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BetVictor Southern League 2019/20

Division 1 South


Bideford  3 – 0  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


The Centurions made the long journey to Devon to face Bideford and after a goal-less first half and a disallowed goal early in the second went down 3-0 as they pressed forward in search of a much-needed victory.


James Mortimer-Jones remained in control of First Team affairs for his second match as Caretaker Manager and his selection for this match was hampered due to the absence of Mike Pook (suspended), Tommy Ouldridge (injured) and Will Wellon (Best Man at former Centurion Carl Brown’s wedding). As a result he made a rare start himself to bolster the midfield.


Cirencester kicked off into a strong wind on a bitterly cold day and immediately attacked the front edge of the home box where the home side cleared the ball for a counter attack down their left flank bringing James Mortimer-Jones into early action as he cleared the threat.

The action quickly transferred to the home penalty area as Jonny Dennis attacked the left side edge to shoot with his effort passing narrowly wide of the far post as Alan Griffin closed.

Shortly afterwards a Cirencester free kick into the home box resulted in a corner kick from the left to the far post where Mortimer-Jones laid it back into the path of Toumani Sidibe who struck a fierce shot from the edge of the box that ‘keeper Liam Kingston tipped over his bar.

Bideford responded to win a free kick from 30 yards that was part blocked for Lewis Clayton to collect as Sean Downing closed.

Moments later Mortimer-Jones broke up a Bideford attack near the right touchline and then produced some nifty footwork to create room to switch play to the left enabling Dennis to drive forward to the edge of the home penalty area and his subsequent cross was met by Jay Malshanskyj who made too good a contact to send his volley over the bar as he darted towards the left post.

Bideford then mounted an attack down their left flank resulting in a free kick that Max Smallcombe delivered to the penalty spot leading to a corner kick from the left that Clayton had to push over his bar. Clayton pushed the second kick wide of his left post for another corner kick from the right that was defended and cleared to Dennis who immediately made a break down the left flank.

As the mid-point of the half approached Bideford launched the ball down the pitch to clear a Cirencester attack with Theo Simpson in hot pursuit leading to Clayton darting from his box to clear but he missed the ball and before Simpson could latch onto it Shayne Anson was across to clear the danger.

Cirencester managed to get the ball in the Bideford net a minute later but it was disallowed for an earlier infringement.

During the next two minutes there was action at both ends as a Jack Freeman free kick reached an unsighted Will Tunnicliff at the back post but too quick for him to control it.

From the resulting goal kick Ian Sampson charged down the right flank to win a corner kick that Ben Palmer headed against the visitor’s bar from near the penalty spot.  

Cirencester continued to press forward and Freeman fired over when set up by Dennis, then Malshanskyj galloped down the left channel before squaring right to Sidibe who was forced wide by the home defence and his eventual cross cleared.

As the interval loomed a Dennis free kick was sliced over the bar by a defender leading to a corner kick that was punched clear followed by a well worked move from the hosts involving Simpson, Smallcombe and Lewis Waldy as they attacked the left flank to win a throw-in in the corner. The resulting throw reached Ryan Turner close to the by-line and he produced a sharp turn and shot that forced Clayton into a reflex save as he pushed it wide of his right post.  

Half Time:  0-0

Five minutes into the half Cirencester were awarded a free kick – 20 yards out, right channel – that Freeman fired at the target to be parried by Kingston near his left post and as it rebounded Tunnicliff quickly pounced to force it into the net past the stricken ‘keeper and a defender behind him but much to everyone’s surprise the Assistant Referee on the far side of the pitch had his flag raised resulting in the ‘goal’ being cancelled.

On the hour a challenge just inside the Cirencester half resulted in the ball rebounding into the path of Simpson as he broke through the advanced backline and he quickly made ground down the left channel to the penalty area for a 1v1 with Clayton who managed to deflect his shot wide of the goal for a recovering Ashley Harper to complete the clearance.

During the next 15 minutes the game was fairly even with both sides mounting attacks but no opening goal and then with 15 scheduled minutes remaining the deadlock was finally broken when the home side worked the ball down their left flank with Smallcombe starting it and Waldy and Archie Reay involved before it was returned to MAX SMALLCOMBE as he arrived at the left channel front edge of the Cirencester box to drive it inside the left post.  1-0.

Cirencester responded positively to the setback as Dennis fired a free kick over the bar and a couple of minutes later another Dennis shot was parried by Kingston resulting in a sharp chance for Malshanskyj as he quickly darted forward in support but it rebounded off him over the bar.

A few minutes later SEAN DOWNING collected a loose ball near the right channel front edge of the Cirencester penalty area and as he was closed down he produced a sublime piece of skill – dragging the ball back with his right foot and behind to his left - to avoid an incoming challenge. This created the room for him to shoot with his left foot and his effort flew inside the right post.  2-0.

As the game was drawing to a close Cirencester continued to push forward in search of a consolation goal but were hit on the counter as Ben Wood carried the ball into the box for a 1v1 with Clayton that the ‘keeper parried for a supporting SEAN DOWNING to collect and finish into the vacant net.  3-0.

Full Time:   3-0

Cirencester produced a positive first half performance and after being denied the opening goal early in the second they conceded a couple of well taken goals to return empty handed.  


Attendance:  181                                 

Referee:   Mr Lee Roberts (Plymouth) 




1.   Liam Kingston
2.   Ian Sampson
3.   Lewis Waldy
4.   Niall Heaney
5.   Toby Down  
6.   Ben Palmer
7.   Ben Carter     (C)
8.   Max Smallcombe                                        75
9.   Ryan Turner
10.  Theo Simpson
11.  Sean Downing                                             82, 89

12.  Archie Reay                                   (Theo Simpson-74mins)
14.  Aaron Taylor
15.  Will Hancox                                   (Sean Downing-90+1mins)
16.  Ben Wood                                      (Ryan Turner-85mins)



1.   Lewis Clayton
2.   Ashley Harper
3.   Will Tunnicliff
4.   James Mortimer-Jones
5.   Baboucarr Jarra
6.   Shayne Anson
7.   John Dennis
8.   Jack Freeman
9.   Alan Griffin     (C)
10.  Jay Malshanskyj
11.  Toumani Sidibe 

12.  Jordan Morris
14.  Tommy Anderson   
15.  Levi Irving                                      (Ashley Harper-78mins)

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