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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 Central

Biggleswade Town  0 - 0  Cirencester Town

Match report by Dave Pyzer

 

The Centurions made the long journey to Bedfordshire to face former Premier Division opponents Biggleswade Town in their opening fixture of the new season in the Central Division. 

 

The match was played in extreme weather conditions, with a temperature of at least 35oC on the pitch, and sensibly there were at least two ‘Drinks Breaks’ in each half.

 

The home side kicked off and almost immediately David Keenleyside tested Cirencester custodian, Alex Harris, with a 25-yard shot but the ‘keeper was well positioned to make the catch.

Cirencester responded to mount an attack to the right corner that eventually yielded a corner kick that was initially cleared, recycled and cleared again. 

A few minutes later the home side pressed to win two corner kicks in succession and this led to a strong 30-yard run down the centre of the pitch from Zac Guinan but his pass towards Theo Lewis was intercepted and the threat cleared. 

A few minutes later Joe Turley delivered a superb pass from the centre circle to Jordan Lymn on the right touchline and after he sent it into the home box it was cleared to the supporting Turley who slipped it right for Nick Hancock to drive it towards goal but it was blocked and cleared. 

At this stage Cirencester were pressing regularly with some excellent passing football and driving runs from Jordan Morris down their left flank to the by-line.

With 17 minutes on the clock Biggleswade worked the ball down their left flank and into Jon Clements who produced a sharp turn on the edge of the box before shooting but his effort was deflected over the visitors cross-bar and the resulting corner kick caught by Harris. 

At the mid-point of the half the first ‘Drinks Break’ was taken and upon the resumption the home side immediately launched an attack down their right flank for Clements to cross – headed out by Josh Nelmes and collected by Marcus Gouldbourne who sent it back in to be headed clear by Hancock. 

Back came Cirencester to press again from both flanks but the home side survived and countered when Clements collected the ball, 20 yards out in a central position, and attempted to ‘lob’ Harris but once again the ‘keeper was in position to make the catch. 

A minute later Hancock crossed from the right channel, 25 yards out, to the edge of the 6-yard box where Theo Lewis darted forward to stoop low and head the ball inside the left post but the ‘goal’ was disallowed for ‘offside’. 

A second ‘Drinks Break’ soon followed as Cirencester pressed again. 

Upon the resumption a Biggleswade pass down the centre reached Clements in the left channel of the visitor’s box and he back-heeled it to Joe Howe, near the by-line, but seeing his way blocked he played the ball back for it to be recycled to their right flank where Aaron Austin embarked on a driving run that took him to the by-line. His progress was blocked but as he fell he managed to send the ball in the direction of the Penalty Spot but Harris stretched to dive and collect at his near post. 

A few minutes later as Cirencester worked the ball down their left flank Morris crossed to the right-side edge of the home box where Lymn collected and fired wide of the far-left post. 

In the final minutes of the half Harry Draper supplied Austin as he galloped to the right corner but his resulting cross was too high for Ashley Hay. 

A minute later the action was at the other end as Ellis Dunton sent the ball towards the home Penalty Spot where Guinan and Daniel Brathwaite challenged for the ball and as it dropped it fell to a lurking Lewis but his shot was blocked by Brathwaite. 

Half Time:   0-0 

When play resumed after the half-time interval the ball was played up to Hancock who produced a clever ‘back-heel flick’ to release Guinan but the move came to an end when Morris was fouled – resulting in a free kick 30 yards out, left channel, that was sliced into the waiting arms of ‘keeper Timmy Smith. 

A couple of minutes later a terrific pass from Lymn, on the right flank reached Guinan and Lewis on the front edge of the home box and with some difficulty the home defence managed to clear the danger. 

Cirencester continued to press forward until the first ‘Drinks Break’ of the second half at which point Biggleswade made a couple of substitutions. 

The visitors were enjoying plenty of possession but were finding it difficult to make the breakthrough due to the stubborn defending of their hosts. 

At the second ‘Drinks Break’ – ten minutes after the previous one – Cirencester made their first substitution. 

Upon the resumption a couple of Yellow Cards were soon issued for late challenges from tired players. 

With 31 minutes on the clock of the second half, including ‘Drinks Breaks’, Cirencester came close to opening their account when Dunton, right of the Penalty Spot, headed a free kick from the left flank narrowly wide of the far-left post.

Five minutes later a long ball towards the Cirencester box resulted in Harris darting forward to block and this led to a corner kick from the left flank and a near-post header from Clements that passed over the bar.

Cirencester responded by mounting an attack that produced a corner kick from their left flank that Lewis headed against the cross-bar and after a scramble it was eventually cleared to Lymn who volleyed it back at the goal from 20 yards – tipped over the bar by Smith. 

From the resulting corner kick the ball was cleared out of the home box and to Lymn who immediately sent it to the left corner but play was stopped as Max Granville was prone near the left post – confirmed later to be the result of a collision with another home player as the threat was cleared. 

Whilst he was being attended to another ‘Drinks Break’ took place. 

As the game was drawing to a close Levi Irving chased a long ball down the right flank to collect near the corner, cut back inside and shoot – blocked by Brathwaite back to Irving who shot towards the far-left post to be diverted by the outstretched leg of ‘keeper Smith towards the Cirencester left flank where Morris collected and sent it back into the box. Joe Shepherd rose to head goal-wards but Smith was able to catch. 

The final action was a Cirencester free kick from the left channel, half-way, that Harris sent into the home box where Josh Nelmes headed upwards and as it came down Jake Lee and Lewis competed for the ball resulting in a throw-in from the right corner that was defended.  

Full Time:   0-0

Considering the conditions this was a competitive game that speaks volumes of the fitness levels of the players.

Cirencester had more possession and chances but the home side were resolute in their defending and fought for the result.

  

Attendance:    123                             Referee:       Simon Kavanah 

 

Biggleswade Town: 

   1.     Timmy Smith
 16.     Aaron Austin
   3.     Daniel Brathwaite
   2.     Joe Howe
   5.     Harry Draper
  15.     David Keenleyside
   7.     Marcus Gouldbourne     
   8.     Robert Parker     ©
   9.     Jon Clements
   4.     Luke Middleton
  14.     Ashley Hay

  13.     Harry Smart  (GK)
  11.     Lewis Smith                                 (Max Granville-81mins)
  17.     Max Granville                              (Luke Middleton-65mins
  20.    Mr Boyejo
  19.     Charlie Smith                              (David Keenleyside-65mins)

  

Cirencester Town: 

    1.     Alex Harris
    2.     Josh Nelmes
    3.     Jordan Morris
    4.     Joe Turley
    5.     Jake Lee     © 
    6.     Ellis Dunton 
    7.     Jordan Lymn
    8.     Nick Hancock
    9.     Zachary Guinan
   10.    Theo Lewis
   11.     Joe Shepherd 

   12.     Levi Irving                                 (Zachary Guinan-69mins)       
   14.     Kenneth Mills                             (Nick Hancock-81mins)
   15.     Reegan Messenger
   16.     Frankie Johnson                                 
   17.     Louie Barnfather (GK)

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