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The Buildbase FA Trophy 2020/21

First Round Qualifying


Cirencester Town  1 – 1  Paulton Rovers

(Cirencester win 5-4 on Penalties)


Click photo to view more images supplied by Mark Gabriel

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

After a disappointing FA Cup defeat in mid-week Cirencester faced fellow Southern League – Division 1 South side Paulton Rovers in another ‘knock-out’ competition in the form of the FA Trophy at The Corinium Stadium and the spectators witnessed an eventful match that was finally decided after a penalty ‘shoot-out’.


Cirencester have suffered a number of injuries already and as a result four players were not available for selection and this number increased as Tommy Anderson was unable to take his place in the starting line-up after sustaining an injury in the ‘warm-up’.  Brad Gray started in his place and produced an important performance as described below.  Ellis Dunton also made his first start since returning to the Club - alongside Shayne Anson in the centre of the defence.  


The home side kicked off the action playing towards The Arena end of the ground with a very strong wind behind them and this was to prove a problem as they struggled to judge the weight of their passes with many a pass going astray and not reaching their intended target.

Five minutes after the kick-off, and after some initial forays into the visitor’s half, Cirencester conceded a Penalty Kick when an under-hit back-pass resulted in ‘keeper Alex Harris having to dash from his line and in the process he fouled Will Hailston. The striker took the kick himself and aimed for the bottom left corner where Harris did well to dive across to parry before picking up the ball.    

Encouraged Paulton made a break down their left channel but two firm challenges from Shayne Anson on half-way brought their progress to a halt and shortly afterwards Anson was in action in the Paulton penalty area when he managed to get his head to a deep free kick from the left flank to head over.

During the next ten minutes or so Cirencester pressed as Levi Irving found the side-netting, Ross Gabriel just failed to make contact with a cross from the left flank and Jonny Dennis miss-kicked in front of goal.

At this point Paulton produced a neat move down their left flank, involving Hailston, Marcus Day, Tom Llewellyn, Day again who fed Liban Ibrahim and his shot from the edge of the home box was deflected for a corner kick that was headed clear.

Cirencester attacked down their left flank again as Brad Gray cleverly won a corner kick that Gabriel headed over from near the penalty spot and this was soon followed by interplay between Gabriel and Dennis that released Irving to the left side edge of the visitor’s box leading to a corner kick that was cleared to a waiting Lee Llewelyn who struck a fierce shot at the target from the left channel front edge of the area. Aaron Sainsbury in the Paulton goal managed to parry the effort away from his goal.

With ten minutes to the interval Paulton worked the ball down their left flank as Nuno Felix exchanged passes with Day before sliding the ball down the left channel and into the home penalty area where Dan Cottle chased to collide with ‘keeper Harris as he came from his line to collect the ball. Seconds later Cottle fell to the ground and Referee Neil Pratt awarded a Penalty Kick and issued a Red Card to the ‘keeper.

To accommodate the dismissal of their ‘keeper Cirencester withdrew Jonny Dennis and brought on centre back Josh Nelmes to take over in goal and his first action was to face the spot kick. Marcus Day took the kick and fired it towards the right post where Nelmes parried but DANIEL COTTLE was quickest to the rebound to fire inside the left post.  0-1.       

Undeterred Cirencester launched another attack to the right corner as Gray chased down a Nelmes kick to cross from the by-line but his cross fizzed through the 6-yard box with Gabriel just short of making contact.

In the final minutes of the half Cottle was released into the home box but fired wide of the far right post and then Joe Turley won the ball for Cirencester to cross from the side edge of the Paulton box but it passed through the area without contact.  

Half Time:  0-1

With the man advantage Paulton pressed forward immediately after the break and were awarded a free kick near the right front corner of the Cirencester box – Felix drove the kick into the arms of a well-positioned Nelmes.

Five minutes later Paulton were back again as Nelmes saved an Ibrahim effort and when it was re-cycled to Tom Llewellyn (near the penalty spot) he slipped it right to Cottle who miss-kicked for Nelmes to pick up. The stand-in ‘Keeper then caught a Day cross from the left by-line.

Shortly before the hour mark Cirencester countered as Irving made a strong run down the left touchline and his subsequent cross was cut-out, reaching Turley who slipped it right to Gray leading to cross and corner kick that was punched clear by Sainsbury. Early signs that Cirencester were not out of it yet.

A few minutes later Ellis Dunton intercepted a Paulton clearance down the visitor’s right flank, on his chest on half-way, slipped the challenge of an incoming Cottle to feed the ball to Irving, on to Jordan Morris as he darted forward in support but cut-out for a counter attack.

As the mid-point of the half approached Nelmes was again well positioned to save a shot from Day and an attempted ‘chip’ from Hailston.  

Having ‘weathered the storm’ 10-man Cirencester were growing in confidence and Sainsbury was called into urgent ‘reaction’ action when Dunton headed a cross from the right flank down to Irving who shot from the edge of the 6-yard box – the ‘keeper managing to parry the effort wide for Gray to collect near the left by-line. Gray produced a delicate chip that looked to be dropping inside the far left post until Sainsbury again intervened to palm it away from his goal.

As the Cirencester effort picked-up momentum Sainsbury caught a Gray cross before Tom Handley fired wide of the left post from 30 yards, right channel.

A minute later Cirencester were level as a Paulton attack was thwarted for Dunton to slip the ball to Anson who launched it down-field towards BRAD GRAY some 30 yards from goal – back to goal with a defender right behind him – and he rode the initial challenge and moved right for another defender to close in to block his path. As he neared the centre front edge of the Paulton penalty area he cut left to unleash a fierce left footed strike that swerved left to clip the inside of the left post en-route to the back of the net.  1-1.   

Buoyed by this Cirencester continued to press as Lee Llewelyn fired wide of the right post, Morris darted down the left flank to cross from the corner, Handley intercepted on half-way moved it on to Gray in the right corner before charging forward to arrive un-noticed at the far post to power a header wide of the left post from 12 yards.

There was still time for Charlie Hitchings to strike a low shot from 30 yards that Nelmes gathered and for Hailston to hit the side netting before a final surge from Cirencester as Lee Llewelyn crossed from right to left for Irving to lay off to Dunton who crossed towards the penalty spot where Gray produced a looping header that Sainsbury tipped over his cross-bar. The resulting corner kick reached Anson as he burst into the area to the left of the penalty spot to powerfully head goal-wards – blocked for another corner kick.

As the kick was taken and fed back in preparation for another cross the final whistle blew – PENALTY SHOOT-OUT.

Full Time:   1-1

As with the match there was more drama to unfold in the Penalty Shoot-out.

The goal chosen for the contest was The Shed End of the ground and it was Cirencester that took the first kick.

BRAD GRAY, LEVI IRVING and TOM HANDLEY converted for Cirencester.

BEN WITHEY and MASON HARRISON converted for Paulton but Nuno Felix fired over.

3-2 to Cirencester.

JOE TURLEY converted for Cirencester, CHARLIE HITCHINGS converted for Paulton.

4-3 to Cirencester.

Josh Nelmes fired over for Cirencester and LIBAN IBRAHIM scored for Paulton.


Sudden death penalties.

ELLIS DUNTON scored for Cirencester.

Braeden Symes penalty was saved by Nelmes but before Cirencester could rejoice the Referee ordered it to be re-taken.

Josh Nelmes saved the re-take and Cirencester were through 5-4 on penalties.


What an eventful match – a Red Card, 15 penalty kicks, a spectacular equaliser and an incredible come-back from Cirencester – full of spirit, character and determination.


Attendance:     100                           Referee:          Neil Pratt



1.     Alex Harris
2.     Tom Handley
3.     Jordan Morris
4.     Lee Llewelyn
5.     Shayne Anson     ©
6.     Ellis Dunton
7.     Brad Gray                                                  76
8.     Joe Turkey
9.     Ross Gabriel
10.   Jonny Dennis
11.   Levi Irving

12.   Aidan Bennett
14.   Archie Brennan                             (Ross Gabriel-65mins)
15.   Josh Nelmes                                  (Jonny Dennis-36mins)
16.   Scott Rose (GK)



 1.  Aaron Sainsbury
 2.  Ben Withey
 3.  Nuno Felix
 4.  Charlie Hitchings     ©
 5.  Daniel Dempsey
 6.  Thomas Llewellyn              
 7.  Ryan Gay                           
 8.  Liban Ibrahim
 9.  Will Hailston
10.  Daniel Cottle                                              37
11.  Marcus Day

12.  Braedon Symes                              (Thomas Llewellyn-82mins)
14.  David O’Hare
15.  Jack Fillingham
16.  Mason Harrison                              (Ryan Gay-65mins)
17.  Tyler Jackson                                (Marcus Day-82mins)
18.  Andy Sandell

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