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Pitching In Southern League 

Division 1 Central 

 

Cirencester Town  2 - 0  Harlow Town 

 

 

Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by Graham Hill

 

Match report by Dave Pyzer

 

For the fourth successive weekend Cirencester had a home fixture at The Corinium Stadium - the original fixture being reversed due to problems with the Harlow Town pitch. 

To make matters worse for the visitors they were reduced to ten-men mid-way through the first half but battled valiantly to keep their hosts at bay and it took until mid-way into the second period for Cirencester to break through - adding another in ‘added-time’ to seal the result.

 

Examination of the records for both sides before this match revealed that Harlow sat in 15th place in the division table with 16 points from 14 games whilst Cirencester have risen to 8th place in recent weeks with 22 points from 15 games. In terms of current form, based on the ‘6-match Form Guide’ table Harlow are 8th with 10 points and Cirencester 2nd with 14 points.

 

The Cirencester starting eleven had one change from the fixture at Thame United in mid-week as Jake Lee (holiday) returned in place of Josh Nelmes (suspended). Reegan Messenger returned to the bench after missing the last two games (injury).

  

The visitors kicked off playing towards The Shed end of the ground on a damp day, with strong winds and rain expected, to attack down their right channel but were rebuffed by a firm header from Matt Williams, leading to a counter attack by Cirencester down their left flank. 

The first couple of attacks from the visitors ended with an ‘offside’ flag but the third to the right corner resulted in a cross and firm header from Joshua Steele into the arms of Ciren custodian Alex Harris. 

During these early stages the game was very scrappy with the ball spending too much time in the air as both sides sought to counter quickly with long balls down their flanks and shortly before the mid-point of the first half Ellis Dunton released Jordan Morris to the left corner and his resulting cross flew through the Harlow Penalty Area without contact. 

A couple of minutes later another pass from Dunton, this time down the left channel produced a miss-kick from a defender and as Levi Irving latched onto it, 30 yards from goal – left of centre, and attempted to burst forward he was brought down – leading to the culprit being dismissed as he was deemed to be the last man by the Referee. 

Harlow immediately reorganised and a few minutes later a cross from Will Christopher reached Irving near the Penalty Spot but his header was straight to ‘keeper Melvin Minter. 

Ten minutes after the dismissal Irving chased a pass to the right corner and crossed from the by-line but it was cleared to be recycled to Jay Simpson, 25 yards from goal – right channel, who delivered it towards the Penalty Spot where Nick Hancock headed wide of the left post.

Within minutes Harlow were awarded a free kick 40 yards from goal, right channel, and this produced a corner kick from their right flank that Alexander Luque headed wide of the left post.

As the interval approached Christopher played the ball down the right flank to Simpson who took it to the right-side edge of the Harlow box before cutting left past his marker and firing a left footed effort just wide of the far-left post.

Almost immediately Minter launched the ball to the right corner for Harlow to have a throw-in and this led to a corner kick from the right followed by one from the left that Jake Lee headed clear.    

The half ended with a Cirencester corner kick that was defended.

Half Time:   0-0

Within minutes of the re-start Cirencester worked the ball to the right corner as Dunton sent a raking pass from the left flank, to Simpson, near the right-side edge of the visitor’s box, and he darted towards the by-line before releasing a cross that clipped the top of the Harlow crossbar. 

Harlow responded as Terrell Egbri collected a clearance to charge down the centre of the pitch before sending the ball right to Kane Phillip but his resulting cross was defended at the near post by Joe Turley. 

With their extra man Cirencester continued to work the ball across the pitch, probing for an opening, with Morris delivering numerous crosses into the visitor’s box. 

For their part Harlow dropped off and defended resolutely before countering quickly once the danger was cleared. 

Just after the mid-point of the half a Morris cross from the left reached Irving at the back post - his header was wide of the post but the pressure was building as Turley moved the ball left to Dunton, down the line to Nick Peare as he charged towards the left by-line to deliver a low cross to the far-post where Reegan Messenger was arriving – diverted for a corner kick from the right flank.  Joe Turley sent the kick towards the ‘mix’ in front of the goal but it cleared them all and dropped at the feet of JAY SIMPSON and he promptly drove it under the masses in front of him into the net to break the dead-lock. His first goal for Cirencester.  1-0. 

Almost immediately Cirencester were back as a free kick was delivered by Peare to the near post – headed over the bar by a defender for a corner kick from the right flank that Turley sent to the back post where Lee headed towards the top left corner – headed over for another corner kick and two more goal-line blocks followed before it reached Morris, just outside the visitors Penalty Area, and he skimmed the bar with his fierce strike. 

Back came Morris with a couple more crosses but the receiver’s headed wide of the target. 

Into the final ten minutes and Harlow pushed forward for Fabion Simms to hurl a throw-in from their right flank into the Cirencester Penalty Area where Peare headed to the other flank and this time Dunton cleared it down the home sides left flank for Simpson to embark on a long run that took him into the Harlow Penalty Area where James Folkes came across to rob him of the ball with a well-timed tackle and clear the danger.

Into ‘added-time’ and Harlow had a free kick five yards inside the Cirencester half, left channel, so ‘keeper Minter advanced to the home Penalty Area – the kick was caught by Harris who dropped to the ground before punting the ball to the right corner – resulting in a corner kick that Turley delivered to the back post where JAKE LEE powerfully headed into the top left corner. 

Full Time:   2-0 

Not a game for the football purists - as the ball was continually launched from end-to-end in the early stages and after Harlow were reduced to ten-men Cirencester found it difficult to break down their rear-guard action.

 

  

Attendance:    111                             Referee:       Nathaneal Wormleighton 

  

Cirencester Town: 

    1.     Alex Harris
    2.     Will Christopher
    3.     Ellis Dunton
    4.     Joe Turley
    5.     Jake Lee     ©                                       90+2 
    6.     Josh Nelmes  
    7.     Jay Simpson                                         71
    8.     Nick Hancock
    9.     Levi Irving
   10.    Kenneth Mills
   11.     Jordan Morris 

   12.     Oliver Stevenson                       
   14.     Nick Peare                                 (Kenneth Mills-59mins)
   15.     Reegan Messenger                      (Nick Hancock-67mins)
   16.     James Mortimer-Jones
   17.     Kevin Sawyer     (GK)

 

Harlow Town: 

   1.     Melvin Minter
   2.     Connor Peters
   3.     Layne Eadie
   4.     James Folkes
   5.     Joshua Steele
   6.     Fabion Simms     ©
   7.     Kane Phillip
   8.     Dante McIntosh
   9.     Samson Maagbe
  10.     Alexander Luque  
  11.     Terrell Egbri

  12.     William Smallshaw
  14.     Aleko Aliaj
  15.     Samuel Bayon                              (Kane Phillip-80mins)
  16.     Aaron Obikoi-Simeon                  (Connor Peters-88mins)
  20.     Robert Horgan     (GK)

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