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League Challenge Cup 2019/20

First Round

 

Cirencester Town  1 – 1 (4-3 Pens)  Wantage Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

 

On a cold, wet and windy evening Wantage Town, of the Central Division, were the visitors to The Corinium Stadium for this First Round match in the League Challenge Cup and despite their lowly position in their Division they proved stubborn opponents with the cup-tie being decided by a penalty ‘shoot-out’.

 

Cirencester kicked off playing towards The Arena end and certainly started positively as they retained possession for most of the opening five minutes with Tommy Ouldridge testing visiting ‘keeper Joe Gorman in the opening minute. 

A few minutes later Ollie Artwell chased after a Wantage ‘back-header’ and managed to get to the edge of their penalty area first as their ‘keeper advanced but his touch took him too wide and this enabled James Glover to get back to stop his progress. 

Wantage responded to this opening salvo from their hosts by working the ball down their right flank without threatening the home defence unduly.

Just before the half-way mark of the first half James Mortimer-Jones, making a rare start, delivered two terrific passes from near the half-way line to release Will Tunnicliff down the left flank but neither cross caused the visitors too much concern. 

As Cirencester continued to dominate play there was the rare sight of Will Wellon advancing to shoot over from 25 yards and another period of play down the right flank that led to an Artwell cross from the corner and a diving header at the near post from Glover to send it behind for a corner kick. 

Four minutes later Shayne Anson produced another diving header in the Wantage penalty area as he met a corner kick but it was wide of the right post. 

This action was soon followed by the sight of Will Christopher driving forward before slipping the ball left to Jordan Morris, who had come in from the left flank to collect the pass, and without hesitating he struck a fierce shot from 25 yards that crashed against the cross-bar. Aidan Bennett looked to latch onto the rebound as it dropped and was denied by a defender who conceded a corner kick. 

As the half approached the last five minutes Artwell cut in from the right flank to fire a left footed effort narrowly wide of the left post and then with two minutes of the half remaining Musa Drammeh played the ball inside from the right flank to Jack Buchanan who sent it down the centre of the pitch to JORDAN HOWE and he completed the job by firing into the top right corner from 30 yards to open the scoring for Wantage with their first shot.  0-1.     

Almost immediately Cirencester levelled when a driving run by Artwell, exchanging passes with Ouldridge on the way, took him to the right corner and his subsequent cross was met by AIDAN BENNETT who provided the finishing touch from the edge of the 6 yard box to go to the interval all-square.  1-1.

Half Time:  1-1

The second half also began positively for Cirencester as Ouldridge linked with Morris who drove down the left flank to cross into the box where it was defended and returned to Morris who sent it towards the penalty spot to Bennett and he laid it back to Ouldridge who fired wide of the left post. 

Five minutes into the half the busy Buchanan dribbled to the left channel of the home penalty area but his resulting shot was over the bar. 

Cirencester pressed again and Wantage defended before mounting a counter attack as Drammeh on the right flank linked with Ryan Fry, centre - 30 yard out, who delivered the ball to Matthew Newbrook, near the left front corner of the home penalty area, and after cutting right he fired a low shot past the far right post. 

As the hour mark approached Cirencester worked the ball down the right flank before switching to the left side edge of the area and from there it was moved to Bennett and on to Mortimer-Jones, right channel front edge of the area, who sent a low effort towards the right post where Gorman dived to save.    

A couple of minutes later Artwell cut in from the right again to shoot wide of the far post. 

Shortly afterwards Wantage tested home ‘keeper Lewis Clayton when Buchanan’s low shot was comfortably saved by the ‘keeper and then he had to catch a Drammeh cross from the right. 

After this brief period of possession for Wantage the home side pressed again and when Alan Griffin crossed from the left by-line it went through the front edge of the 6 yard box to Jack Freeman who had his shot deflected for a corner kick. 

Into the last fifteen minutes and a Bennett cross was taken off the head of Griffin at the back post and in the final minutes Cirencester probed inside the Wantage penalty area but couldn’t make the breakthrough as the visitors defended for all they were worth - blocking several efforts – eventually leading to a cross from Christopher to the back post where Griffin headed wide.

With the scores level after 90 minutes it was a penalty ‘shoot-out’.

Full Time:   1-1 

After five penalties each the scores were still level, with AIDAN BENNETT, ALAN GRIFFIN, and TOMMY OULDRIDGE successful for Cirencester, leading to a ‘sudden-death’ situation. 

Lewis Clayton had made a terrific save to push the 5th Wantage penalty over his cross-bar to bring about this situation and when he saved the 6th (low to his right) it was up to Cirencester to convert the next penalty and WILL CHRISTOPHER duly stepped forward to smash it into the back of the net to take Cirencester through to the next round of the competition.

 

 

A dominant performance from Cirencester in terms of possession but the slow forward progress enabled Wantage to re-group to make it more difficult to penetrate.

It will however have provided the opportunity to get any stiffness out of their tired limbs, after their two epic FA Cup matches against Chippenham, before Saturday’s game against 2nd placed Paulton Rovers.

 

Attendance:  64                                  

 

Referee:   Neil Pratt     

 

 

CIRENCESTER TOWN: 

1.   Lewis Clayton
2.   Will Christopher                                             114p
3.   Will Tunnicliff
4.   Michael Pook     (C)
5.   Shayne Anson
6.   Will Wellon
7.   Ollie Artwell
8.   Tommy Ouldridge                                            106p
9.   Aidan Bennett                                            44, 98p
10.  James Mortimer-Jones
11.  Jordan Morris 

12.  Tommy Anderson                            (Will Tunnicliff-82mins)                                 
14.  Alan Griffin                                   (Jordan Morris-68mins) 102p              
15.  John Dennis
16.  Jack Freeman                                (Michael Pook-23mins)

  

WANTAGE TOWN: 

1.   Joseph Gorman
2.   Thomas Eatwell
3.   Charley Tuttle                                                92p
4.   Ryan Fry                                                       104p
5.   Chris Jackson
6.   James Glover
7.   Musa Drammeh
8.   Jared Jones
9.   Jordan Howe                                              43
10.  Jack Buchanan
11.  Matthew Newbrook 

12.  Vakatuna Hepute                            (Musa Drammeh-71mins)
14.  Elliot King
15.  Tobi Shoyoge                                 (Jordan Howe-74mins)
16.  Alistair Thorp                                (Matthew Newbrook-65mins)  96p
17.  Tyron Lee

                                    
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