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The Emirates FA Cup 

Second Qualifying Round  


Merthyr Town  1 - 1 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 Second Round Qualifying fixture in The Emirates FA Cup took The Centurions to familiar territory as they travelled to The Principality to face former rivals MERTHYR TOWN, who now play their football in the Southern League – Premier Division South, and after a hard-fought match the scores were tied.


In terms of current form - The Martyrs sit in 13th place in their league table with 9 points from 7 games played, and a fortnight ago they defeated Truro City 5-2 to get to this round of the competition whilst Cirencester secured a good result in mid-week as they defeated Basingstoke Town 5-3 in The Isuzu FA Trophy and two weeks ago defeated Larkhall Athletic to reach this stage of the competition.


The Cirencester starting eleven was unchanged from the mid-week match.


The visitors kicked off proceedings to launch the ball down their left flank before switching play to their right flank where it went out for a goal-kick.

Merthyr immediately sent a long searching ball down their right channel and this resulted in an early corner kick that was headed away from the Cirencester Penalty Area at the back post by Reegan Messenger but it was collected by Frazer Thomas who cut right along the front edge of the visitor’s box - eventually shooting wide of the far-right post as he was put under pressure.  

A couple of minutes later Ricardo Rees chased after a pass down the Martyrs left channel before cutting right along the front edge of the Cirencester box and seeing his way blocked he played the ball wide to an overlapping Adam Davies who sent a low cross from the right corner that caused some problems for the visitors defence as it pinged around their box before being claimed by Zack Maher who fired wide of the left post as he was challenged by Adulai Sambu. 

The Cirencester response was started by Joe Turley as he moved the ball to his left for Jordan Morris to send it down the left flank to the corner where Levi Irving collected and crossed but it was deflected high into the air for Will Fuller to catch on the front edge of his 6-yard box. 

Back came the hosts as they mounted a break down their left flank for former Centurion Tom Handley to deliver a low cross towards the front edge of the visitors 6-yard box where Lewis Powell’s effort was deflected over the bar for a corner kick from their right flank that led to another from their left. Eventually the danger was cleared by Cirencester. 

Shortly afterwards Merthyr were awarded a free kick, centrally placed – 30 yards out, that Handley fired towards the top right corner where ‘keeper Alex Harris, a former Martyr, parried the effort before catching it. 

Cirencester custodian Harris was in action a few minutes later when he dived to cut out a low cross from Rees, who had reached the left by-line, as it sped across the front edge of his 6-yard box. 

The home side were doing most of the attacking and moments later a Powell effort, after a Thomas run down the left flank, was deflected for Harris to catch. 

Much against the run of play Irving received the ball on the edge of the home box, in a central position, and struck a firm left footed shot towards the top right corner where Fuller launched himself to push it wide of his left post resulting in a corner kick that was headed away but immediately sent back into the ‘mix’ by Jordan Lymn to be cleared, returned and cleared again for the home side to launch a counter attack. 

At the mid-point of the half Merthyr worked the ball infield from their left flank to the side edge of the centre circle and from there Thomas delivered a superb reverse pass for RICARDO REES to collect, right channel – 25 yards out, as two defenders closed him down and he then worked his way to the left channel of the Cirencester box, before cutting back to lose his marker and create a 1v1 with Harris, before tucking his shot inside the far-right post.  1-0.    

The goal prompted Cirencester to come out and attack as Morris sent a long pass down the left flank that eventually resulted in a cross into the box and Sambu laying it off to Joe Shepherd, right channel – 15 yards out, to send a low cross into the danger area – cut-out and cleared but positive signs from the visitors. 

A couple of minutes later Morris embarked on a strong run that took him to the left corner where his cross was blocked leading to a corner kick that was headed away from the centre front edge of the 6-yard box and back to the taker, Turley, who returned it into the Penalty Area where Sambu won the ball and laid it off to Ellis Dunton who sent it across to Shepherd, right touchline – 25 yards out, back in to Sambu, laid off to Morris who darted across from right to left before shooting, blocked and cleared. 

Cirencester’s Jake Lee then exchanged passes with Morris before slipping the ball to his right, from near the Penalty Spot, for Messenger to shoot wide of the right post. 

As the game entered the final ten minutes of the first half Merthyr worked the ball from left to right but Irving intercepted to supply Lee who charged down the centre before laying it off to Sambu who attacked the right flank where his progress was halted. 

Into the final five minutes and Josh Nelmes, who had been kept busy on defensive duties, cleared the ball down the right flank to the corner where Lee chased, collected and sent a low cross towards the near post for Irving to dart forward and poke it towards the right post. Will Fuller just managed to stretch to toe it out for a corner kick that Turley delivered to the near post where Irving headed wide of the target.

As Cirencester pressed again a clearance from a home defender struck Lee and rebounded narrowly wide of the left post. 

On the stroke of half-time Morris won the ball near half-way, left flank, and charged forward to send a dangerous cross into the home box where it evaded Lee, near the Penalty Spot, to reach an incoming ADULAI SAMBU who saw it late but managed to stretch and tuck it inside the right post.  1-1. 

Half Time:   1-1                                                 

Both sides opened the second period positively but after 4 minutes Morris was called upon to make two defensive headers and a block in quick succession as Merthyr pressed.

This was soon followed by Irving reaching the left corner to cross – blocked for a corner kick that was sent to the back post where Nelmes collected – leading to another corner kick from the right flank that was recycled to Turley and resulted in a Lee header passing wide of the left post. 

As the hour mark approached an Irving cross from the left corner was cleared and recycled to Morris who sent it towards the far post where Fuller caught the ball. 

Leading up to the mid-point of the half Curtis Jemmett-Hutson sliced an effort high and wide of the target and Rees had one blocked. 

As the home side attacked again Morris won the header to supply Irving who galloped down the left touchline to the corner but his cross into the home Penalty Area was cut out. 

When the Martyrs returned Dunton cleared it downfield to Lee who took it to the left channel of the home box where his right footed shot was blocked at the left post by Fuller to be recycled for a corner kick that Turley delivered to the back post for Nelmes to head wide of the right post. 

Merthyr responded as Thomas collected on the right-side edge of the visitor’s box and after some serious twisting and turning reached the right by-line to send a low cross towards the 6-yard box where Harris conceded a corner kick that Handley delivered to the back post for Harris to catch. 

Another Dunton clearance down the left flank was collected by Irving who reached the corner and crossed into the home Penalty Area where Sambu, bursting forward in support, sent it wide of the left post from near the Penalty Spot. 

The final 5 minutes saw Merthyr pressing for all they were worth but they could not find a way through the determined Cirencester defence. 

Full Time:   1-1 

An entertaining and competitive match, played at a good pace in perfect sunny conditions, with the hosts enjoying much of the possession as they pressed and probed to find Cirencester in resolute and determined mood whilst posing a threat on the counter.


The replay will take place at The Corinium Stadium on Tuesday 20th September with kick-off at 7.45pm.


Attendance:    424                            Referee:       Richard Walker 


Merthyr Town: 

  13.     Will Fuller
   2.      Adam Davies     ©
   3.      Tom Handley
  18.     Ismail Yakubu
   5.      Callum Ryan-Phillips
   6.      Jack Evans
   7.      Frazer Thomas 
   8.      Zack Maher
   9.      Lewis Powell
  10.     Ricardo Rees                                         23
  11.     Kieran Evans

  12.     Camden Duncan
    1.     Jaimie Cogman  (GK)
  14.     Bubacarr Sama
  15.     Curtis Jemmett-Hutson               (Kieran Evans-28mins)
  16.     Liam Angel                                 (Zack Maher-63mins)
  17.     Andy Lewis


Cirencester Town:

    1.     Alex Harris
    2.     Jordan Lymn
    3.     Jordan Morris
    4.     Joe Turley
    5.     Josh Nelmes  
    6.     Ellis Dunton 
    7.     Adulai Sambu                                       45
    8.     Reegan Messenger
    9.     Jake Lee     ©
   10.    Joe Shepherd
   11.     Levi Irving 

   12.     Kenneth Mills
   14.     Frankie Johnson
   15.     Ross Gabriel
   16.     Nick Hancock
   17.     Nick Peare                              
   18.     Louie Barnfather (GK

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