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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South

 

Sholing F.C.  0 - 0  Cirencester Town 

 

 

Click photo

to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by Becky Handley

 

Match report by Dave Pyzer


For the second successive weekend ‘table-topping’ Cirencester Town faced 3rd place opposition and this week it was Sholing FC as they defeated AFC Totton in mid-week to ‘leap-frog’ over them in the table. As Sholing and Cirencester have currently conceded the lowest number of goals in the division it was perhaps predictable that it would be a low scoring match due to its importance to both teams.

 

The excellent news that Ben Whitehead had signed for the season was tempered by the non-availability of Josh Parsons, Joe Shepherd and Ross Gabriel for the visit to The Mackoy Stadium due to Covid.

 

The swirling wind and firm, bumpy pitch added to the intensity of the match as whilst players were trying to control the ball they also had to deal with incoming challenges and as a result play was fragmented with neither side able to retain the ball for long.

 

From the kick-off Cirencester attacked down their left flank as Levi Irving chased and crossed from the by-line to the front edge of the 6-yard box where a supporting Nick Hancock arrived to challenge but the threat was dealt with by the home defence who began a counter down their right flank as Claudio Herbert carried the ball forward.

A few minutes later Ben Whitehead reached the left channel of the home box to shoot from a narrow angle but straight into the arms of ‘keeper Ryan Gosney.

Around the ten minutes mark after Josh Nelmes had sent a cross-field pass to Tommy Anderson the ball was lost for Sholing to counter as Herbert made a diagonal run from right to left to release Fatah Makhloufi who returned it to the right flank for Ryan Cluett to send a deep cross into the Cirencester box for Daniel Mason to collect in the left channel, turn and shoot but it was blocked for a corner kick that was defended.

It had been a positive start from both sides and by the mid-point Irving and Whitehead had sent a couple of crosses into the home box from the left corner and had a couple of corner kicks defended from the same flank whilst Herbert had made a couple of strong runs into the Cirencester half for Sholing.

Shortly afterwards as Cirencester worked their left flank again Tom Handley cut right, evaded a couple of challenges and sent a low shot at the target from 25 yards out but Gosney gathered comfortably.  

Cirencester then switched to their right flank as Whitehead reached the corner to cut left to the side edge of the home penalty area where he laid the ball back to Nelmes, on the right channel front edge, who fired well over the bar.

In reply Herbert delivered a free kick to Cluett in the right corner and his cross was initially defended and recycled to Stuart Green who crossed from the left by-line to Dan Mason, left front corner of the 6-yard box, and whilst his sharp turn in the box evaded a challenge it enabled Ciren ‘keeper Alex Harris to drop on the ball. 

The next threat on goal came from Sholing as Makhloufi supplied Marvin McLean who fed Green who shot into the side-netting from a narrow angle and this was soon followed by a Dan Mason shot being diverted wide of the right post.

As the interval loomed Cirencester worked their left flank and after several passes it was returned to Handley who cut right to send a curling cross from 30 yards just wide of the far-right post.

Half Time:   0-0 

Almost immediately from the re-start Anderson fed an over-lapping Shayne Anson who charged to the right corner to cross to the far post where Cluett headed out to concede a corner kick that Hancock delivered to the near post where Irving fired into the side-netting. 

Sholing responded as Makhloufi entered the Cirencester box, left channel, and squared the ball to Green who fired over the bar from near the penalty spot. 

In this end-to-end game where neither side kept the ball for long Mike Pook delivered a free kick to the penalty spot and when it was cleared it was collected by Anderson who made a run to the right corner where he was fouled – Hancock’s free kick was caught by Gosney. 

A few minutes later Sholing were awarded a couple of free kicks – the first was blocked by the ‘wall’ and the second punched clear by Harris. 

Around the hour mark Green burst into the Cirencester box where the initial challenge from Jake Lee was enough to enable Harris to pounce on the ball. 

The Ciren ‘keeper was soon in action again as he caught a couple of free kicks under his cross-bar either side of the mid-point of the half. 

Sholing were increasing the pressure as they mounted several attacks down their left flank that reached the by-line and from one of these McLean’s cross to the back post was headed into the mix by Dan Mason leading to a scramble until Harris finally collected the ball. 

Into the final 15 minutes and both sides sent shots over the bar – Jake Cope and Nick Peare – and mounted attacks that reached deep into the opposition half but the final ball was comfortably dealt with by their opponent’s defence. 

Full Time:   0-0 

Certainly not a ‘classic’ football match partly due to the conditions, and partly due to what was at stake as the meanest teams in the division, from a goals conceded point of view, refused to be breached.

 

Attendance:    248                            Referee:       Alex James 

 

Sholing F.C.:

   1.     Ryan Gosney
   2.     Ryan Cluett
   3.     Marvin McLean
   4.     Owen Roundell
   5.     Daniel Miller
   6.     Robin Nicholls
   7.     Claudio Herbert
   8.     Byron Mason     ©
   9.     Daniel Mason
  10.     Fatah Makhloufi
  11.     Stuart Green

  12.     Conor Whiteley
  13.     Luke Deacon   (GK)
  14.     Jack Mann
  15.     Jake Cope                                   (Claudio Herbert-64mins)
  16.     Dean Frampton

 

Cirencester Town: 

    1.     Alex Harris
    2.     Shayne Anson
    3.     Tom Handley 
    4.     Michael Pook
    5.     Jake Lee     © 
    6.     Ellis Dunton 
    7.     Tommy Anderson
    8.     Josh Nelmes
    9.     Levi Irving
   10.    Ben Whitehead
   11.     Nick Hancock 

   12.     Nick Peare                                 (Mike Pook-78mins)
   14.     Joe Turley                                 (Nick Hancock-71mins)          
   15.     Aidan Bennett                            (Ben Whitehead-65mins)
   16.     Jordan Morris                         
   17.     Kevin Sawyer   (GK)

 

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