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

Quarter Final


Cirencester Town  3 – 1  Bristol City U23’s

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


The spectators who braved the bitterly cold evening witnessed a fast-paced cup-tie that included two second half penalties as the home side recovered from being a goal down at the interval to a very young City side.


The young Robins, rumoured to be their U18’s, kicked off playing towards The Shed end of The Corinium Stadium and it took fully 5 minutes before Cirencester managed a meaningful touch of the ball and during this opening spell Sam Pearson tested ‘keeper Lewis Clayton at the near post and Tommy Conway fired over the bar whilst shortly afterwards Sam Bell chipped an advancing Clayton to see his shot clip the outside of the left post.

The first Cirencester threat to the visitor’s goal was a Mike Pook free kick, from a position left of centre – 20 yards out, that whistled past the right post.

Back came City as they attacked their right flank for Sam Pearson’s shot to be deflected wide of the left post and from the corner kick Pearson fired wide of the right post.

A few minutes later City took a deserved lead when SAM BELL was released into the right channel of the home area where he rounded an advancing Clayton to tuck his shot into the net from a narrow angle.  0-1.

After this setback Cirencester began to mount attacks of their own, down their left flank, but around the mid-point of the half Bell tested Clayton again with a couple of quickfire efforts from the right by-line that the ‘keeper blocked.

As the half-hour approached Cirencester pressed to the left corner resulting in a corner kick that Pook sent to the back post where it was headed into the mix near the front edge of the 6 yard and over the bar by Shayne Anson under challenge.

Cirencester then attacked down the right flank as Levi Irving collected a free kick on half-way and slipped the ball right to Tommy Anderson who galloped down the flank before crossing towards the penalty spot where ‘keeper William Buse made the requisite catch.

The visitors immediately countered down their right flank as James Taylor delivered a cross from the corner towards the near post where Sam Pearson was arriving to compete in a heading challenge for the ball with Will Wellon. The youngster was injured in the duel and subsequently left the field to be replaced by Ayman Benarous.

As the interval approached Toumani Sidibe and Will Tunnicliff worked the left flank for the latter to send a deep cross to the back post where Anderson laid it back to Ashley Harper enabling a different point of attack that The Robins survived.

Into the final five minutes and Wellon began a move that saw him charge forward into the left channel of the City area where a strong challenge from Buse resulted in a throw-in and a Tunnicliff cross that Buse caught.

In added-time as Cirencester pressed there was some very calm defending from the visitors as Buse and James Taylor worked the ball forward under pressure and the final action of the half saw Conway shoot straight at Clayton.

Half Time:  0-1

After the interval City again took the game to their hosts as they produced a neat move from their right flank as Benarous, James Taylor and Jamie Taylor worked the ball across the pitch to the left front corner of the home area where Harper brought their progress to an end.

The action then switched to the other end of the pitch as Pook struck a free kick, from the left channel - 22 yards out, against the bar and as it dropped Irving also struck the bar and in the resulting scramble a penalty kick was awarded for ‘handball’. MIKE POOK stepped forward to place his kick inside the left post as Buse dived in the opposite direction. 1-1.  

Four minutes later City had the chance to regain the lead as Tommy Conway was 1v1 with Clayton but the ‘keeper diverted his effort wide.

Shortly after the hour mark Pook drove the ball from the centre circle to Anderson on the right flank and he moved it down the line to Sidibe who carried it to the side edge of the City box but his cross was deflected for a corner kick that was cleared to Anderson, lurking just outside the box, and he struck a fierce low drive at the target – saved by Buse.

In the lead-up to the mid-point of the half City worked the ball to the edge of the home box but Cirencester dealt with the threat and followed up with a swift counter attack as Sidibe won the ball on half-way to supply JAY MALSHANSKYJ as he darted from right to left, along the front edge of the visitor’s box, to strike a low shot inside the right post.  2-1.

Undeterred City responded with a clever left footed pass down the right flank from James Taylor into the path of Conway as he raced to the right corner but Wellon cut off his resulting cross.

A few minutes later Anderson sent the ball down the right touchline for Sidibe to collect and cut in towards the City box where he was eventually felled for a penalty kick to be awarded. Once again MIKE POOK converted the spot kick as he tucked it inside the bottom right as Buse dived towards the left post.  3-1. 

A couple of minutes later a Pook free kick released Tunnicliff to the left by-line where he managed to get his cross in, before being clattered into the side railings, and it was headed wide of the left post by Sidibe as Irving closed.

After a couple more Cirencester attacks and with time running out the spirited City youngsters played some neat football as they worked the ball to the edge of the home area but they couldn’t find a way through.

Full Time:   3-1 

Another entertaining cup-tie as the very lively youngsters from Bristol City tested the home side who had to work hard for their victory as they gradually worked their way into the game.


Attendance:  41                                  

Referee:   Jack Clench  



1.   Lewis Clayton
2.   Ashley Harper
3.   Will Tunnicliff
4.   Mike Pook     ©                                           55p, 72p
5.   Shayne Anson
6.   Will Wellon
7.   Tommy Anderson
8.   Jack Freeman
9.   Levi Irving 
10.  Jay Malshanskyj                                        67
11.  Toumani Sidibe

12.  Alan Griffin                                   (Levi Irving-75mins)                            
14.  John Dennis                                   (Mike Pook-77mins)                 
15.  Scott Rose     (GK)
16.  James Mortimer-Jones
17.  Jordan Morris                                (Will Tunnicliff-75mins)



1.   William Buse
2.   James Taylor
3.   Khari Allen
4.   Ryley Towler
5.   Joseph Low
6.   Callum Pearson
7.   Sam Pearson
8.   Josh Owers     ©
9.   Tommy Conway
10.  Sam Bell                                                     17
11.  Jamie Taylor

12.  Ayman Benarous                             (Sam Pearson-37mins)
13.  Luca Smith
14.  Marlee Francois                             (Tommy Conway-70mins)
15.  Prince Henry                                  (Sam Bell-85mins)

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