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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South


Cirencester Town  2 - 0  Cinderford Town


Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied byGraham Hill


Match report by Dave Pyzer


'The Centurions' were without a game at the weekend and following their victory at Winchester ten days ago returned to The Corinium Stadium for this mid-week league match against County rivals Cinderford Town raring to get back into action despite the awful weather.


Cinderford have recently appointed former Forest Green Rovers player Alex Sykes to the Manager role at the Club following the departure of Steve Cleal and he will undoubtedly be looking to change their fortunes and move them up the league table.

Cirencester Manager, John Brough, who also has a strong connection with The Foresters - having taken them to promotion to the Premier Division in Season 2015-16 – was able to name virtually the same side that earned victory at Winchester as the only change to the starting eleven was Aidan Bennett replacing Brad Gray due to a slight muscle strain.


The home side kicked-off playing towards The Shed end of the ground and immediately worked the ball down their left flank as Tom Handley sent the ball down the flank for Aidan Bennett to deliver a low cross that passed through the visitor’s box without contact.

A few minutes later Mike Pook delivered a free kick from the left flank to the far post where it was defended and cleared but they were soon back again as Tommy Anderson headed the ball into the path of Levi Irving as he charged down the left channel from half-way to the penalty area. His subsequent cross to the far post was initially cleared but led to a free kick to Cirencester. Once again Pook took the kick, from the right flank - 25 yards out, and delivered a well flighted ball to an unmarked JOSH PARSONS at the far post, 8 yards out, and he headed it inside the right post to open the scoring.  1-0.

Almost immediately Cirencester were back again as Handley sent another sublime left footed pass down the line for Irving to take to the corner and cross – resulting in a corner kick from the right that was defended. 

A minute later Handley intercepted a pass on half-way and played the ball down the left channel to Parsons who slipped it left to Irving as he charged to the left side edge of the visitor’s penalty area to cross. The clearance fell to Anderson who instantly shot – blocked for a corner kick from the right which led to one from the left but Cinderford survived.

It had been a busy opening fifteen minutes. 

Cinderford then worked the ball down their right flank, switched to the left before returning to the right where Zachary Drew advanced to the right front corner of the home box to shoot – saved by ‘keeper Alex Harris. 

A few minutes later Harris gathered a low Tristan Haswell cross, from the left corner, at his near post. 

With 20 minutes on the clock Cinderford again used the left flank to good effect as the ball reached former Centurion Jack Freeman who fired a firm, low, right footed shot at the target – saved by Harris.

At the mid-point Cirencester produced some neat inter-passing as they worked the right flank for Aidan Bennett to cross towards the far-post. As Anderson rose in anticipation of heading the ball defender Ashley Davies glanced it over the Ciren player to be cleared.

During the next 15 minutes Cirencester continued to press and Cinderford mounted the occasional counter – one of which led to a fierce strike from Freeman from 30 yards, left channel, that a well-positioned Harris saved. 

As the half was drawing to a close the wind and rain became stronger and despite this Cirencester produced some neat moves that resulted in crosses or corner kicks but the visitors defence stood firm. 

Half Time:   1-0 

During the interval the home fans wondered if Cirencester had ‘missed their chance’ and from the restart Cinderford attacked down their left flank where Shayne Anson headed across to Handley who sent it down the line to Irving but the resulting cross was too long enabling Cinderford to start again as Harry Emmett made a strong run down their left channel to shoot as he reached the front edge of the home box – blocked and as it was recycled a team-mate was adjudged to be ‘offside’. 

Six minutes into the half Cirencester produced a swift attack as Anson headed to Anderson who passed the ball down the right touchline for Irving to collect and play inside as JOE SHEPHERD supported to take the ball into the Cinderford penalty area, right channel, before smashing it inside the far-left post.  2-0.  

Tommy Anderson then exchanged passes with Elliott Keightley as they worked the ball down the right flank for Anderson to cross to the far post where ‘keeper Nicholas Jones punched it clear. 

A couple of minutes later Jake Lee headed a Cirencester free kick narrowly wide of the right post and the response from ‘The Foresters’ was to work the ball down their left flank as Emmett combined with Marcel McIntosh and Freeman to reach the left channel of the home area where his progress led to a corner kick that was eventually fired over the bar by McIntosh.

Emmett and McIntosh were soon in action again as the former intercepted to release the latter who fired narrowly wide of the far-right post from the left channel front edge of the home box. 

Shortly before the mid-point there was an incident that brought a cheer from the crowd as Shepherd attempted to cut-out a pass across the pitch the ball bounced up, and as the Referee attempted to get out of the way he collided with Shepherd and fell to the ground. 

At the beginning of the final quarter Cinderford mounted a number of attacks as Haswell charged down the centre to be stopped as he neared the home box and Owen Taylor released Emmett who reached the left side edge of the home penalty area to cross – resulting in a corner kick, followed by a Freeman shot being deflected over the cross-bar for a corner kick that led to another but Cirencester stood firm.

Into the final few minutes and Joe Turley supplied Anderson who twisted and turned to find room for a left footed shot from the right channel of the Cinderford box – saved by Jones. 

Cinderford responded again as Harvey Greenslade collected a cross-field pass near the front edge of the home area but his shot was blocked. 

This was followed by the lively Emmett battling for the ball in the left channel of the Cirencester penalty area for it to break to Jake Jackson but as he pulled the trigger Harris was quickly out to block at his feet and dive on the rebound.

In the final minutes Harris caught a Jackson cross and Jones an Anderson shot.

Full Time:   2-0

In dreadful conditions Cirencester dominated proceedings in the first half but the visitors reacted well to create some chances of their own in the second.

Both sets of players should be applauded for their efforts on the night and whilst the game was scrappy at times it is understandable in the conditions.


Attendance:     132                                                       Referee:   Mr Charlie Bullock


Cirencester Town:

 1.        Alex Harris
 2.        Elliott Keightley
 3.        Tom Handley
 4.        Michael Pook
 5.        Jake Lee     ©
 6.        Shayne Anson
 7.        Tommy Anderson
 8.        Joe Turley
 9.        Levi Irving       
10.       Josh Parsons                                        8
11.        Aidan Bennett                                     

12.        Ross Gabriel                             (Levi Irving-87mins)
14.        Josh Nelmes                            
15.        Joe Shepherd                          (Josh Parsons-44mins)  51
16.        James Mortimer-Jones
17.        Kevin Sawyer  (GK)


Cinderford Town:

 1.        Nicholas Jones
 2.        Owen Taylor
 3.        Tristan Haswell
 4.        Marcel McIntosh
 5.        Dion Molyneux
 6.        Ashley Davies     ©
 7.        Zachary Drew
 8.        Jack Freeman
 9.        Jake Jackson 
10.        Ben Brooks
11.        Harry Emmett

12.        Harvey Greenslade                   (Owen Taylor-76mins) 
14.        Lewis Spurrier
15.        Luke Payne                               (Ashley Davies-60mins)
16.        Ben Scotford                           (Ben Brooks-90mins)
17.        Jack Straughan

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