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BetVictor Southern League 2019/20

Division 1 South

 

Melksham Town  3 – 2  Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

 

For the second of their reverse fixtures Cirencester travelled to ‘in-form’ Melksham and after coming from behind twice they finally went down 3-2 to end their unbeaten run under John Brough.

 

An exciting match was in prospect as both teams are at the top of the ‘6-match form guide’ table – Melksham 1st (16 points) and Cirencester 2nd (14 points) whilst their league positions are Cirencester 8th (27 points from 19 games) and Melksham 9th (26 points from 18 games).

There were four changes to the starting eleven from the match against Highworth for Cirencester as James Mortimer-Jones, Nick Hancock, Tommy Anderson and Toumani Sidibe replaced Mike Pook, Jack Freeman, Jack Twyman and Lewis Thompson.

 

Cirencester kicked off and worked the ball to the left corner for Jonny Dennis’s cross to land on the roof of the net and a minute later as Jordan Morris brought the ball forward his pass down the line was intercepted and supplied to Philip Ormrod who took it to the corner where Tommy Anderson chased back to help his defence and clear the threat.

It had been a solid start from the visitors but it all changed in the 4th minute when Ormrod received the ball near the left front corner of the Cirencester box and delivered a curling pass with the outside of his right foot towards the far right post where LUKE BALLINGER arrived to head home.  1-0.

The Cirencester response was almost immediate as Levi Irving broke forward to send a terrific pass from the left flank into the left channel of the home area for Toumani Sidibe to collect but as ‘keeper Jamie Bartlett advanced the Ciren man fired wide of the right post.

As Cirencester pressed forward Melksham countered and were awarded a free kick that Ballinger delivered from the left channel to the far post, edge of the 6 yard box, where Josh Ford headed over.

A couple of minutes later it was all-square – Ciren ‘keeper Lewis Clayton punted the ball downfield for Sidibe to head on to Anderson, right channel - 25 yards out, and he clipped the ball towards the far post where the home defence were distracted by an incoming Irving with the ball reaching JONNY DENNIS who came in behind Irving to finish from 4 yards.  1-1.

It was now game on as Cirencester took the game to their hosts, first working the left flank before switching right for Morris to send a deep cross towards the far post - but too long, then Sidibe had a shot part blocked resulting in a corner kick that Will Wellon headed wide of the right post before Sidibe had another effort deflected over the home bar for a corner kick that Bartlett caught under pressure from Wellon.

A few minutes later Irving headed a punt into the path of Anderson who volleyed over the bar from the right channel front edge of the home area.

As is often the case after a period of pressure the opposition countered by sending the ball towards the Cirencester penalty spot where a headed clearance was partially blocked with the ball dropping to JAKE MAWFORD, lurking just outside the box, and he struck a superb volley inside the left post to regain the lead.  2-1.

Four minutes later it was all-square again as JONNY DENNIS intercepted an attempted clearance near the left corner and immediately cut right into the home box. A couple of steps and he drove the ball goal-wards and en-route it took a slight deflection from an outstretched defenders foot but not enough to stop it flying into the top right corner.  2-2. 

The game went up another notch in the final phase as Ciren pressed and Melksham countered. 

Into the last five scheduled minutes and a Melksham free kick was headed goal-wards by Ormrod, near the penalty spot, and the clearance dropped to former Centurion Will Christopher, 30 yards out – right channel, and he struck a thunderbolt towards the target that Clayton pushed over his bar and in the final minute Clayton was called into action again as an Ormrod header looked to be dropping under the bar but he managed to tip it over.

During this period Sidibe released Dennis to the left channel of the home box and under pressure he fired into the side netting. 

Half Time:  2-2 

The second half got off to a bizarre start as Melksham played it to the left flank and the Referee stopped play to check the ball and declare it to be too soft and after having it changed he restarted the game by dropping it to Melksham who promptly attacked the left side of the Ciren penalty area for Ormrod to shoot into the side netting.

In this positive start from the home side they then launched the ball to the right corner with Jack Ball in pursuit to close down and win a corner kick that sailed over Clayton to be cleared by Josh Nelmes but they were soon back again to win another corner kick.

As the home side pressed to the right corner for the third time in as many minutes Nelmes cut-out the cross to supply Nick Hancock and he sent it 30 yards across the pitch to Sidibe who charged down the right channel before his progress was ended abruptly for a free kick to be awarded. Sidibe picked himself up and fired the kick over the bar. 

This excursion provided some encouragement to Cirencester and over the next few minutes they attacked Melksham as Anderson collected a pass from James Mortimer-Jones and burst down the right channel to feed Irving who attempted to back-heel the ball back to Anderson as he continued his run but it was intercepted. 

The same combination were soon in action again as Anderson delivered a free kick from the left channel to Irving, near the penalty spot, and his looping header looked to be dropping under the top left corner of the bar until Bartlett managed to push it against the post to eventually be cleared. 

What an important save it turned out to be – who knows what might have happened if it had gone in.   

Cirencester had a couple more corner kicks before the hour mark and shortly after it Melksham mounted an attack down their left flank as Albert Hopkins supplied Joe Romanski as he over-lapped to the corner and the resulting cross reached Ballinger near the penalty spot who sliced his shot wide of the goal. The Cirencester defence assumed it would go out for a goal kick but Mawford chased after it to clip it back from the by-line to the far post where PHILIP ORMROD bundled it over the line.  3-2. 

Cirencester responded to the setback as they pressed forward but they were unable to find a way through the home defence and their free kicks and corner kicks were too close to Bartlett who caught several despite being under pressure.

As the game was coming to a close there was another unfortunate incident when the ball finished behind the home dug-out and as it was taking some time to retrieve the ball Will Tunnicliff went to get it leading to a rumpus that resulted in three Yellow Cards being issued – two for Melksham and one for Cirencester. 

Full Time:   3-2 

As expected a tight game with plenty of action and commitment from two in-form teams.

Cirencester found it difficult to impose themselves on their taller opponents in the home box.

 

Attendance:  464                                

Referee:   Oliver Spender         

 

MELKSHAM TOWN: 

1.   Jamie Bartlett
2.   Will Christopher
3.   Joe Romanski
4.   David Thompson
5.   Josh Ford     (C)  
6.   Matt Hurley
7.   Aidan Chainey
8.   Luke Ballinger                                             4
9.   Jack Ball
10.  Philip Ormrod                                             64
11.  Jake Mawford                                            30

12.  Sol Pryce                                       (Luke Ballinger-76mins)
14.  Oliver Webb                                  (Matt Hurley-78mins)
15.  Albert Hopkins                               (Jack Ball-61mins)
16.  Sayeed Ibrahim
17.  Nick Evans  (GK)                

  

CIRENCESTER TOWN:

1.   Lewis Clayton
2.   Jordan Morris
3.   Will Tunnicliff
4.   James Mortimer-Jones
5.   Josh Nelmes
6.   Will Wellon     (C)
7.   Tommy Anderson
8.   Nick Hancock
9.   Levi Irving
10.  John Dennis                                               18, 34
11.  Toumani Sidibe 

12.  Lewis Thompson                             (Toumani Sidibe-75mins)
14.  Jack Freeman       
15.  Sam Farr
16.  Lewis Spurrier
17.  Mike Pook 

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