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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South

 

Melksham Town  1 - 1  Cirencester Town

 

Match report by Dave Pyzer

 

The Centurions made the comparatively short journey to Melksham Town for this mid-week league fixture and after conceding a goal in the first minute and missing a second half penalty they fought back to secure a valuable point with a late goal.

 

Following on from their hard-earned point against Frome Town on Saturday the strength of the Cirencester squad was once again being tested as another two players were unavailable due to injury.

 

Cirencester kicked off and almost immediately lost the ball leading to a quick counter attack from their hosts, during which they hesitated when the Assistant Referee raised his flag to indicate ‘offside’ but the Referee allowed play to continue and Albert Hopkins took full advantage as he delivered a cross from the left corner to the far post where JAKE MAWFORD arrived to finish from a couple of yards.  1-0.

In response the visitors sent a couple of long passes to the corners and worked the ball across the pitch without really threatening whilst for their hosts Vaughan Covil fired wide of the far- right post after a jinking run down the left channel and Hopkins fired over after cutting left from the right flank.

Leading up to the mid-point of the half Cirencester were awarded a series of free kicks from which Joe Turley fired into the grateful arms of ‘keeper Matt Hall from 25 yards and Jake Lee headed over.

Around the half-hour mark Melksham mounted a couple of attacks as Mawford made an outrageous ‘dummy’ to get behind the Ciren back-line, only to see his cross towards the back post cleared by Shayne Anson, and a 60-yard cross-field pass from Ryan Morgan to Hopkins who also delivered to the back post where Covil’s header was caught by ‘keeper Alex Harris.

In the lead-up to the interval play was becoming ‘end-to-end’ but the hosts looked more composed in their build-up play with a couple of ‘several pass’ moves whilst Cirencester were being awarded corner kicks and making breaks but generally as individuals.

Half Time:   1-0

The first half had been a severe test for the visitors as their committed opponents had struck in the first minute and given them very little room to work. After the break it was more of the same with no quarter asked or given in a fiercely contested encounter but Cirencester began to link play better to press more as a unit to test the Melksham defence.

Within the first few minutes Josh Parsons ‘placed’ shot towards the right post was saved by Hall, Harris gathered a low cross from Covil, and Mawford fired wide of the right post after latching onto a loose ball.

Almost instantly play was at the other end as Jay Malshanskj chased after a long ball to the edge of the Cirencester penalty area – prompting Harris to dart from his line to tackle and clear.

Approaching the hour mark a Cirencester free kick was headed on by Josh Nelmes to be collected by Parsons in the home box but his left foot shot was narrowly wide of the far-right post. Moments later after Harris caught a Covil cross he punted the ball to Ben Whitehead and he too fired wide of the far-right post.  

Cirencester were beginning to press on a more regular basis as Whitehead fired wide of the left post and Ellis Dunton had two headers on the edge of the home box – the second of which reached the far post but there was no-one close enough to finish and Hall was able to gather.

At the mid-point Turley slipped a clever pass to Parsons and the resulting shot was ‘tipped-over’ his bar by Hall and he punched the subsequent corner kick clear.

A few minutes later Covil embarked on a ‘mazy’ run as he drove down the right channel past several ‘would-be’ tackles before laying the ball off to Aidan Chainey leading to a shot from Hopkins – blocked, recovered for Morgan to shoot – saved by Harris and launched downfield for Parsons to drive into the home penalty area where he was ‘grounded’ and a Penalty Kick awarded.

The striker took the kick himself and aimed it towards the bottom right post but Hall had anticipated correctly to save.

Inside the final ten minutes and Covil reached the left by-line to cross towards a supporting Luke Ballinger but his volley from near the penalty spot was wide of the target.

Five minutes to go and Cirencester broke quickly down their left flank to supply Whitehead who delivered a pin-point cross to the far-right post where JOSH PARSONS controlled the ball on his chest before tucking it inside the post.  1-1.

Melksham pushed forward again and as Hopkins neared the penalty area Anson, who had been tested all evening by Covil and Hopkins, brought it to a halt with a determined tackle.

In the final minutes Ralph Graham crossed from the right corner for Lee to cut-out and clear and Dunton released Levi Irving and his determined and clever run down the left channel resulted in a corner kick, followed by three more corner kicks for the visitors but no breakthrough and the game finished all-square.

Full Time:   1-1

An entertaining game with both teams working hard to obtain a result - Melksham had the better of the first half but Cirencester came back in the second to secure a share of the points.

After such commitment it would have been a shame for either team to lose.

 

Attendance:     321                                                       Referee:   Ryan Saward

 

Melksham Town:

 1.        Matthew Hall
 2.        Will Christopher
 3.        Ryan Morgan
 4.        Aaron Parsons
 5.        Greg Tindle     ©
 6.        Matthew Hurley
 7.        Aidan Chainey
 8.        Jake Mawford                                      1
 9.        Jay Malshanskj
10.        Vaughan Covil
11.        Albert Hopkins

12.        Sayeed Ibrahim                       (Will Christopher-69mins)       
14.        Luke Ballinger                          (Jay Malshanskj-80mins)
15.        Ralph Graham                           (Jake Mawford-75mins)
16.        Oliver Webb
17.        Samuel Jepson  (GK)

 

Cirencester Town:

 1.         Alex Harris
 2.        Shayne Anson
 3.        Tom Handley
 4.        Michael Pook
 5.        Jake Lee     ©
 6.        Ellis Dunton
 7.        Joe Shepherd
 8.        Joe Turley
 9.        Levi Irving
10.        Josh Parsons                                        85
11.        Josh Nelmes

12.        Ben Whitehead                        (Michael Pook-59mins)
14.        Ross Gabriel
15.        Reegan Messenger
16.        James Mortimer-Jones
17.        Kevin Sawyer  (GK)

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