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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South


Barnstaple Town  1 - 5  Cirencester Town 


Match report by Terry Keogh


THE CENTURIONS arrived at Barnstaple Town’s Mill Road ground in a rich vein of form, after comprehensive victories against Kidlington in the FA Trophy (5-1) and Slimbridge in the league (6-0), and despite a hugely depleted squad (4 players missing the game due to positive Covid tests and another 5 still on the treatment table) secured another comfortable victory against a side who were without a win this season and currently bottom of the Southern League Division One - South table.


Manager John Brough took a handful of Development Squad lads to the game (Reegan Messenger, Max Lloyd, Ryan Outram and Joseph Rachael), and these filled the subs bench alongside Assistant Manager, James Mortimer-Jones.


The game came to life as early as the fourth minute when Ciren skipper Jake Lee threaded an inch-perfect pass through to month-long loan striker HARRY WILLIAMS; he was coolness personified, tucking the ball inside the far post. 

After the early goal advantage, the Centurions pushed forward with skill and purpose. This resulted in a number of Michael Pook corners, the closest of those to being converted was a far post header by Ellis Dunton, but his effort was smothered low down by ‘Barum’ ‘keeper Jack Arthur. 

For the first 20 minutes the home side were very much under the cosh and struggled to deliver any meaningful counter attacks, in fact it was resolute defending that kept them in the game.

Then, on 22 minutes, another well drilled Pook corner evaded several players in the penalty area, with the ball eventually reaching the alert JAKE LEE who managed to bundle it over the line from a couple of yards and double the visitor’s advantage. 

The 2-0 scoreline seemed to be the trigger for Barnstaple to take an active part in the game. They put together one or two lively attacks but came up against a tight and well organised visiting back four. 

Six minutes before the break though, ‘Barum’ got themselves back into the game; neat interplay between Harry Stevens and Neil Last found JACOB EVANS in a couple of yards of space. His crisply hit drive sailed past the outstretched arms of Ciren ‘keeper Alex Harris.

Half Time:   1-2 

After the break, Cirencester returned to the pitch determined not to relinquish their one goal advantage. Neat, quick passing set up several chances for the visitors, but Arthur in the Barnstaple goal stood tall, making fine saves from Josh Parsons, Harry Williams and Ross Gabriel.

Then, on 67 minutes, Ciren got the reward their constant pressure merited. A quick throw by Tom Handley found bustling midfielder JOSH NELMES in space on the edge of the penalty area, and his low, accurate drive from 22 yards gave Arthur no chance.

This was followed five minutes later with HARRY WILLIAMS second goal of the game; a neat finish after a quick-thinking free kick from the influential Mike Pook found him in space.

With 4 minutes left Cirencester wrapped up the points when the busy JOSH PARSONS shimmied past 3 defenders and his partially deflected shot eased past the luckless Arthur.

Full Time:   1-5

A polished and professional performance elevated Cirencester to second place in the Southern League Division One table.


Attendance:    128                             Referee:       Mr Tim Burley 


Barnstaple Town:

   1.     Jack Arthur
   2.     Ross Jones
   3.     Luis Edmonson     ©
   4.     Harry Bamforth
   5.     Craig Allan
   6.     Sam Phillips
   7.     Jacob Evans                                          35
   8.     Jack Jenkins
   9.     Neil Last
  10.     Harry Stevens
  11.     Alan Woodcock

  12.     Nathaniel Hawkins                      (Jacob Evans 80)
  14.     George Jones
  15.     Kyle Darragh                               (Harry Stevens 71)
  16.     Tony Radford                              (Sam Phillips 76)


Cirencester Town:

    1.     Alex Harris
    2.     Elliott Keightley
    3.     Tom Handley
    4.     Michael Pook
    5.     Jake Lee     ©                                       22
    6.     Ellis Dunton
    7.     Joe Turley
    8.     Josh Nelmes                                         67
    9.     Ross Gabriel
   10.     Josh Parsons                                        86
   11.     Harry Williams                                     4, 72 

   12.     Reegan Messenger                    (Joe Turley-76mins)
   14.     Max Lloyd                                  (Josh Nelmes-84mins)
   15.     Ryan Outram                              (Ross Gabriel-78mins)
   16.     Joseph Rachael
   17.     James Mortimer-Jones

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