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Pre-Season Friendly


Cirencester Town  3 - 2  Didcot Town


Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Graham Hill

Match report by Dave Pyzer

For the final pre-season friendly match Cirencester welcomed long-standing adversaries ‘The Railwaymen’ of Didcot Town to The Corinium Stadium and as usual a competitive match ensued with a late goal from Aidan Bennett securing victory for The Centurions.

Over the years the two sides have faced each other many times but the re-organisation of the Southern League for the 2018-19 Season placed Didcot in the Central Division so league confrontations came to an end but they still managed to inflict a 3-0 defeat on The Centurions in the League Cup that season. 

The home side kicked-off proceedings and immediately launched an attack down their left flank, towards The Arena end of the ground, as Jordan Morris charged from half-way to the corner to cross bringing the visitors defence into early action as they headed the ball clear.

Didcot countered with a 40-yard pass from right to left to release Tyler Webb who slipped the ball to a supporting Cam McNeil but as they approached the home box the ball was eventually lost.

With the ‘bit between their teeth’ Cirencester pressed as ‘keeper Leigh Bedwell was called into action to punch away a corner kick, clear from Josh Parsons as he latched onto a through ball into the visitor’s box and dive at Joe Selman’s feet as he too burst into the box following an interception – all in a three-minute period.

Shortly before the mid-point of the half Cirencester produced some neat approach play as a number of quick passes made ground leading to Nick Peare heading a corner kick over the bar and Brad Gray sending a dangerous ball through the 6-yard box without contact.

On the half-hour Bedwell tipped a Parsons effort over his bar after the striker had cut-in from the left flank, leading to a couple of corner kicks that were defended, and shortly afterwards as they broke out of defence Jake Lee intercepted a pass near half-way and drove forward before slipping the ball to Parsons who took it on to shoot from near the left by-line. Bedwell parried but it dropped to a supporting AIDAN BENNETT who had the simple task of heading into the vacant net at the right post.  1-0.

Moments later Lee made another 40-yard run down the centre of the pitch but this time he shot from 25 yards and Bedwell pushed it around his right post.

Five minutes after the home goal a Didcot free kick was delivered from the left flank to the right channel of the home box to be clipped back across to the left front corner of the 6-yard box where Louis Joyce sent it wide of the left post but he was adjudged to be ‘offside’ anyway.

As the half was drawing to a close the visitors mounted a couple of promising attacks down their flanks and Webb had a shot blocked but they had nothing to show for their efforts going to the break. 

Half Time:   1-0

During the interval Cirencester made wholesale changes with 5 substitutes coming on and whilst they made the perfect start with a goal within three minutes they also conceded a couple as they settled into the game.

The home side doubled their lead when Tommy Anderson cut in from the right flank to supply the ball to Nick Hancock who moved it left to Parsons as he darted into the left channel of the visitor’s box where his resulting shot was parried by Bedwell into the path of NICK HANCOCK, who had continued his run to tap home from the edge of the 6-yard box.  2-0

The Didcot management made a couple of substitutions of their own in the next few minutes and almost immediately pulled a goal back as Connor Barrett delivered a free kick from the left flank, 30 yards out, to the near post where JOSH HEDGES popped up to produce a firm header inside the left post.  2-1. 

In reply Peare and Bennett fired a couple of shots wide of the left post and after a ‘bout of hand-bags’, following a strong tackle from Peare on the by-line and an altercation with Leigh Bedwell, the home player received a Yellow Card. 

On the hour Barrett delivered another free kick to the right channel front edge of the home box where Adam Learoyd headed towards the left post for his fellow central defender, Taylor Bedwell, to head back into the mix for CAM McNEIL to head home from a couple of yards.  2-2 

Encouraged The Railwaymen began to dictate play and after Tom Handley cut-out a pass inside his box he launched the ball to the left flank to Parsons who curled his shot wide of the right post from the edge of the visitor’s box.

Didcot again took the initiative as they worked the ball down their right flank with several players involved but as the game entered the final ten minutes Cirencester regained their composure to finish strongly.

A determined run from Handley to the right corner followed by a cross and lay-off from Ross Gabriel led to a Bennett shot and corner kick that Gabriel headed wide of the right post and this was followed by some neat ‘pass-and-move’ football and an Anderson cross that reached AIDAN BENNETT who acrobatically produced a right footed volley from the penalty spot that Bedwell couldn’t prevent entering his net.  3-2.

Cirencester pressed hard during the final minutes and secured victory.      

Full Time:   3-2

Another entertaining match against opposition of similar standard that have always provided a stern test for Cirencester – certainly a good test of where we are in our preparation for the new season.

Next week the serious competition begins with a home match against Bristol Manor Farm in the league.


Referee:   Alan Overthrow


Cirencester Town:

Alex Harris, Tom Handley, Jordan Morris (Will Taylor 46) Nick Peare (Ross Gabriel 59), Jake Lee (c), Ellis Dunton (Josh Nelmes 46), Joe Shepherd (Nick Hancock 46), Joe Turley (Michael Pook 46), Brad Gray (Aidan Bennett 26), Josh Parsons (Levi Irving 71), Joe Selman (Tommy Anderson 46).

Didcot Town:

Leigh Bedwell, Sam Barder, Cam McNeil, George Gilmore (Ryan Fry 51), Adam Learoyd (c), Taylor Bedwell, Tyler Webb (Ty Lee 74), Harley Giles, Louis Joyce (Junior Musvaburi 49), Connor Barrett, Josh Hedges.

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