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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South


Cirencester Town  3 - 1  Melksham Town


Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by Graham Hill

Match report by Dave Pyzer


Following their GFA Senior Challenge Cup victory over Bristol City U23’s in midweek Cirencester returned to league action with a home match against MELKSHAM TOWN and after a goal-less first half moved into a 3-0 lead, before conceding a late goal, to take the 3 points and close the gap on leaders Frome Town.


The mid-week cup match enabled Cirencester Manager John Brough to check the fitness levels of several players returning from long-term injury in preparation for the series of ‘top end of the table’ matches scheduled for the next few weeks and for this match he elected to revert to the starting eleven of the last few league matches with the exception of Nick Peare who, other than the mid-week GFA cup match, made his first start since early October.


Investigation of league positions and current form reveals that prior to this match Melksham sat in 8th place in the league table and 9th place in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table whilst Cirencester sat in 2nd place in both tables. The reverse fixture took place in mid-September and resulted in a hard-fought 1-1 draw and another tough encounter was anticipated.


Due to the heavy rain of the last few days many of the local matches were postponed but The Corinium Stadium has an all-weather pitch and as a result there were no such problems for this match.



Melksham kicked off playing towards The Shed end of the ground but it was the home side that mounted the first threat on goal in the 3rd minute as Levi Irving won the ball near half-way to release Tommy Anderson for a run to the right channel front edge of the visitor’s box where he shot wide of the far-left post.

A couple of minutes later Josh Nelmes and Nick Peare combined to supply Tom Handley and his pass down the left channel was headed on by Irving for Aidan Bennett to collect in the left channel of the Melksham box but his first touch enabled ‘keeper Matt Hall to dive at his feet near the by-line. Bennett was the first to recover his feet and his cross shot just cleared the far-right post.

With 10 minutes on the clock Melksham worked the ball down their left flank as Matt Hurley supplied Ryan Morgan, forward to Jake Mawford, inside to Sam Hendy who returned it to Mawford as he made ground to the left corner to cross towards the far post where Handley headed clear.

During the next 20 minutes Cirencester continued to press but were unable to create any clear chances due to the resolute defending of the visitors who in turn mounted occasional counter attacks that the home defence repelled.

Ten minutes from the scheduled interval Melksham worked the ball out of defence on their right flank before switching to the left for Albert Hopkins to produce a step-over to create room for a shot that was blocked by a covering Jake Lee. Nick Hancock cleared the resulting corner kick at the near post. 

Melksham then mounted a quick counter attack as Kyle Tooze chased and collected a pass down the left channel and on reaching the home box he cut right to shoot - but well wide of the target.

As Cirencester countered a pass down the centre was intercepted by David Thompson who neatly side-stepped the incoming challenge to set a Melksham attack in motion that resulted in a corner kick for Melksham and a free kick to Cirencester.

The home side responded as they worked their left flank to win a corner kick that Hancock delivered to the far post where Lee’s header was blocked but rebounded to Nelmes who fired over the bar as he shot on the turn from just outside the visitor’s box. 

In the final minutes Mawford fired wide of the right post and Hendy over the bar when well placed and it remained goal-less going to the interval.  

Half Time:   0-0 

Cirencester attacked the left flank from the re-start and whilst it was initially repelled they were soon back for Irving to shoot wide of the right post from 20 yards as he cut in from the right flank. 

A messy mid-field battle followed for a few minutes until former Centurion Will Christopher played the ball down the right flank for Tooze to collect, cut left, and shoot over the bar. 

Cirencester responded as Bennett sent the ball down the left flank for Irving to collect and take to the corner resulting in a throw-in and eventually a free kick to the hosts. Nick Hancock delivered the kick to the far post where the initial header from JAKE LEE was blocked but he was quickest to react to force it over the line from a couple of yards and open the scoring.  1-0. 

A couple of minutes later Nelmes released Anderson for a run to the corner that yielded a corner kick and whilst this was defended it was recycled to Handley and his cross towards the far-right post was headed by a defender and looked destined for the top left corner until Hall leapt to push it wide. 

Just before the hour mark Cirencester attacked again down their left flank to win another corner kick that Hancock sent on a firm trajectory towards the near post where NICK PEARE moved towards it to produce a powerful header that flew inside the far-right post to double the lead.  2-0. 

Leading up to the mid-point of the half Melksham pressed forward but never really threatened the home goal and at that point a long clearance from ‘keeper Alex Harris dropped inside the Melksham box where Anderson chased and fired narrowly wide of the right post. 

Encouraged by their two-goal ‘cushion’ Cirencester pressed the visitors with substitute Ben Whitehead quickly involved – working back from the right by-line to the edge of the Melksham box to shoot – parried by ‘keeper Hall. 

As the game entered the final 15 minutes Mike Pook delivered a free kick from the right channel to the far post where it was cleared to Shayne Anson who sent it back to the left flank for Joe Shepherd to head on to Irving and he took it to the by-line and as it was worked across the penalty area to Anderson he was brought to ground and a Penalty Kick awarded. Captain JAKE LEE stepped up to drive the ball inside the right post.  3-0.

With nothing to lose Melksham threw caution to the wind and attacked their hosts and were awarded a free kick from the left flank that was defended, soon to be followed by Luke Ballinger playing the ball to the right flank for Hopkins to cut left along the edge of the home box to shoot – deflected narrowly wide of the right post for a corner kick.

As Melksham pressed again Tooze played the ball towards Hopkins but it was deflected to ‘keeper Harris. 

Undeterred they worked the ball down their right flank for Sayeed Ibrahim to deliver a throw-in to the corner of the home box where JAY MALSHANSKYJ collected and cut left to work his way along the edge of the home box before tucking his shot inside the right post.  3-1. 

Encouraged Melksham continued to press as the game entered ‘added-time’, launching free kicks and long throw-ins into the home box but Cirencester held out to mount occasional counter attacks to run the clock down.   

Full Time:   3-1

Cirencester had more of the ball in the first half without really causing Melksham problems and as the half drew to a close Melksham began to threaten.

Two quick Cirencester goals after the interval proved to be too much for the visitors to recover despite a late rally.  


Attendance:     252                                                      Referee:   Josh Hackett


Cirencester Town: 

 1.         Alex Harris
 2.        Shayne Anson
 3.        Tom Handley
 4.        Nick Peare                                            58
 5.        Jake Lee     ©                                       53, 77p
 6.        Ellis Dunton
 7.        Tommy Anderson
 8.        Josh Nelmes
 9.        Levi Irving       
10.        Aidan Bennett
11.        Nick Hancock                                      

12.        Michael Pook                            (Nick Peare-75mins)
14.        Ross Gabriel                            
15.        Ben Whitehead                        (Aidan Bennett-65mins)
16.        Joe Shepherd                          (Nick Hancock-72mins)
17.        Josh Parsons


Melksham Town: 

 1.        Matthew Hall
 2.        Will Christopher
 3.        Ryan Morgan
 4.        Aaron Parsons
 5.        David Thompson     ©
 6.        Matthew Hurley
 7.        Aidan Chainey
 8.        Sam Hendy
 9.        Kyle Tooze 
10.       Jake Mawford
11.       Albert Hopkins

12.        Jay Malshanskyj                      (Jake Mawford-79mins)  87    
14.        Oliver Webb
15.        Sayeed Ibrahim                       (Ryan Morgan-81mins)
16.        Nick Evans
17.        Luke Ballinger                          (Sam Hendy-67mins)

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