response to Yate opening the scoring and it was enough to take Cirencester through to the next round – against Bristol City U23’s.

Cirencester returned to The Corinium Stadium for this mid-week cup-tie looking for an improved performance against Yate Town, their former rivals who gained promotion to the Premier Division via the ‘play-offs’ at the end of last season, after a disappointing 3-1 defeat in the league at Sholing.


Charlie Griffin (Manager) took the opportunity to get some minutes into the legs of players who have had limited game time and to try a different formation.


Whilst it was the visitors who kicked off playing towards the Shed End of the ground it was the home side that seized the initiative as within minutes they attacked down the left flank for Jordan Morris to cross from the corner to the front edge of the 6 yard box where a Jonny Dennis header was blocked.

A few minutes later they tried the right flank as Will Christopher over-lapped to the right corner to send a cross that incoming team-mates failed to connect with.

With eleven minutes on the clock Morris chased what looked to be a lost cause to the left by-line and hooked the ball over his shoulder before it went out of play, controlled it and cut inside to win a corner kick. Tommy Ouldridge sent the kick towards the penalty spot where Will Tunnicliff headed goal-wards - deflected wide for a corner kick from the right that was defended.  

In this frantic start to the match Yate responded as they made ground down their right channel resulting in a free kick that Albert Hopkins aimed towards the far left post where ‘keeper Lewis Clayton produced a spectacular dive to push the ball away from his goal.

Yate were soon back again and Clayton had to dart from his area to head a long ball away leading to a counter attack as Jack Freeman made 30 yards down the left touch-line to the corner.

Five minutes later Tunnicliff played the ball across the pitch to Christopher who sent a firm low pass to Freeman as he arrived at the centre front edge of the box and with great awareness he produced a sharp turn and slid the ball behind the Yate centre backs as Aidan Bennett darted through to collect for a 1v1 with ‘keeper Adam Forster who quickly advanced to block Bennett’s attempt to slip it past him. It was soon recycled by Morris to Bennett and this time his shot from near the penalty spot passed narrowly wide of the right post.

The Cirencester left flank was particularly busy during the next 15 minutes as Morris and Tunnicliff made many a ‘sortie’ down the flank, ably supported by Ouldridge and Freeman (who shot wide of the right post), but Yate stood firm.

Into the ten minutes leading to the interval and Ouldridge battled for the ball in the centre circle, slipped it right to Bennett who moved it on to the right flank where Dennis made ground before sending a deep cross to the far side of the Yate area where Morris arrived to fire over the bar.

As the interval approached Yate worked the ball down the left channel for Ross Langworthy to shoot over from 20 yards and then they worked the right flank as Joe Guest fed Jack Twyman who moved it on to an overlapping Mayson Evans. The full back sent a deep cross from the flank to the far post where a back-tracking Dennis cleared the danger.

Moments before the half-time whistle Freeman received the ball near the front edge of the Yate penalty area, turned sharply and smashed the ball against the right upright – rebounding to Morris who also struck the framework of the goal.

Half Time:  0-0

It had certainly been an entertaining half, particularly for the home support, and how it remained goal-less was a mystery but what was in store for the second period - the answer was more of the same frenetic football with a positive reaction and contribution from Yate who took the lead shortly after the hour.

Almost immediately Morris sent the ball from the centre to Tunnicliff as he galloped down the left touch-line, inside to Freeman who fired at the target from 25 yards, left channel, for Forster to parry leading to a corner kick that was defended. 

Not to be outdone Yate then worked their right flank as Langworthy supplied Twyman who moved it on to an overlapping Evans who crossed from the right corner – defended, but they were soon back again as Isaac Kelly delivered the ball to the right corner for Michael Bryant to chase and win a throw-in. As the throw was worked towards the centre Langworthy’s snap shot was deflected wide of the right post – corner kick. The kick was sent long but soon returned to the right flank where Yate were awarded a free kick. Hopkins delivered the kick towards the near post where a team-mate was arriving but the end result was a goal-kick to Cirencester. 

Yate were really involved now with the right flank particularly busy – Guest delivered the ball to the right corner where Hopkins won a corner kick and struck the cross-bar from 25 yards before Twyman drove down the left channel to shoot from 25 yards – Clayton parried and picked up. 

By now it was ‘end-to-end’ with both sides going for a result much to the delight of watching supporters.

Cirencester were attacking and Yate defended to counter down their right flank and when the ball entered the Cirencester half a covering tackle caused a momentary delay with players expecting a free kick for Yate but the well positioned Referee waved ‘play-on’ enabling Evans to chase and collect the loose ball and drive towards the corner. As he neared the side edge of the home penalty area he squared the ball to the supporting LUKE SPOKES, who had replaced Michael Bryant four minutes earlier, and he drove the ball inside the right post.  0-1.    

Cirencester responded to the setback and pressed down both flanks with resulting crosses defended and shortly after the mid-point of the half Bennett chased to block a clearance kick and the ball broke to Ouldridge who produced an instinctive right footed volley over his left shoulder from 25 yards that flew just over the Yate cross-bar.

More Cirencester pressure resulted in a corner kick that reached Shayne Anson and his sharp turn and left footed shot at the back post was blocked and finally the pressure told as Ouldridge collected a pass just outside the box from Freeman and charged down the right channel into the box as Forster advanced the ball reached AIDAN BENNETT who ‘toe-poked’ it home from near the penalty spot.  1-1.

Three minutes later Morris made another driving run to the left by-line to cross to the far post where AIDAN BENNETT was waiting to head back over the ‘keeper as he turned to block and despite getting something on it he couldn’t prevent it crossing the line.  2-1.

Cirencester continued to press with Tommy Anderson having a shot saved and a cross pass through the front edge of the 6 yard box without contact within four minutes if his arrival. 

In response Jake Lee’s shot from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by Clayton and then Bennett shielded the ball before releasing Morris for a charging 30 yard run down the left channel to the penalty area to deliver a low cross to the back post where Anderson’s effort was blocked. 

A minute later Cirencester tried the right flank as Freeman released Christopher for a 30 yard charge to the corner resulting in a low cross that once again passed through the front edge of the 6 yard box with Bennett just short of making contact. 

As the final whistle loomed Freeman produced an audacious dummy tight to the touchline, as he let the ball run past him, before turning to chase and cross from the left side edge of the penalty area towards the far post where Anderson just failed to make contact and in his eagerness ended up in the back of the net himself.    

In ‘added-time’ Hopkins tried a shot from just outside the home box but Clayton was in position to make the catch.   

Full Time:   2-1 

Another terrific game played at an incredible pace throughout that was a credit to the fitness levels of both teams and really deserved a higher attendance.

The home players have certainly given Charlie Griffin food for thought as he considers his starting eleven for Saturday’s FA Cup encounter with Chippenham Town.


Attendance:  67                                   

Referee:   Oliver Spender       



1.   Lewis Clayton
2.   Will Christopher
3.   Will Tunnicliff
4.   James Mortimer-Jones
5.   Shayne Anson     (C)
6.   Tommy Ouldridge
7.   John Dennis
8.   Adam Connolly
9.   Aidan Bennett                                            75, 78
10.  Jack Freeman
11.  Jordan Morris

12.  Harry Rule                        
14.  Jack Woods                      
15.  Malachi Lamie Cotter
16.  Alfie Cook                                      (James Mortimer-Jones-79mins)
17.  Tommy Anderson                            (John Dennis-79mins)



1.   Adam Forster
2.   Mayson Evans
3.   Nick Humphreys
4.   Isaac Kelly
5.   Elliott Keightley
6.   Sam Boulton
7.   Joe Guest
8.   Albert Hopkins
9.   Michael Bryant
10.  Ross Langworthy
11.  Jack Twyman

12.  Luke Spokes                                   (Michael Bryant-59mins)  63
14.  Ollie Mehew
15.  Jake Lee                                        (Ross Langworthy-76mins)
16.  Sam Kamara                                   (Joe Guest-68mins)

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