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Pitching In Southern League 

Division 1 Central 


Welwyn Garden City  0 - 4  Cirencester Town 


Match report by Dave Pyzer



The Centurions made the long journey to the north of London to face The Citizens of Welwyn Garden City and after a tough battle in difficult playing conditions came away with the three points.


The pre-match analysis reveals that in terms of form the two sides have both obtained 10 points from their last 6 games to place Welwyn Garden City in 7th place and Cirencester 4th place (due to goal difference) in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table. Their positions in the league table were Welwyn 8th with 30 points and Cirencester 9th with 28 points – both from 19 games played. In the reverse fixture Welwyn recorded a narrow 2-1 victory so not a lot to choose between the sides going into this match but the conditions may have an impact as due to the recent heavy rain the pitch will undoubtedly by soft and become heavy as the game progresses.


The Cirencester starting eleven remained unchanged for the third successive match. 

The home side had to make a change to their intended starting eleven before the kick-off as Ryan Doherty failed to get through their ‘warm-up’ exercises and as a result Phillip Lowen was promoted from the bench to take his place.


The visitors kicked-off and immediately launched the ball into the left corner for a Welwyn throw-in and they continued to press down that flank in the opening minutes eventually being awarded a free kick that was comfortably cleared by the home side enabling Cyrus Babaie-Gumbs to embark on a strong run down their left channel before crossing towards the right corner but it was cut-out by Ellis Dunton and played forward to Jordan Morris who moved it on to Levi Irving who took it to the left corner. Once there Welwyn gained possession and attacked down their right flank to the corner where a deep cross into the Cirencester box was collected and cleared by Zac Guinan.

After trying the left flank again Cirencester switched play to their right flank for Will Christopher to send it into the home box and when it was cleared it was collected by Dunton, moved on to Irving who exchanged passes with Morris before he was tripped just outside the home box.

Before the resulting free kick could be taken Welwyn had to substitute Phillip Lowen – who had been injured in the play leading to the clearance – with Jedidiah Brown-Johnson.

ANDY LEWIS stepped forward to take the kick, from a position to the right of the left front corner of the home box – 20 yards out, and skilfully curled it around the ‘wall’ and inside the far-right post to open the scoring.  0-1.

The game was being played at a frantic pace with neither side retaining possession for long and a few minutes later Joe Turley played the ball out to the right flank for Christopher to send it down the line to Irving who cut left and delivered a cross towards the Penalty Spot where Joe Shepherd was arriving but the resulting header was safely caught by ‘keeper Charlie Crowley.

The home side responded by working the ball down their right flank to the corner for Samuel Hatton to move it on to Babaie-Gumbs to collect near the front corner of the Cirencester box and this resulted in a free kick that Joe Dearman sent towards the Penalty Spot where it was cleared by Morris.

After a couple of ‘sorties’ by Cirencester down their right flank the home side tried their right flank for Jordan Kinoshi to be stopped in his tracks – resulting in a Yellow Card for the culprit - and once again Dearman delivered it to the Penalty Spot where in their eagerness the home side committed a foul.

Shortly after the mid-point of the half Dunton sent a pass to the right channel front edge of the home box where Shepherd ‘chested’ it over his marker but as he charged forward to shoot Crowley was quickly off his line to gather.

Welwyn then worked the ball down their right flank for Dearman to reach the by-line and his cross was deflected over the bar for a corner kick from the left flank that Harvey Steel played short to Dearman and this led to a throw-in and free kick in the corner that Cirencester ‘keeper Alex Harris managed to punch away from his goal before a committed block was required from Josh Nelmes to divert the follow-up effort for a corner kick.   

As the half entered the final ten minutes there was a flurry of Yellow Cards issued as players were beginning to find it difficult to maintain their balance or judge the weight of passes on the soft surface.

In the lead-up to the interval Welwyn pressed forward in search of an equaliser and a free kick from just inside their half, centre circle, was delivered by Crowley into the Cirencester box where it was cleared to a lurking Brown-Johnson, right channel front edge of the box, and he immediately fired a low shot towards the left post where Harris managed to dive and parry before blocking the follow-up effort from Max Jessop.

Half Time:   0-1 

A couple of minutes after the re-start Welwyn were awarded a free kick on their right flank but this was safely gathered by Harris near the front edge of his 6-yard box and as Cirencester pressed forward there was a series of shots from Irving, Lewis, Shepherd and Turley that were all blocked inside the home Penalty Area before the Shepherd played it to the right corner for Guinan to cross from the by-line. His cross was deflected behind the incoming support leading to a counter attack from the home side down their right channel before switching left.

Minutes later Jessop headed the ball on for Dearman to collect and charge to the right by-line where a superb, well-timed tackle from Jake Lee brought his progress to a halt but the home side were soon back again in search of an equaliser as Jessop supplied Kinoshi who got past the first challenge but was unable to evade another well-timed tackle from a covering Lee.

As Cirencester worked the ball down their right flank possession was conceded enabling the home side to counter through Lewis Franklin who charged down the left channel into the Cirencester half, right to James Mulley who took it to the edge of the visitors box before supplying a supporting Dearman who played it to the right channel where Babaie-Gumbs poked it wide of the far-left post.

The home side were making a determined effort to level but were being thwarted by the resolute Cirencester rear-guard as demonstrated on the hour mark when Franklin and Babaie-Gumbs exchanged passes a couple of times as they worked the ball forward until both Lee and Turley challenged to prevent the latter from making further progress.

At the mid-point of the half a Welwyn corner kick was cleared down the Cirencester left flank for Irving to charge forward before switching play to the right for Shepherd to reach the by-line but his cross was deflected out of the home box and recycled to the left corner for a Welwyn throw-in. The ball was recovered by Cirencester and quickly switched by Shepherd to the right for Jay Simpson to reach the by-line but his cross passed through the box to be collected by Dunton on the left flank and he delivered a precise cross to the centre front edge of the 6-yard box where ZAC GUINAN leapt to head inside the right post.  0-2.    

The response from Welwyn was immediate as Dearman made a strong run down their right channel to reach the Cirencester box where his shot was deflected and a corner kick awarded which was delivered to the near post – defended for another one that led to a scramble at the near post before being cleared.

A Welwyn free kick from their right flank reached Mulley in the left channel of the Cirencester box where he was confronted by Shepherd and after twisting and turning his resulting cross was caught by Harris.

The home side were soon back again as Dearman fired wide of the left post from 25 yards and Steel sent a cross to the back post to be headed back across goal before it was cleared at the other post.

Following this period of pressure from the home side Cirencester countered for Irving to have his shot from the edge of the home box, right of centre, blocked but he recovered the ball and laid it back to Hancock who delivered it towards the far-left post where JOE SHEPHERD competed with Mulley to head the ball inside the right post.  0-3.

Undeterred Welwyn worked the ball to their right corner where progress was temporarily halted by Turley but eventually produced a corner kick that was headed clear by Nick Peare to release Guinan for a run down the left flank – stopped in his tracks for a free kick to Cirencester.

In added-time Cirencester completed the scoring when Irving delivered the ball from the right flank, 35 yards out, to JAY SIMPSON, on the left channel front edge of the home box, who skilfully created space before calmly slotting it inside the right post.  0-4.

In the final few minutes Geneiro Maragh received a cross-field pass inside the visitor’s box to twist and turn before laying it back to John Megicks but his shot was blocked and the final action was an ambitious strike from Peare from 40 yards that flew over the home cross-bar.

Full Time:   0-4 

A match of commitment from both sides in awful conditions, as heavy rain came down in the second half to make control and weight of pass even more difficult, but a credit to those involved.

Welwyn battled hard but couldn’t find a way through their opponent’s resolute defence whilst Cirencester took their chances to secure the points.


Attendance:    115                            Referee:       Lawrence Torz-Brown 


Welwyn Garden City: 

   1.     Charlie Crowley     ©
   2.     Harvey Steel
   3.     Lewis Franklin
   4.     James Mulley
   5.     Phillip Lowen
   6.     Samuel Hatton
   7.     Joe Dearman    
   8.     Jack Vasey
   9.     Cyrus Babaie-Gumbs
  10.     Max Jessop
  11.     Jordan Kinoshi

  12.     Jedidiah Brown-Johnson             (Phillip Lowen-12mins)
  15.     John Megicks                              (Cyrus Babaie-Gumbs-78mins)
  16.     Geneiro Maragh                          (Jordan Kinoshi-62mins)
  17.     Alexander Luque


Cirencester Town:
    1.     Alex Harris
    2.     Will Christopher
    3.     Ellis Dunton
    4.     Joe Turley
    5.     Jake Lee     © 
    6.     Josh Nelmes  
    7.     Joe Shepherd                                      88
    8.     Andrew Lewis                                      13
    9.     Levi Irving
   10.    Zachary Guinan                                   71
   11.     Jordan Morris  

   12.     Jay Simpson                               (Jordan Morris-62mins)  90+3          
   14.     Nick Peare                                 (Andy Lewis-75mins)
   15.     Sergio Mills
   16.     Reegan Messenger
   17.     Nick Hancock                             (Will Christopher-39mins)

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