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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South

 

Paulton Rovers  1 - 2  Cirencester Town 

 

Click each photo to view a slideshow from the match

Match photos supplied by

Graham Hill (left) and Becky Handley (right)

Match report by Dave Pyzer

 

For their final league fixture of the season The Centurions made the journey to face Paulton Rovers and after the expected difficult match came away with the 3-points as a Ben Whitehead brace proved to be enough to secure victory.

  

Cirencester had already secured 3rd place in the Division table and Paulton 9th so there was little at stake in terms of league position from this encounter but over the years it has always been a tough match and this was to prove no exception. In terms of current form the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table revealed that Cirencester were 4th and Paulton 13th prior to this match.

 

There were two changes to the starting eleven for Cirencester when compared to their last match against Highworth Town as Jake Mawford and Michael Pook replaced Tommy Anderson (injured) and Levi Irving (rested).

 

The visitors kicked off proceedings on a very dry day and firm pitch and immediately worked their flanks but a quick clearance brought ‘keeper Alex Harris into early action as he darted from his area to clear a long ball that landed 15 yards inside his half. 

A few minutes later Aidan Bennett cut inside from the right touchline to supply Ben Whitehead who moved right before firing over the top left corner of the Paulton goal from the right front corner of their box. 

As Paulton responded they were awarded a free kick in their right corner that was delivered to the far-left post where Neil Martin clipped it back into the mix - Harris punched it away and the danger was cleared but the home side were soon back as Edward Butcher’s low cross was diverted for a corner kick that was also defended. 

Play became very scrappy as both sides were unable to retain the ball and mount any meaningful moves but at the mid-point Tom Handley sent a 40-yard cross-field pass from the left channel, halfway, to the right corner where Shayne Anson popped up to collect and cross - diverted for a corner kick that Jake Mawford sent to the 6-yard box where Jake Lee headed over the bar. 

The Paulton reply was a strong run from Will Harvey to the right by-line and a ‘pull-back’ to Liban Ibrahim, right channel – 15 yards out, who shot at goal – blocked by Lee in the goal-mouth for Bennett to complete the clearance. 

Around the 30-minute mark Paulton pressed a number of times with Harvey, Butcher and Ibrahim prominent down their flanks – one led to a corner kick that Harris caught and another neat move ended with an ‘offside’ flag.   

As the interval loomed Nuno Felix headed the ball to Butcher and he turned and galloped from half-way to the left channel of the Cirencester box where Lee blocked his progress and Anson the follow-up from Alfie Clarke. 

A couple of minutes later Cirencester produced a 5-pass move starting with Joe Turley to Ellis Dunton, forward to Whitehead, back to Turley, right to Bennett, forward to an overlapping Anson who crossed from the right corner – diverted for a corner kick from the right that Mawford delivered into the 6-yard box where Jake Lee headed over the bar. 

Within minutes Cirencester were back again as Turley fed Mawford, on to Whitehead who shot over the bar from the left channel 25 yards out. 

As Paulton began an attack down their left flank Dunton came across to clear the threat and send the ball from half way towards the right corner where Bennett flicked on for BEN WHITEHEAD to collect under pressure from Martin and carry into the home box before firing a low shot inside the near post despite contact from ‘keeper Aaron Sainsbury.  0-1. 

As the game entered ‘added-time’ Whitehead carried the ball along the left side edge of the home box – resulting in a corner kick that Mawford delivered to the central area just outside the 6-yard box where BEN WHITEHEAD rose to head inside the far-right post.  0-2. 

N.B. His 100th goal for The Centurions – CONGRATULATIONS BEN. 

Half Time:   0-2 

During the interval Levi Irving replaced Ben Whitehead (precaution) and a couple of minutes into the half Jordan Morris replaced Ellis Dunton (Yellow Card earlier in the game) after Ibrahim had burst through for a 1v1 with Harris and a shot that the ‘keeper saved. 

The change required a shuffle of the Cirencester back-line as Anson moved into the centre and Handley switched to the right flank for Morris to go to the left.

Within minutes Ibrahim collected a loose ball to charge down the centre before passing right to Harvey but his cross into the box was cut-out by Lee and cleared.

Moments later James Byrne embarked on a weaving run down the right channel before slipping the ball to his right for Harvey to cross – cut out by Anson and cleared by Jordan Morris. 

The Cirencester reply was a charge to the left corner by Mawford and after some nifty footwork a cross to the far-post - but no-one had gambled and the danger was cleared. 

Shortly afterwards as Paulton worked the ball forward Felix also produced some nifty footwork to evade a challenge before moving the ball right to Martin and via Josiah Dunstan to the right corner where it was lost. 

Encouraged by their recent possession Paulton were working the ball forward more often at this stage and this had led to Harvey and Butcher firing over the bar – the latter from a free kick for hand-ball. 

Just before the mid-point of the half Daniel Dempsey supplied Ibrahim who slipped the ball to Jack Ball and his firm shot was parried by Harris for Morris to complete the clearance.

Undeterred Ibrahim was soon back again as he crossed from the left channel of the Cirencester box – a wicked bounce of the ball enabled it to evade an attempted clearance to reach LEIGHTON THOMAS near the Penalty Spot and he instantly clipped it inside the right post.  1-2 

Game On.

The battle had been in midfield for quite some time with both Joe Turley and Josh Nelmes often quickly surrounded as they attempted to work the ball forward and Turley also had to show his nifty footwork to keep the ball before moving on to Handley.

Approaching the 70-minute mark Paulton pressed - Ball headed wide and Martin shot wide and this was followed by a rejected shout for a Penalty Kick from supporters as Butcher burst into the visitor’s box for Harris to dive at his feet to block the ball with the covering Anson clearing the loose ball to Irving who galloped to the home box and had his shot blocked.  

Paulton continued to press as Leo Eglin had his shot saved by Harris and a series of miss-kicks enabled the ‘keeper to gather the loose ball. 

As the game entered the final ten minutes Irving and Bennett threatened the home goal – a goal kick followed and then there was the unusual sight of Harris doing ‘keep-me-ups’ on the edge of his box before clearing – much to the consternation of the travelling supporters. He soon redeemed himself as he parried and collected a shot from Ball shortly afterwards.

In the closing minutes both sides had a pot at goal – Butcher wide of the right post and Bennett narrowly over the top left corner. 

Full Time:   1-2

There were glimpses of the football both sides are capable of but it was generally a scrappy affair as they cancelled one another out.

 

Cirencester now look forward to the ‘Play-Off - Semi Final’ on Tuesday.

  

Attendance:    207                            Referee:       Philip Staynings 

 

Paulton Rovers:

   1.     Aaron Sainsbury
   2.     James Byrne
   3.     Nuno Felix
   4.     Neil Martin     ©
   5.     Josiah Dunstan
   6.     Daniel Dempsey
   7.     Will Harvey      
   8.     Alfie Clarke
   9.     Leighton Thomas                                   67
  10.     Liban Ibrahim
  11.     Edward Butcher

  12.     Jack Ball                                     (Josiah Dunstan-60mins)
  14.     Leo Eglin                                     (Daniel Dempsey-68mins)
  15.     Kai Williamson                            (Liban Ibrahim-68mins
  16.     Kyle Anderson
  18.     David O’Hare

 

Cirencester Town:

    1.     Alex Harris
    2.     Shayne Anson
    3.     Tom Handley
    4.     Joe Turley
    5.     Jake Lee     © 
    6.     Ellis Dunton 
    7.     Aidan Bennett
    8.     Josh Nelmes
    9.     Ben Whitehead                                    44, 45+2
   10.    Michael Pook
   11.     Jake Mawford 

   12.     Ross Gabriel                              (Jake Mawford-71mins)         
   14.     Nicholas Peare
   15.     Jordan Morris                            (Ellis Dunton-47mins)
   16.     Reegan Messenger                               
   17.     Levi Irving                                  (Ben Whitehead-46mins)

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