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Pre-Season 2020-21


Cirencester Town   3 – 0   Wantage Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

In dreadful weather conditions - gale force winds and rain – Cirencester hosted Wantage Town of the Southern League – Central Division and scored three goals after the interval to record victory.


The visitors kicked off playing towards The Shed end of The Corinium Stadium and as they worked the ball across pitch and back to ‘keeper Henry Wood he was quickly closed down by Aidan Bennett who blocked his kick to create some pressure in the left corner.

A few minutes later Bennett played the ball right to Roger James, right channel – 30 yards out, and he laid it back to Nick Hancock as he advanced down the flank before sending a curling cross through the front edge of the visitors 6-yard box where Bennett was unable to make contact as he darted forward.

The first threat from Wantage came after ten minutes when Alex Stott exchanged passes with Ryan Knight on the right flank, near the front corner of the home penalty area, but in the process Knight was brought down and a free kick awarded that was delivered to the front edge of the home 6-yard box. Cirencester ‘keeper Alex Harris leapt to punch the ball but in amongst the action the Referee awarded a free kick to the home side.

Another piece of closing-down near the centre circle, Bennett and Joe Turley, ultimately led to a corner kick from the right that Ben McLean delivered to the far post where Josh Nelmes header was blocked and as it rebounded back to him he fired over the bar.

Despite the gusting rain in their faces Cirencester were pressing hard and a Tom Handley pass down the left channel appeared promising as James chased after it but alert ‘keeping by Wood denied him as he dived at the forwards feet to block.

Around the mid-point of the half Bennett was released to the left by-line and Ross Gabriel fired over the bar and in response Wantage won a series of corner kicks from the right after they had initially launched the ball to that corner. Joe Turley, McLean and Gabriel headed them away with the latter’s clearance leading to a counter attack from Bennett and a deep cross from Hancock that was caught by Wood.

Shortly afterwards Nick Hancock suffered an injury that resulted in him being replaced by Archie Brennan at right back.

By the ‘30-minute mark’ play was ‘end-to-end’ and a neat back-heel from Kai Mahon released James Hammond into the home area but Harris was quickly off his line to prevent any further progress.

In the lead-up to the interval Handley embarked on a run that took him to the edge of the visitor’s box where he was unceremoniously stopped in his tracks and the free kick led to McLean firing over.

Wantage countered with a cross from their right flank towards the home penalty spot where Archie Brennan covered to have a heading duel with Mahon with the defender winning the battle for Harris to collect the ball.

A minute later there was a contentious moment as Jonny Dennis dribbled down the left channel, evading a couple of challenges, to the box where he was upended – Penalty – no, a free kick on the edge that Dennis drove into the wall.

In the final minutes of the half Knight chased and harried to win the ball in the left corner and crossed from the by-line towards the front edge of the 6-yard box. As Harris had been drawn across to assist his defender a covering Ellis Dunton cleared the danger.

Half Time:  0-0 

At the interval Wantage made three substitutions and they started the half positively as Stott tested Harris with a deep cross that the ‘keeper caught and when they were presented with another chance following some poor defending Mahon fired over from near the penalty spot.

As the hour mark approached Cirencester were stringing a few passes together with Turley, Dennis, Bennett, Dennis and Brennan working the ball downfield for the latter to cross towards Bennett who saw his header collected by Wood.

On the hour Josh Parson replaced Roger James and it took him five minutes to break the deadlock as Harris supplied Dennis, left flank half-way, who passed right to Parsons, a slick ‘one-two’ between JOSH PARSONS and Aidan Bennett followed and this created the room for the former to run into the right channel of the visitors box where he unleashed a fierce strike that flew into the net.  1-0.

Eight minutes later Cirencester thought they had a good shout for a Penalty kick as Dunton, centre circle, passed the ball forward to Parsons – moved right to Bennett who cut in from the flank and as he entered the side edge of the area he was brought to ground but a free kick was awarded. Ben Hands took the kick and drove it towards the bottom right post where Wood dived to smother.

Shortly afterwards Parsons was fouled as he turned leading to a free kick followed by a corner kick that Hands delivered towards the penalty spot where Gabriel’s header skimmed the outside of the left post.

Cirencester were finishing strongly and a through ball from Handley was sliced by the defender for Parsons to chase, collect and carry into the left channel of the area where he cut right to shoot. His shot was blocked and as he attempted to reclaim the rebound he was brought down and a Penalty Kick awarded. JOSH PARSONS took the spot kick himself and drove it low inside the bottom left post.  2-0.

The final goal of the game came on the stroke of full-time and was the result of a flowing move as Turley intercepted and moved it on to Parsons - right to Bennett who carried it down the right flank before sending a low cross into the 6-yard box where ROSS GABRIEL arrived to finish from close range.  3-0.    

Full Time:   3-0

It says a lot about the dedication and enthusiasm of the players, officials, backroom staff and supporters of both teams that a match was actually played in the weather conditions in front of fans.

Both sides showed tremendous commitment in the gusting wind and rain that made it difficult to play any measured football but they gave it a go with glimpses of what might have been.

The conditions provided a good test of the fitness and sharpness of players as they get closer to the start of the new season.

The home side are beginning to look more of a cohesive unit and the visitors looked a threat when given room.




Alex Harris, Nick Hancock (C), Tom Handley, Joe Turley, Josh Nelmes, Ellis Dunton, Roger James, Ben McLean, Ross Gabriel, Aidan Bennett, Jonny Dennis, Josh Parsons, Michael Pook, Shayne Anson, Archie Brennan, Lee Llewelyn, Ben Hands.



Henry Wood, Joey Broadbank, Harry Brock, Jack Alexander, Dan James, Josh Tooke, Alex Stott, James Hammond, Ryan Knight, Tom Ballard, Kai Mahon, Ty Lee, Luke Ballard, Ryan Fry, Olly Goddard, Dec Shepard, Lewis Baldwin.

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