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Pitching In Southern League 

Division 1 Central 


Kempston Rovers  0 - 3  Cirencester Town 


Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by Graham Hill


Match report by Dave Pyzer



Cirencester’s final fixture of the 2022-23 Season required another long journey across the country to face Kempston Rovers and after opening the scoring almost immediately from the kick-off they added two more without reply to return with the three points.



Prior to the match Cirencester sat in 7th place in the league table with 55 points from their 35 games whilst their hosts were in 16th place with 34 points from the same number of games. Examination of current form revealed that, based on the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table, Kempston were 19th with one point from their last 6 games and Cirencester 5th with 10 points. The reverse fixture at The Corinium Stadium in early November resulted in a 5-0 victory to The Centurions.


The starting eleven was unchanged from that which secured the 6-1 victory over Walthamstow a week ago whilst the bench included Jordan Morris, for the first time since early March, and Willem Pooley, one of our Development Team youngsters. 


In perfect conditions for football Cirencester kicked-off and played the ball back to Will Christopher, forward to Adulai Sambu, across to their left flank to be sent into the corner for Levi Irving to chase - resulting in a corner kick that Joe Turley delivered to the near post for Irving to head across the face of the goal to the back post where JAKE LEE was arriving to volley the ball into the net.  0-1. 

Five minutes later Sambu intercepted a pass inside the home half and immediately supplied Irving, near the left front corner of the home box, and he crossed towards the far post where Joe Shepherd was just unable to make contact.

As Kempston worked the ball down their right flank it was lost for Ellis Dunton to launch it down his flank for Irving to head inside for Aidan Bennett to collect, right of centre front edge of the home box, and he cut right before shooting. The ball struck Jake Kerins on the arm and the Referee immediately pointed to the Penalty Spot. Jake Lee stepped up as usual but placed his kick wide of the right post.

What a start to the game for the visitors.

At the 15-minute mark Dunton exchanged passes with Turley before moving the ball on to Sambu, centre – 20 yards out, and he produced a clever feint to go left but went right to create room for a curling shot that struck the top right corner of the goal frame before being cleared. 

The home side had been under the cosh for this opening period but undeterred Israel Ajana embarked on a run down their right channel before slipping the ball right to Oluwalopemiwa Aderoju who carried it forward to the side edge of the Cirencester box before sending a low, firm cross towards the front edge of the 6-yard box where ‘keeper Alex Harris dived to push it away from his goal for Dunton to complete the clearance as he moved it on to Shepherd. 

A couple of minutes later Ajana once again initiated an attack from the home side as he supplied Aderoju, right to Rafal Wielblad, right to Magloire Muyembe (near the front corner of the visitor’s box) and he crossed towards the Penalty Spot where Aderoju and Lee were involved in an aerial challenge that resulted in the ball dropping to be cleared.   

The home side were soon back again as Ajana exchanged passes with Muyembe to reach the right by-line before chipping the ball into the goalmouth but Harris was quickly out to collect.

At the mid-point of the half Lee launched the ball to the right corner for Irving to collect and, after having two attempted crosses blocked, he laid it inside to Sambu who sent a low cross from the by-line towards the near post where Muyembe cleared for a corner kick that resulted in a header from Reegan Messenger that was just wide of the top left corner.

Kempston responded as they worked the ball down their left flank for Sebastian Simpson to combine with Oliver Hemlin and Wielblad to reach the corner where Josh Nelmes cleared the threat under pressure from Wielblad. 

Shortly afterwards a clearance down the home sides right flank was headed inside by Irving to Bennett and he produce a clever reverse pass down the Cirencester left channel for ADULAI SAMBU to collect and carry forward to the centre front edge of the home box where, after some trickery to create space, he tucked the ball inside the right post as ‘keeper George Rose advanced.  0-2. 

A few minutes later Shepherd headed a free kick inside for Bennett to collect and charge into the home box to poke a shot towards the left post from 12 yards but Rose did well to divert it around his right post. The resulting corner kick was headed away at the near post but recycled down the Cirencester right flank where it was once again cleared for Ajana to embark on another run down their right channel. His progress was brought to an abrupt end as a free kick was awarded that Ben Stevens delivered into the visitor’s box for Messenger to clear but it was recycled via Stevens and Aderoju for the former to shoot from the left channel of the Cirencester box – blocked and cleared. 

Into the final five minutes of the half Kempston pressed again down their left flank where Stevens’ cross resulted in an aerial duel between Aderoju and Nelmes and the ball being cleared. 

The busy Aderoju was soon involved in another aerial challenge with Lee that required treatment for the Cirencester Captain and whilst he was off the pitch Messenger dropped to Centre Back to cover. 

The final action of the half saw Cirencester reach the right corner where Bennett crossed to Shepherd – header blocked but recovered by Sambu – shot blocked but collected by Bennett – shot diverted for a corner kick that was defended.    

Half Time:   0-2

Even though the home side kicked-off the second half it was Cirencester that soon had the ball and were pressing as Christopher and Sambu exchanged passes a couple of times to reach the right corner.

Five minutes into the half the same combination supplied a cross to Bennett, near the Penalty Spot, where he battled with Kerins and was still battling as he went to ground but Kerins eventually won the battle as he cleared from near his right post.

Kempston then worked the ball down their right flank as Stevens and Ajana released Wielblad to the edge of the Cirencester box, right channel, but his shot was straight at a well-positioned Harris. 

During the next few minutes Cirencester entered the home box several times but were unable to capitalise on their possession. 

Shortly before the hour mark Kempston threatened as they worked the ball down their left flank before switching it to their right for Harvey Williams to be released into the Cirencester box and his shot was cleared from the goal-line by Lee.   

Shortly after the hour mark Kempston were back again as they worked the ball from right to left for Simpson to cross – Lee headed it out but it was collected by Hemlin who promptly volleyed at the target from just outside the box, right of centre, to land on top of the net. 

Leading up to the mid-point of the half there were a couple of delays due to injuries and a free kick to Cirencester - after a quick throw-in had resulted in Shepherd being flattened – that Turley sent wide of the far-right post. 

When Cirencester pressed again the ball was worked from their right flank into the box and sent out to their left by Sergio Mills for Dunton to supply Shepherd but his cross from the by-line was cleared for a counter attack as Williams reached the by-line at the other end of the pitch but his cross was too long and had to be chased down by Dean Dummett who sent it back into the Cirencester box for Christopher to clear. 

With ten minutes of scheduled time remaining Cirencester added a third when Sambu charged down the centre of the pitch to the edge of the home box where as he turned sharply, under pressure, he slipped with the ball breaking loose for a supporting JOE SHEPHERD to drive a firm, low shot inside the left post.  0-3. 

A couple of minutes later Nick Hancock supplied Sambu, right channel – 25 yards out, and as he burst forward, with a defender initially holding his shirt, he managed to wriggle past another challenger and around ‘keeper Rose but his shot from a narrow angle struck the side netting. 

Moments later Mills tried an ambitious effort as he received a pass from Nick Peare and attempted a control and volley shot on the turn but it was wide of the far-right post. 

As the game drew to a close there was action at both ends as Kempston worked the ball down their left flank with several players involved before Harris was able to collect as Stevens over-ran the ball and when Cirencester countered Rose pushed Hancock’s cross away from his goal for it to be worked down their right flank – leading to a Williams shot that was well over the Cirencester cross-bar. 

Full Time:   0-3 

A solid team performance from The Centurions as the team completed their fixtures in the Central Division and with other results going favourably finishing in 6th place in the table - which after their dreadful start to the season in the ‘new’ division was a tremendous recovery.


NB - Second best ‘goals against’ and third best ‘goal difference’ in the Division.


WELL DONE everyone involved.


Attendance:    124                            Referee:       J.Keane 


Kempston Rovers: 

  20.    George Rose
   2.     Magloire Muyembe
   3.     Sebastian Simpson
   4.     Oliver Hemlin
   5.     Jake Kerins     ©
   6.     Jacob Anderson
   7.     Israel Ajana     
   8.     Dean Dummett
   9.     Oluwalopemiwa Aderoju
  10.     Rafal Wielblad
  11.     Ben Stevens

  12.     Harvey Williams                         (Israel Ajana-56mins)
  14.     Mykola Felenko                          (Oliver Hemlin-74mins)
  15.     Lee Cooksey
  16.     Emmanuel Dahle
  17.     Harry Riley


Cirencester Town:

    1.     Alex Harris
    2.     Will Christopher
    3.     Ellis Dunton
    4.     Joe Turley
    5.     Jake Lee     ©                                       1 
    6.     Josh Nelmes  
    7.     Adulai Sambu                                       32
    8.     Reegan Messenger
    9.     Aidan Bennett
   10.    Joe Shepherd                                       80
   11.     Nick Hancock  

   12.     Kenneth Mills                             (Aidan Bennett-56mins)
   14.     Nick Hancock                             (Joe Shepherd-81mins)
   15.     Jordan Morris                           
   16.     Nick Peare                                 (Reegan Messenger-741mins)
   17.     Willem Pooley

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