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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South


Slimbridge  3 - 2  Cirencester Town 


Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by Graham Hill

Match report by Dave Pyzer


The Centurions made the comparatively short trip to Thornhill Park to face near neighbours Slimbridge and after a hard-fought Gloucestershire ‘Derby’ The Swans recovered from an early setback to produce a determined performance that included a terrific hat-trick from Edji Mbunga to end the ’12-game’ unbeaten run of their visitors.


In mid-week Slimbridge secured a 2-1 victory over their other Gloucestershire neighbours, Cinderford Town, at The Causeway and were undoubtedly prepared for the challenge against ‘top of the table’ Cirencester Town as their league position (14th) would count for nothing in this game.


The home side kicked-off playing into the diagonal wind and conceded a goal within 4 minutes as SHAYNE ANSON embarked on a strong run into the home penalty area where his firm strike from the right channel was blocked by ‘keeper Lewis Adams but rebounded back to him and he quickly adjusted to head the ball over the stranded keeper and inside the far-left post.  0-1

Almost immediately from the re-start a home pass was intercepted and fed to the right corner where Zack Kotwica chased to ‘win’ a corner kick that Adams punched clear.

The home side countered as Marley Thomas carried the ball across the half-way line from right to left to release Myron Turner for a run down the left flank, back to Thomas and a cross-field pass towards the right front corner of the Cirencester box that Tom Handley cleared.

Cirencester attacked the right flank again as Nick Peare, Anson and Kotwica combined resulting in a free kick that was safely collected by Adams so they tried the left flank as Joe Shepherd to Handley supplied Levi Irving who crossed from the by-line – caught by Adams at the near post. 

A couple of minutes later Jake Lee headed a Nick Hancock corner kick down from near the Penalty Spot but it was safely gathered by Adams.

Following a corner kick from the right flank for the home side Cirencester quickly countered for Hancock to cross from near the left by-line but once again too close to the ‘keeper who caught the ball at his right post. 

Shortly before the mid-point of the half Slimbridge mounted a couple of attacks involving Thomas that released Ben McLean and Mbunga but neither caused any problems for the Cirencester defence. 

Back came Cirencester as they attacked the left flank for a corner kick to lead to a scramble near the edge of the 6-yard box that was cleared, soon to be followed by another corner kick, scramble and clearance that resulted in a shot from Shepherd that passed narrowly wide of the right post. 

Undeterred by the pressure Slimbridge responded to release Mbunga to the right channel of the Cirencester penalty area where his fierce strike was tipped over the bar by Harris. The resulting corner kick was headed out by Shepherd and Lee blocked the follow-up shot but it was worked to the right for a strong cross to be sent to the far post where it rebounded to EDJIDJA MBUNGA who drove it inside the left post.  1-1.      

In the run up to the interval both sides mounted attacks but neither really caused too much trouble for the opposing defence although Cirencester did get the ball into the back of the net to be called back for an ‘offside’ decision as Josh Parsons ’finished’ from about 6 yards. 

Half Time:   1-1 

Cirencester made a strong start to the second half as they mounted a sustained attack from the re-start - initially down their left flank, then right, back to the left and finally the right for Shepherd to ‘win’ a corner kick that Hancock delivered to the far post where Lee headed goal-wards but it was blocked and cleared on the goal-line, eventually leading to a Cirencester free kick that was also blocked and cleared.

Undeterred the home side launched the ball to the right corner for Mbunga to chase but Lee came across to defend resulting in a goal kick. Marley Thomas then chased after a loose ball to the left corner but was quickly surrounded. Thomas repeated the run moments later to collect a pass to the left corner but this time he had support from Turner who crossed into the Cirencester box – cut out. 

Either side of this latter action Cirencester sent two dangerous balls through the home box from their left flank without contact – the first from Irving and the second from Shepherd. 

Just after the hour mark Kotwica sent a cross-shot from the right flank that ‘keeper Adams caught and punted down the centre of the pitch for Thomas to chase with Lee - resulting in a corner kick from the Slimbridge right flank. Nick Hancock cleared the initial kick but it was returned to Thomas who delivered it the area between Penalty Spot and 6-yard box where it was headed into the net by EDJIDJA MBUNGA after a bit of a scramble.  2-1.

Three minutes later a clever back-heel from Thomas, just outside the penalty area – left channel, was collected by EDJIDJA MBUNGA who cut back to avoid the covering defender to unleash a spectacular right footed strike that flew inside the far-right post to complete his hat-trick.  3-1.   

Shortly afterwards McLean embarked on a long run from half-way to the left channel of the Cirencester box where he fired high and wide of the target. 

The visitors were still searching for a way back into the game and whilst they had a number of free kicks and corner kicks the home defence was in determined mood and cleared the threats. 

As Cirencester pressed it left them a little exposed and a McLean cross-field pass towards the right corner was chased after by Jordan Yeo but Shepherd had spotted the danger and chased back with him to prevent further progress. 

Ben Whitehead then supplied Irving who sent another low cross from the left corner through the home box without contact. 

Into the final ten scheduled minutes and Shepherd supplied Whitehead, left side edge of the home box, and his cross was met by the head of TOMMY ANDERSON as he darted across the 6-yard box towards the left post to produce a superb header inside the post.  3-2.    

Once again the home side responded to mount an attack down their right flank as Yeo’s cross was blocked for a corner kick which was recycled to the taker Ben Hands resulting in a throw-in to Slimbridge that was defended.

As The Centurions searched for an equaliser and the home side defended resolutely it became a little ‘frantic’ and the final action resulted in a corner kick and a desperate shout for ‘handball’ from Cirencester that was ignored by the Referee who blew his whistle for ‘time’. 

Full Time:   3-2

Certainly not a match of quality - partly due to the diagonal wind and rain - but there was plenty of endeavour and resolute defending from the home side and they took their chances, whilst Cirencester had plenty of possession but not enough end product.


Attendance:    130                             Referee:       Neill Pratt 



   1.     Lewis Adams
   2.     Jack Spark
   3.     Myron Turner     ©
   4.     Michael Ford
   5.     Nathan Dennis
   6.     Toby Lawrence
   7.     Jordan Yeo       
   8.     Ben Hands
   9.     Edjidja Mbunga                                     33, 63, 66
  10.     Ben McLean
  11.     Marley Thomas

  12.     Raiyan Ahmed
  14.     Don Ogbeifun                            (Myron Turner-58mins)
  15.     Ruari O’Boyle
  16.     Johan Flo                                  (Marley Thomas-66mins)


Cirencester Town:

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

   12.     Michael Pook
   14.     Ben Whitehead                          (Nick Peare-61mins)   
   15.     Josh Nelmes
   16.     Tommy Anderson                     (Zack Kotwica-74mins)  80                              
   17.     Ross Gabriel                            (Josh Parsons-74mins)

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