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The Emirates FA Cup 2020/21

Preliminary Round


Flackwell Heath   0 – 3   Cirencester Town

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Cirencester entered this season’s FA Cup competition with a trip to Buckinghamshire to face Flackwell Heath of the Hellenic League – Premier Division.


A very youthful looking home side kicked off on a fairly warm afternoon and immediately attacked down their right flank and play continued down that flank as Cirencester repelled this initial thrust to counter on the same side of the pitch eventually leading to a hopeful lob into the Cirencester penalty area that was quickly dealt with by Nick Hancock as he moved the ball forward to Mike Pook and on to Brad Gray who sent it to the right corner as Josh Parsons made ground.

The resulting clearance was collected by Joe Turley who promptly switched play to Jonny Dennis on the left wing who cut in from the flank to shoot – blocked but recovered by Gray who crossed from the right corner – defended.

A promising start from the visitors.

With five minutes on the clock Mike Pook left the pitch for treatment and two minutes later he was replaced by Lee Llewelyn.

Almost immediately Flackwell worked the ball down their left flank as Brandon Eaton and Cameron Gray combined to provide a shooting chance for Jack Taylor (25 yards out-right channel) but this was collected safely by Ciren’s debutant ‘keeper Dan Lawrence.   

As the 10 minutes mark neared Brad Gray took the ball to the right corner where he ‘won’ a corner kick that Dennis delivered to the near post for Tom Handley to head against the cross-bar and as it rebounded back to him he fired at the target again and this time it was cleared from near the goal-line at the right post.

For the next ten minutes both sides attacked down their flanks but neither defence was really troubled until Dennis clipped the ball in from the left corner for Tommy Anderson (near the penalty spot) to produce a ‘cushioned’ header to his left for Josh Parsons to shoot twice – both blocked rebounding to Dennis who also had his effort diverted for a corner kick.  

Shortly before the mid-point of the half Taylor slipped the ball through the visitor’s defence for Simeon Weekes to collect as he cut in from the right flank and his resulting shot struck the base of the far left post before being cleared for a corner kick by Hancock.

During the next ten minutes play was disrupted as the home side suffered injuries to three players and shortly afterwards Brad Gray worked hard to keep the ball in the right corner against two opponents and when his cross was cleared it fell to Hancock who sent it towards the penalty spot where Parsons challenged, for the ball to drop to Anderson who struck a left footed volley towards the target. Home ‘keeper Aaron Watkins reacted quickly to push it over his cross-bar.

As the interval loomed Flackwell began a promising move, as Weekes and Ashley Howell combined along with Josh Baines, Marcus Ushiro-Lumb and Cory Hathaway on the right flank, that came to an end when they were awarded a free kick. Josh Nelmes cleared the danger from the kick and a couple of minutes later he was involved at the other end of the pitch when he headed a free kick goal-wards for Watkins to palm it away from his goal but an ‘offside’ flag had been raised.  

A minute before the break Howell flashed a shot on the turn wide of the Ciren right post.

Half Time:  0-0

Within a minute of the re-start the home side nearly opened the scoring when a free kick was launched into the Cirencester penalty area and the resulting challenge led to the ball dropping to Taylor, near the 6-yard box – left front corner, but in his haste he fired over the bar.

Encouraged the home side were soon back again as they worked the ball down their right flank through Weekes, Baines, Mo Ceesay and Ushiro-Lumb but the final ball was behind the target for a goal kick.

After this initial surge from the home side it was Cirencester that began to threaten as Turley, Hancock and Brad Gray combined down their right flank to release Anderson – defended but quickly recovered for Brad Gray to slip the ball to his left to Parsons, right channel - 35 yards out, and he moved it forward to JONNY DENNIS cutting-in from the left flank to collect, 25 yards out – left channel, and as he moved towards the home box he was closed down by a defender and Dennis took full advantage by curling a right footed shot inside the far right post with ‘keeper Watkins unsighted.  0-1.     

A couple of minutes later Anderson darted across the home box towards the penalty spot to get on the end of a cross from the Cirencester left flank and despite being ‘nudged’ he managed to clip the ball towards the goal but it was blocked for a supporting Dennis to finish from close range. The Referee had however already blown his whistle to award a Penalty Kick for the ‘nudge’ and JOSH PARSONS stepped forward to smash it inside the left post as Watkins dived the other way.  0-2.

Despite this further setback the home side, with nothing to lose, pressed forward and a ball over the Ciren defence was collected by Adam Thomas but Handley was quickly across to deny him further progress but the clearance was recycled to Baines who supplied James Mansfield and he shot from inside the visitors box, right channel, bringing a reaction save from Lawrence. The resulting corner kick reached Ezio Touray who headed over from near the penalty spot.

With 15 minutes to go Anderson crossed from the right to the right channel of the home box where Ross Gabriel bravely headed goal-wards as Watkins attempted to punch but Eaton was covering to clear.

A couple of minutes later Flackwell created another opening when Touray and Thomas exchanged passes twice as they worked their way down the left channel to the edge of the box to release Thomas into the area but Lawrence was quickly off his line to block the shot.

As the game was drawing to a close Dennis made another run down the left flank to the side edge of the penalty area where he clipped the ball towards penalty spot. It passed over Gabriel but TOMMY ANDERSON was coming in from the right flank and he managed to volley the ball inside the left post.  0-3.  

Full Time:   0-3

A workman-like performance from Cirencester against spirited opposition.


Attendance:     90’ish                           Referee:          Stuart Kyle



 1.    Aaron Watkins
 2.    Marcus Ushiro-Lumb
 3.    Cameron Gray
 4.    Cory Hathaway
 5.    Mo Ceesay
 6.    Brandon Eaton
 7.    Josh Baines     ©
 8.    Jack Taylor
 9.    Adam Thomas
10.   Ashley Howell
11.   Simeon Weekes

12.   Ezio Touray                      (Ashley Howell-64mins)
14.   Sodike A-Thompson         (Simeon Weekes-57mins)                    
15.   James Burrell
16.   James Mansfield               (Marcus Ushiro-Lumb-64mins)
17.   Stuart Glynn
19.   Jonathan O’Sullivan



 1.     Dan Lawrence
 2.     Nick Hancock     ©
 3.     Tom Handley
 4.     Mike Pook
 5.     Josh Nelmes
 6.     Shayne Anson
 7.     Tommy Anderson                          89
 8.     Joe Turley
 9.     Brad Gray
10.   Josh Parsons                                 63p
11.   Jonny Dennis                                 60

12.   Roger James
14.   Ross Gabriel                      (Brad Gray-64mins)
15.   Lee Llewelyn                      (Mike Pook-7mins)
16.   Archie Brennan                 (Nick Hancock-72mins)
17.   Ellis Dunton
18.   Aidan Bennett
19.   Scott Rose (GK)

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