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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South

 

Frome Town  0 - 2  Cirencester Town 

 

Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by Becky Handley

 

Match report by Dave Pyzer

 

The long-awaited and much anticipated top of the table clash between Frome Town (1st place) and Cirencester Town (2nd place) was played out in front of 690 spectators and it was the visitors that took the 3 points thanks to two well-taken goals and resolute defending.

 

Examination of the league table reveals that prior to this game the two teams have very similar records and indeed the return fixture at The Corinium Stadium ended in a1-1 when Cirencester conceded a goal in the 90th minute so a tough, challenging match was anticipated.

 

With a number of high intensity matches in the next four weeks, AFC Totton (3rd), Sholing (4th) and Winchester City (5th) to follow this one, it is fortunate that a number of players are becoming available after long-term injuries and Cirencester Manager, John Brough, took advantage of this to make four changes to the starting eleven that faced Larkhall Athletic in midweek as Nick Peare, Nick Hancock, Josh Parsons and Joe Shepherd came in to replace Mike Pook, Josh Nelmes, Joe Turley and Ben Whitehead.   

 

As anticipated the clash had raised a lot of interest and it was the home team that kicked off proceedings in front of the 690 supporters on a cool day to initially lose the ball and then be awarded a free kick that eventually reached the left corner and led to an almighty scramble in the goal-mouth before Cirencester cleared the danger.

Having survived this early scare Cirencester mounted an attack of their own as they worked the ball down the right channel for Josh Parsons to slip the ball through for Tommy Anderson as he darted into the penalty area to fire a left footed shot towards the right post where ‘keeper James Carey pushed it wide leading to a corner kick that was headed clear.

The game had started at a frantic pace as each side mounted attacks down their flanks and when Frome sent a pass down the centre Cirencester custodian Alex Harris darted from his area to clear.

As Frome sent a long ball from defence to their left flank the intended recipient of the pass met with a firm challenge that led to a Yellow Card for the culprit but after some treatment a rejuvenated Rex Mannings charged to the left corner to send a dangerous cross through the visitors 6-yard box to be collected in the right corner leading to a couple of corner kicks that were defended.

Cirencester began to probe the left flank as Jake Lee fed Tom Handley who crossed towards the near post where a defender sliced his clearance into the air and as it looped towards the far top corner Carey managed to punch it clear.

Back came the visitors as they worked the right flank with a number of players involved, eventually resulting in a free kick, right channel – 30 yards out, as they cut inside. Nick Hancock delivered the kick to the left of the penalty spot where NICK PEARE arrived to slide the ball inside the right post.  0-1.    

The home side responded as Mannings fed Jonathan Davies as he charged down the left channel but his shot was blocked and after defending a Cirencester attack on their left flank they switched play to the right where an overlapping Jack Witcombe reached the corner to cross. The initial cross was defended as was the resulting corner kick.

After blocking a couple of Frome efforts Cirencester mounted a couple of attacks – one being declared ‘offside’ and the other leading to Anderson shooting wide of the left post.

Just past the half-hour mark Cirencester were working the right flank and as Parsons turned he was fouled leading to a free kick, on the edge of the home box- right of centre, and NICK PEARE produced a sensational strike as he curled it into the top left corner.  0-2.       

Frome immediately attacked down their right flank but the visitors defence stood firm enabling Anderson to collect a clearance on the edge of his box before galloping down the centre to the half-way line where he laid the ball back to Lee to send to the left flank.

The home side then tried their left flank as James Ollis crossed towards the far post, where Kane Simpson headed wide of the right post, soon to be followed by another strong run to the by-line where his initial cross was recycled to him for the second to be pushed wide by Harris for Davies to collect in the right corner and sent to the back post where Simpson and Shayne Anson challenged for the ball enabling Harris to collect.   

As the half drew to a close Cirencester worked the ball to the left corner with some neat football and the resulting corner kick was cleared at the near post by Witcombe but led to a free kick, left channel – 30 yards out, that Peare fired over the bar.   

Half Time:   0-2 

Within a few minutes of the re-start Ellis Dunton was called into action as he timed his tackle to pinch the ball from Ollis as he reached the edge of the penalty area. 

During the opening ten minutes Cirencester pressed to the left corner and Frome countered to their right corner forcing Harris into a couple of saves – the first at his left post to cut out a cross and the second as Matt Smith worked his way from the right corner to the front edge of the Cirencester box to shoot straight at him. 

A feature of the game had been the constant harassing by the Cirencester midfield to deny the home side time to pick their passes and this was particularly evident around the hour mark and when Frome did get shots away they were inevitably blocked. 

Shortly before the mid-point of the half Ollis had a shot blocked and a team-mate fired over the bar. 

Cirencester were proving resolute and organised in their defending but they were still dangerous on the break as Frome pushed forward as evidenced when Mike Pook released Anderson down the right flank and he crossed to the far-post where a supporting Joe Shepherd’s shot was blocked for a corner kick from the left. Nick Hancock delivered it to the near post where Levi Irving flicked it wide. 

Into the final ten scheduled minutes and Frome were pressing and probing the Cirencester defence and as a pass was played into the left channel of the visitors box ‘keeper Harris darted forward intending to collect and at the same time Simpson also burst forward intending to collect. The resulting collision left Simpson on the ground and his colleagues and supporters shouting for a Penalty Kick but after conferring with his Assistants the Referee, who had been well positioned to decide himself, confirmed a goal-kick. 

A couple of minutes later Lee intercepted a pass on half-way and evaded a couple of challenges before sending the ball to the left corner where it was lost. 

This was soon followed by Irving reaching the left corner to cross through the home box with no-one available to collect and Ben Whitehead collecting a pass in the left channel of the home penalty area to see his shot diverted past the left post.

In the final minutes Frome launched balls forward - Mannings burst into the Cirencester box for a 1v1 but shot wide of the far-right post and George Rigg fired wide of the left post. 

Full Time:   0-2 

As expected a highly competitive match and good entertainment for the neutral spectator. 

A determined performance from Cirencester built on their solid defence and hard-working midfield whilst Frome had more possession in the second half they couldn’t find a way through.

 

Attendance:    690                            Referee:       Graham Pearce 

  

Frome Town:

   1.     James Carey
   2.     Jack Witcombe
   3.     Joseph O’Loughlin
   4.     Samuel Teale     ©
   6.     Christopher Peck
   7.     Jonathan Davies
   8.     George Rigg
   9.     Kane Simpson
  14.     Warren Maidment
  16.     Rex Mannings
  18.    James Ollis

  11.    Matthew Smith                           (Christopher Peck-46mins)
  15.    Martin Lenihan
  17.    Alex Monks                                 (Jack Witcombe-73mins)
  19.    Alex Hallett                                (Samuel Teale-57mins)
  20.    Ryan Hartley

 

Cirencester Town: 

    1.     Alex Harris
    2.     Shayne Anson
    3.     Tom Handley
    4.     Nick Peare                                            19, 32
    5.     Jake Lee     © 
    6.     Ellis Dunton 
    7.     Tommy Anderson
    8.     Nick Hancock
    9.     Levi Irving
   10.    Josh Parsons
   11.     Joe Shepherd 

   12.     Josh Nelmes
   14.     Joe Turley                                 (Tommy Anderson-89mins)    
   15.     Ben Whitehead                          (Josh Parsons-79mins)
   16.     Ross Gabriel                           
   17.     Michael Pook                              (Nick Peare-56mins)

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