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BetVictor Southern League 2019/20

Division 1 South


Cirencester Town  4 – 0  Larkhall Athletic

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Cirencester avenged their late goal defeat at Larkhall in November with a solid, all-round team performance to take the points against 3rd placed visitors Larkhall Athletic.


Larkhall Athletic arrived at The Corinium Stadium as one of the form sides based on the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table – sitting in 4th place – and 3rd in the league table. In comparison Cirencester were in 2nd place in the ‘form’ table and 7th in the league table some 7 points behind their opponents. In their last three games Larkhall have drawn with Cinderford and defeated Thatcham and Winchester so the improving Centurions expected a very tough match and so it proved despite the score-line.

The reverse fixture in November had resulted in a 2-1 victory for Larkhall with the winning goal being scored in the 84th minute – courtesy of a deflection that looped the ball over a stranded Lewis Clayton.


Cirencester were without the services of John Dennis for this match as he suffered ankle ligament damage in the match against Forest Green Rovers and is likely to be out of action for some weeks.  


The visitors kicked off proceedings, playing towards The Shed end of the ground, but within the first minute it was Cirencester that had a strong appeal for a penalty kick as Tommy Anderson burst into the left channel of the penalty area to be brought down. Referee Andrew Genders, some 20 yards further back, rejected the resulting appeals for a Penalty Kick.

The home side were soon back again as Anderson moved left from the right flank to exchange passes with Levi Irving before changing the point of attack as he slipped the ball to Jack Freeman on the right channel front edge of the Larkhall box but with no opening the ball was played back to Mike Pook and Nick Hancock to start again.  

Cirencester had started very promisingly as they continued to press and the first effort from their opponents, a 25-yard shot from Brad Norris that was wide of the left post, came after 6 minutes and the home side replied with a well worked move as Ross Gabriel slipped the ball to Irving near the right channel front edge of the visitors box and he in turn laid it into the path of Anderson as he darted through but the winger delayed his shot and the opening was closed forcing him wide to the by-line.  

As the ten-minute mark approached Larkhall launched the ball to the edge of the home box where it was comfortably cleared and then Norris embarked on a run that took him to the right flank where he crossed towards the penalty spot for ‘keeper Lewis Clayton to collect.  

A couple of minutes later Anderson collected the ball 10 yards inside his own half, right touchline, and began a 20 yard run before moving it on to Freeman who produced a ‘wall pass’ to instantly release Gabriel down the right flank and his subsequent cross to the back post, towards an incoming Irving, had to be dealt with by covering defender Tom Warren but unfortunately for him his attempted headed clearance looped over his keeper to drop inside the top right corner for an OWN GOAL1-0.

Four minutes later Cirencester doubled their lead as Pook and JACK FREEMAN lined up a free kick, 25 yards out – central position, and the latter planted his precision strike into the top left corner.  2-0.  

Larkhall immediately responded to this setback as Alex Lambert drove down the centre before slipping the ball left to Tom Hillman who cut back inside to shoot wide of the left post from 25 yards.

The visitors had upped their game and a few minutes later Lewis Powell fed Joe Tumelty who played the ball to Norris in the right channel, 25 yards out, and he struck a fierce drive at the target that Clayton dived full length to push over his bar for a corner kick. Dale Evans delivered the kick to the near post where it was initially cleared but fed back in as Lambert slipped it to Powell who laid it back to Norris for another firm strike to be parried by Clayton to reach Hillman and as he shot from the left channel of the box Clayton recovered to deflect his effort wide with his heels. The ball was re-cycled once again and headed out for Powell to shoot over the bar.

Larkhall were really giving it a go now and a few minutes later Norris made another forward run, laid it back to Hickman, right to Evans who shot at goal – caught by Clayton.

This was soon followed by a corner kick and powerful header from Baker that was blocked on the line and cleared.

Whilst Cirencester had been subjected to a lot of pressure they had survived and were still dangerous on the counter and when Anderson burst forward he was tripped for a free kick to be awarded - followed by a Yellow Card to the culprit.

Shortly afterwards Jack Freeman produced a great turn as he received a throw-in on the left flank that took out two would-be challengers in one move – worthy of mention.

As the half was drawing to a close Larkhall pressed and Cirencester defended with resolve with many a headed clearance.  

Half Time:  2-0

During the interval Lewis Thompson replaced Tommy Anderson who had been taken to hospital with a serious gash on the back of his leg that had exposed his Achilles Tendon and was the result of the challenge that could have resulted in a Penalty Kick in the first minute – how did he manage to continue until half-time?

After the break Larkhall continued where they had left off in the first half by pressing their hosts although it was not all one-way as Cirencester countered quickly.

The opening exchanges saw Larkhall’s Jack Camm play the ball down the left flank to Hillman who slipped it right for Norris to shoot to Clayton.

In reply Nick Hancock exchanged passes with Pook as he worked his way down the right flank to the corner to cross towards the near post where an incoming Irving nearly collected to threaten.

With five minutes on the clock the action was in the Cirencester box as Norris played a cross-field pass to the right corner where Lambert crossed into the box for Hancock to head out for a corner kick that was sent towards the penalty spot and the resulting effort brought a low diving save from Clayton at his right post and when the ball was re-cycled into the box Baker fired over the bar.

During the next couple of minutes Freeman fired wide at one end and Tumelty at the other.

Around the hour-mark the ball broke to Lewis Thompson who fired it into the net from 25 yards but the whistle had gone for a free kick as he struck the ball.

Once again Larkhall increased the pressure as they launched crosses into the box to be repelled by Jordan Morris, Joe Turley and Josh Nelmes or blocked by Mike Pook as Cirencester dug-in.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes Larkhall pressed again and Cirencester countered with a quick break down their left flank as Morris charged 30 yards down the flank before moving the ball on to Irving who took it into the visitor’s box resulting in a corner kick. Jack Freeman delivered the kick to the near post where LEVI IRVING leapt like a salmon to send a sublime, glancing header inside the top right corner of the net.  3-0.  

Six minutes later Thompson received the ball in the right corner and retained possession until a corner kick was obtained and once again Freeman sent it towards the near post where MIKE POOK darted forward to produce a low glancing header that flew into the net.  4-0.  

During the remaining minutes Larkhall continued to press in search of a goal but Cirencester were determined to keep them out.

Full Time:   4-0

A solid performance from the whole team as they closed down their opponents very quickly early on to restrict their space and attacked with pace and when Larkhall responded the defence came into their own with some disciplined defending from all.

An excellent result against a formidable opponent.


LEWIS CLAYTON was awarded The De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel - Man of the Match after the game.


Attendance:  150                                

Referee:   Andrew Genders      



1.   Lewis Clayton
2.   Nick Hancock                                
3.   Jordan Morris
4.   Michael Pook     ©                                       82
5.   Josh Nelmes
6.   Will Wellon
7.   Tommy Anderson
8.   Joe Turley
9.   Ross Gabriel          
10.  Jack Freeman                                            18
11.  Levi Irving                                                   76

12.  Will Tunnicliff                               (Ross Gabriel-80mins)                         
14.  Lewis Thompson                             (Tommy Anderson-46mins)
15.  James Mortimer-Jones                  (Michael Pook-83mins)
16.  Bradley Gray         
17.  Scott Rose    (GK)



 1.   Shaun Semmens
 2.   Tom Warren                                              14 (OG)
 3.   Jack Camm
 4.   Brad Norris
 5.   Michael Baker     ©
 6.   Josh Jones
 7.   Joseph Tumelty
 8.   Dale Evans
 9.   Alexander Lambert 
10.  Lewis Powell
11.  Thomas Hillman

12.  Geraint Bater                                 (Thomas Hillman-70mins)
14.  Jack Dancey                                  (Joseph Tumelty-70mins)
15.  Wayne Nderemani
16   Daniel Restorick
17.  Fin Coyle                                        (Lewis Powell-84mins)  


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