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Pitching In Southern League 2020/21

Division 1 South


Paulton Rovers  1 – 6  Cirencester Town

Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Graham Hill

Match Report by Dave Pyzer


The final fixture before the ‘National Lockdown’, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, took The Centurions to Paulton Rovers and they made the most of it by scoring six goals against the team that took them to a penalty shoot-out in The Buildbase FA Trophy.

The ‘knock-out’ match had been eventful and so was this one as it was played at a fast pace on a slick surface and included seven goals (one a Penalty Kick) plus the woodwork being struck seven times.


The match was ‘end-to-end’ from the start and within four minutes Cirencester created a chance as they broke down the left flank - Joe Turley to Levi Irving who switched play right to Josh Parsons and he also moved the ball right to Tommy Anderson as he supported down the right channel, 25 yards out, before taking the ball into the home area and crossing to Parsons, left of the penalty spot, who fired wide of the left post.  

A minute later Paulton had to re-arrange their team as the experienced Nuno Felix departed, due to injury, to be replaced by Liban Ibrahim who took a position on the left wing with Ryan Gay moving to right back and Alex Twiggs switching to left back.

The young Ibrahim was immediately in the action as the home side worked the ball down their left flank to him and as he cut right, 25 yards out, he lost the ball to Tom Handley who launched it towards the left corner for Levi Irving to chase resulting in a corner kick that Tommy Anderson delivered to the edge of the home 6-yard box. As Handley pounced on the ball he was quickly surrounded and it bounced up into the grateful arms of ‘keeper Aaron Sainsbury.

A few minutes later Ibrahim embarked on a ‘jinking’ run that took him past 3 challenges as he cut in from the left flank to supply Will Hailston, centre front edge of the visitor’s box, and his fierce strike smashed against the bar and down onto ‘keeper Alex Harris back to rebound for a corner kick.

Four minutes later Paulton’s Thomas Llewellyn delivered a 30-yard pass to Dan Cottle, near the right channel front edge of the Cirencester box, and his left footed strike once again struck the bar before being cleared. 

Paulton were pressing hard to open their account as Cottle and Hailston had shots blocked but as is often the case the side on the receiving end of the pressure counter attacks and scores – and this was no exception. 

Cirencester worked the ball to the left corner where Jordan Morris delivered a pin-point cross to the area in front of the 6-yard box where JOE TURLEY popped up to head inside the right post.  0-1. 

The home side reacted positively to the setback as they worked their right flank, Cottle to David O’Hare, shot blocked - resulting in a series of corner kicks and a goal-line clearance from Morris.

After a Cirencester attack the home side responded to supply Ibrahim who produced a clever turn to release Hailston to the left front corner of the Cirencester area but he shot narrowly wide of the far-right post.  

Back came Cirencester as Parsons and Craig Allan had an aerial challenge with ball dropping to Anderson who instantly fired at the target from the edge of the box – parried and picked-up by Sainsbury.

Another Cirencester attack down the right flank resulted in a cross to the near post that Parsons back-headed onto the bar from the corner of the 6-yard box leading to a goal-mouth scramble when it dropped - eventually landing at Parsons feet and his snap-shot struck the right post before being cleared. 

In ‘added-time’ Cirencester worked their right flank to the corner where JOSH PARSONS received a ‘throw-in’ and slipped the ball inside to Anderson before making a looping run to the right channel of the home area where Anderson played a precise pass back to him. A little ‘shimmy’ – dummied right went left - to tuck a low left footed shot past the unsighted Sainsbury and inside the far-left post.  0-2. 

Half Time:  0-2

The first half had certainly been fast and furious and the second was to continue in like fashion as Cirencester made the perfect start – scoring after 4 minutes.

Tom Handley intercepted a pass on half-way and chipped it into the path of Irving as he darted down the middle to the penalty spot. Once there he unselfishly cut back and played it left to a supporting JOSH PARSONS who fired it inside the left post.  0-3.   

Undeterred Paulton continued to push forward looking for a way into the game but Cirencester were proving difficult to break down and following a free kick that Llewellyn sent into the mix the ball was recycled to Ibrahim who shot wide of the left post from 25 yards.

Almost immediately Cirencester countered as the ball was launched down their left flank for Parsons to back-head into the path of a marauding Nick Hancock and he shrugged off a challenge on the edge of the home area to reach the by-line to cross the ball with the outside of his right boot and en-route it was diverted past the ‘keeper and inside the near post for an OWN GOAL0-4.  

Around the hour mark Cottle collected a loose ball, after Harris had punched a corner kick away from his goal, and produced some nifty footwork before he was eventually smothered and the danger cleared. 

At the mid-point of the half Ellis Dunton stopped another attack in its tracks, just inside his half, and sent a curling pass inside the opposing full-back for Jonny Dennis to collect as he cut in from the left flank to the edge of the home area. As he entered the box he took aim but fired narrowly wide of the far-right post.

A couple of minutes later Hancock took a quick free kick to release Parsons into the right channel of the home area but his cross-shot struck the base of the far-left post and was cleared.

Despite the score-line the home side were still searching for a goal as they tried both flanks but Cirencester stood firm and countered with Dennis striking the left post and a minute later an incisive move as Hancock slipped the ball into the right corner for a darting Anderson to collect and deliver a low cross to an incoming ROSS GABRIEL who tucked it away from the edge of the 6-yard box.  0-5. 

With time running out Paulton launched the ball into the right channel of the visitor’s box where Ryan Gay challenged Morris, who was trying to shepherd the ball out of play, and they both fell to the ground. The Referee, who had had a busy night, awarded a Penalty Kick. DAVID O’HARE stepped up and sent his spot kick towards the bottom left post where Harris got a hand to it but not enough to keep it out of his net and Paulton had their consolation goal.  1-5.

There was still time for Harris to make a solid save from a low effort from Gay - aimed at his right post. 

On the stroke of 90 minutes TOMMY ANDERSON completed the scoring as his cross-shot from a narrow angle clipped the inside of the far-left post on its way into the net.  1-6.

Full Time:   1-6

An entertaining match going into the National Lockdown with plenty of endeavour, goals and incident.

A solid team performance, with everyone playing their part, that gives supporters something to look forward to in these difficult times.




Attendance:  138                                             Referee:   Stephen Oakey        



 1.   Aaron Sainsbury
 2.   Alex Twiggs
 3.   Nuno Felix
 4.   Charlie Hitchings     ©
 5    Craig Allan
 6.   Thomas Llewellyn
 7.   David O’Hare                                             84p
 8.   Braeden Symes
 9.   Will Hailston
10.  Daniel Cottle
11.   Ryan Gay

12.  Liban Ibrahim                                (Nuno Felix-7mins)      
14.  Daniel Dempsey
15.  Andy Sandell                                 (Will Hailston-84mins)
16.  Luke Seviour                                  (Craig Allan-74mins)
17.  Ben Withey



1.   Alex Harris
2.   Tom Handley
3.   Jordan Morris
4.   Joe Turley                                                   24
5.   Shayne Anson
6.   Ellis Dunton
7.   Tommy Anderson                                        90
8.   Michael Pook
9.   Levi Irving
10.  Josh Parsons                                              45, 49
11.  Nick Hancock     ©

12.  John Dennis                                   (Levi Irving-61mins)     
14.  Josh Nelmes                                  (Michael Pook-66mins)
15.  Aidan Bennett
16.  Ross Gabriel                                  (Josh Parsons-70mins)  80                              17.  Lewis Binns

Own Goal                                                            57

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