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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South

 

Cirencester Town  4 - 2  Winchester City

 

Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by 

Graham Hill (top) and Becky Handley (bottom)

 

Match report by Dave Pyzer

 

Once again The Corinium Stadium was the place to be as two of the top three teams in the Southern League – Division 1 South battled for the 3 points that could provide the edge in their bid for promotion to the Premier Division and after Cirencester conceded an early Own Goal - to give the visitors the lead at the interval - the game came to life in the second period with five goals, 3 penalties, a Red Card and numerous Yellow Cards before the home side secured the 3 points.


The visitors, Winchester City, are long-standing rivals of Cirencester and over the years there have been many tough matches between the sides and this season is no different and prior to the match Cirencester sat in 1st place in the league table and Winchester 3rd.

In addition, the visitors sat at the top of the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table with Cirencester 2nd – both sides securing 14 points from these games but Winchester with a ‘one goal’ better goal difference to secure top spot. Both teams have taken 7 points off fellow challengers Frome Town, AFC Totton and Sholing.

In November Cirencester won 3-1 at Winchester so The Citizens would undoubtedly be looking to avenge this defeat.

 

The home side kicked-off playing towards The Arena end of the ground and immediately mounted a couple of promising attacks with several passes in each that ended with a free kick that was driven over the bar. When the visitors ‘keeper, Charlie Philpott, attempted to take the resulting goal-kick the strong wind kept moving the ball before he could kick it and this caused much delay during the first half as Referee Liam Corbett (who was being assessed) insisted that the ball must be stationary.

As Cirencester pressed forward down their left flank the ball was cleared by Winchester into the home half and when a home defender elected to pass the ball back to his ‘keeper it was wide of the mark and picked up pace due to the strong wind resulting in an OWN GOAL0-1.

The strong wind continued to cause problems throughout the half with many wayward passes, free kicks and corner kicks affected as players struggled to gauge the strength of their kicks or control as the ball moved in the air on its way to them.

Almost immediately Cirencester responded to work the ball from left to right for Nick Hancock to send a dangerous ball through the Winchester penalty area without contact. He repeated this four minutes later when a free kick had the same result from a similar position.

Following a Winchester attack Cirencester countered but the cross-field pass, from left to right, was affected by the wind and never reached its destination with Philpott able to collect.

At the mid-point Winchester worked the ball down their left flank for Craig Feeney to cut right and shoot from near the left front corner of the home box. His effort passed narrowly wide of the far-right post and was deemed to have been deflected resulting in a corner kick that Oliver Balmer curled towards the back post forcing ‘keeper Alex Harris to push it over his bar for another corner kick. A third corner kick was defended and returned to Balmer but his shot from the right front corner of the home box was blocked and cleared. 

Once again Cirencester responded to press down both flanks but the visitors survived with the nearest threat a corner kick that passed through the penalty area untouched. 

As the half was drawing to a close Cirencester worked the ball forward with some neat football but failed to threaten the visitors defence and Winchester countered for Balmer to have a shot from the left channel of the home box blocked. 

In the final minutes Winchester launched the ball down their right channel prompting ‘keeper Harris to charge forward to attempt a clearance but it was fed to the right flank and a shot aimed at the unguarded net where Shayne Anson had recovered to head over his own bar. The resulting corner kick was defended by Joe Turley.    

Half Time:   0-1

Within minutes of the re-start Cirencester had attacked to the right corner several times leading to a Zack Kotwica cross from near the by-line hitting the side netting but when a similar move reached Kotwica a few minutes later he cut into the penalty area where he was brought to ground with the culprit injured in the process having to be replaced. A Penalty Kick was awarded by the well-placed Referee but was delayed whilst the injury was treated. JAKE LEE took responsibility for the spot kick and blasted it into the bottom right corner and whilst Philpott guessed the right way to dive there was nothing he could do to stop it.  1-1. 

A few minutes later Nick Peare battled his way through a couple of challenges to release Levi Irving to the left corner but his cross was cleared by Robert Flooks at the near post to be recycled to the right flank where it was lost.

Shortly afterwards Josh McCormick overlapped down the left flank to the corner where he was fouled for a free kick that Jamie Barron sent towards the near post where Anson cleared. 

As the mid-point approached Cirencester launched the ball down their right channel to the edge of the Winchester box where Josh Parsons and Flooks entered an aerial duel with the ball being collected by Turley who immediately passed it to his left and into the left channel of the visitor’s box where LEVI IRVING collected, advanced and struck his left footed shot into the net via the inside of the right post.  2-1. 

Three minutes later Winchester attacked down their left flank as Barron fed McCormick who crossed into the box resulting in a Penalty Kick – handball? – that McCormick took himself. Alex Harris guessed correctly to dive to his right and punch the ball clear whilst in mid-air. 

Taking full advantage of this terrific save Cirencester scored again four minutes later as Tom Handley supplied Parsons, left flank – half way, who in turn shipped the ball to Irving as he galloped to the corner to send a low cross for the incoming ZACK KOTWICA to drive into the net at the back post.  3-1.

A couple of minutes later Parsons chased what appeared to be a lost cause to the right corner leading to a throw-in for Cirencester and this led to a free kick that Peare sent towards the far post where Philpott punched it out from under his cross-bar.

Undeterred McCormick once again attacked down the left flank to the corner and whilst his initial charge was stopped the ball was recycled and fed back to him leading to another Penalty Kick that OLIVER BALMER took – driving it into the bottom right corner.  3-2.

Sensing they might get something from the game Winchester pressed forward leading to a tense finish as Max Smith crossed from the right by-line – too long, and Henry Brooks sent a low cross from the right-side edge of the home area for Lee to clear near the centre front edge of the 6-yard box. 

At the 90-minute mark Cirencester worked the ball down the left channel as Ellis Dunton, Tommy Anderson, Ben Whitehead combined to release Irving – shot towards right post deflected for a corner kick.

A couple of minutes later Winchester were reduced to ten men as Balmer was dismissed for a foul on Turley that led to a melee with tensions high at this point.

Almost immediately from the re-start Turley launched the ball down the left channel for BEN WHITEHEAD to turn and chase, collecting just inside the Winchester half to charge to the centre front edge of the visitor’s box where he smashed it inside the right post.  4-2. 

Full Time:   4-2 

As the saying goes ‘a game of two halves’ – not much threat in the first due to the teams adapting to the conditions but it came alive in the second with plenty of incident for the interested and neutral spectators to enjoy/appreciate.

  

Attendance:     183                                                       Referee:   Liam Corbett

 

Cirencester Town: 

 1.         Alex Harris
 2.        Shayne Anson
 3.        Tom Handley
 4.        Nick Peare
 5.        Jake Lee     ©                                      54p
 6.        Ellis Dunton
 7.        Zack Kotwica                                       74
 8.        Joe Turley
 9.        Levi Irving                                            66       
10.        Josh Parsons
11.        Nick Hancock                                      

12.        Michael Pook                            (Nick Peare-88mins)
14.        Josh Nelmes                                                    
15.        Ben Whitehead                        (Josh Parsons-78mins)  90+5
16.        Joe Shepherd
17.        Tommy Anderson                      (Nick Hancock-63mins)

 

Winchester City: 

            Own Goal                                              9         

 1.         Charlie Philpott
 2.        Joshua McCormick
14.        Daniel Walster
 4.        Ollie Griggs
 5.        Robert Flooks
 6.        Kieran Douglas
 7.        Craig Feeney
 8.        Jamie Barron     ©
 9.        Simbarashe Mlambo 
10.        Oliver Balmer                                       80p
11.        Max Smith

12.        Liam Callaghan                         (Ollie Griggs-72mins)   
15.        Connall Bark                             (Kieran Douglas-55mins)
16.        Lex Vaughan
17.        Henry Brooks                           (Craig Feeney-78mins)

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