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BetVictor Southern League 2019/20

Division 1 South


Cirencester Town  1 – 2  Frome Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


Frome Town were the latest visitors to The Corinium Stadium for a midweek league fixture and after a game of the proverbial two halves it was the visitors who took the points.

‘The Robins’ were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of last season but they have started this season very strongly, having secured 22 points from their 11 games, to arrive in 3rd place in the Division 1 South table. Cirencester have 13 points from 9 games and are 9th in the table.


Cirencester had a couple of changes from Saturday’s starting eleven against Mangotsfield United as Adam Connolly and Aidan Bennett replaced Shayne Anson (injured) and Will Tunnicliff (unavailable) respectively.   


Straight from the kick off Cirencester attacked the Arena end of the ground to be awarded a free kick on their right flank some 25 yards from goal but after the visitors defended the kick they immediately attacked down their right flank where Aidan Bennett was called into early action to block a shot.   

Both sides started positively during the early minutes but Cirencester were looking the more threatening as they attacked down their flanks and as a result Frome were relying on quick counter attacks with Joe O’Loughlin often the outlet down the left flank. 

As the 15 minutes mark approached Alan Griffin headed the ball on to Jay Malshanskyj who laid it off to a supporting Jack Freeman and he struck a fierce shot from 22 yards, left channel, that ‘keeper Rob Brown managed to push round his left post.

The kick was defended and the ball launched down the centre of the pitch, bringing home ‘keeper Lewis Clayton from his goal-line in a race to get to the ball before a chasing Dan Cottle, and as it dropped some 25 yards from goal Clayton managed to clear.

Cirencester continued to push forward and by the mid-point of the half they had threatened down both flanks several times and Freeman had sent a terrific pass from inside his own half to John Dennis, as he burst forward, and also fired over the bar. 

As is often the case when a side is pressing it is their opponents who make the breakthrough and this game was no exception but in unfortunate circumstances as a misunderstanding between defender and ‘keeper on the edge of the box resulted in DAN COTTLE being able to collect the loose ball and finish into the vacant net.  0-1.   

With the goal advantage the visitors started closing down quickly to win the ball and stifle progress from Cirencester whilst mounting fluid attacks of their own forcing Adam Connolly and Griffin to head clear from a free kick and corner kick respectively.

Despite the difficulty Cirencester were still attempting to get down their flanks and shortly after the half hour mark they were searching for an opening inside the Frome area but once again the visitors stood firm to clear.

Another Cirencester attack down their right flank was broken up just outside the visitor’s box and the ball quickly fed to Sam Teale who sent a superbly weighted pass for REX MANNINGS to collect as he burst down the centre-line of the pitch – darting between the home centre backs. When he reached the front edge of the home penalty area he tucked the ball inside the right post as Clayton advanced.  0-2.   

As the half was drawing to a close Frome worked the ball down their left flank for O’Loughlin to send into the home area where it was defended.

Half Time:  0-2

In the opening minutes of the second half Frome carried on where they had left off as Matt Smith and Cottle tested the home defence with firm strikes – the first parried by Clayton and the second blocked. 

Undeterred Cirencester worked the ball forward for Bennett to cut right, near the left front corner of the Frome box, before unleashing a fierce drive that ‘keeper Brown parried onto his right post for a corner kick.

Back came Frome as they mounted a couple of attacks with Robert Hobbs having his shot blocked and Mannings shooting wide of the left post.

Around the hour mark Cirencester were once again taking the game to Frome as they worked the ball across the pitch, from right to left, and then Mike Pook moved it down the left channel to Griffin who moved it back across to Izzy Jones as he advanced down the right channel to shoot narrowly wide of the left post from 25 yards.

Frome replied with a 35 yard strike from Cottle that was comfortably saved by Clayton.

By the mid-point of the half Cirencester were beginning to press forward more consistently and a powerful Freeman strike was straight at Brown but the pressure was building and a few minutes later Cirencester opened their account.

The ball was worked down their right flank to the corner for Ollie Artwell to cross to the back post where Malshanskyj chipped it back across goal, over Brown, to clip the inside of the right post and as it dropped down ALAN GRIFFIN bundled it over the line.  1-2.    

Four minutes later Cirencester were back again as the ball was switched from right to left for Levi Irving to battle to the by-line and clip to the back post where Malshanskyj was arriving but his header was touched round the post.

With the bit between their teeth Cirencester were pressing forward constantly – Dennis fired over the bar following a corner kick and then Bennett delivered a cross to the far right post where Griffin’s header clipped the top of the bar.

As the game was drawing to a close Jones crossed into the penalty area where Malshanskyj headed on for Griffin to head at goal but straight at Brown – saved.

Shortly afterwards Irving headed over and in the final seconds of the match Malshanskyj crossed from the right by-line and a goalmouth scramble ensued but Cirencester couldn’t force it over the line. 

Full Time:   1-2

After conceding an unfortunate goal Cirencester were put on the back foot as Frome showed why they are at the top end of the league table with quick, fluid football (normally the trade mark of Cirencester at The Corinium Stadium) to complete the first half confidently.

Cirencester survived the initial surge after the interval and came on strong as the half continued but Frome defended with determination to take the points.   


Attendance:  124                                


Referee:   Daniel Pattison         



1.   Lewis Clayton
2.   Isaiah Jones
3.   Aidan Bennett
4.   Michael Pook
5.   Adam Connolly
6.   Will Wellon
7.   Oliver Artwell
8.   Jack Freeman
9.   Alan Griffin     (C)                                      70                   
10.  Jay Malshankyj
11.  John Dennis

12.  James Mortimer-Jones                             
14.  Tommy Anderson
15.  Levi Irving                                      (Will Wellon-65mins)
16.  Shayne Anson
17.  Tommy Ouldridge



 1.   Robert Brown
 2.   Mark Cooper
 3.   Joseph O’Loughlin
 4.   Sam Teale     (C)
 5.   Marcus Mapstone
16.  Rex Mannings                                            37
 8.   Robert Hobbs
18.  Dan Cottle                                                  24
17.  Alex Monks
11.  Matt Smith
15.  Martin Lenihan

 6.  Chris Peck                                      (Martin Lenihan-72mins)
19.  Alex Hallett
20.  Rory Gorman                                  (Matt Smith-76mins)
14.  Warren Maidment
12.  Lewis Ellington                               (Dan Cottle-76mins)

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