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Pre-Season Friendly


Cirencester Town  3 – 1  Sholing FC

Match report by Dave Pyzer


The final ‘home’ Pre-Season Friendly match brought Sholing FC, former adversaries and newly promoted to the Southern League - Premier Division South, to The Corinium Stadium and after a competitive opening half - during which Cirencester secured a 2-0 lead - the match was abandoned in the 75th minute when it became too competitive and developed into a scuffle.


The visitors kicked-off towards The Shed end of the ground but lost possession almost immediately enabling Cirencester to counter and secure an early corner kick that was defended and cleared at the near post but quickly launched back into the box by Charlie Johnson to be cleared again.

Sholing responded as they sent the ball down their right flank for Wayne Robinson to collect and move right to Cowhen Whittaker but his return pass was intercepted.

A minute later Whittaker collected a loose ball, carried it forward a few yards and unleashed a shot from 25-yards, right channel, but this was blocked and cleared.

After dealing with a Cirencester attack the visitors worked the ball down their left channel as Matt Francis fed Jake Cope and he in turn slipped the ball right to Jake Hesketh who ‘scooped’ the ball from just outside the home Penalty Area over the defence towards the Penalty Spot where home ‘keeper Stuart Nelson quickly advanced to catch it above the incoming Whittaker’s head.

Three minutes later Cirencester mounted a multi-pass move involving several players as they worked the ball down their left flank, into the middle and on to their right flank for Luca Robinson to gallop 25-yards to the by-line before sending a fierce cross towards the front edge of the 6-yard box where DAN GRIEVE arrived to powerfully head inside the right post.  1-0.

A couple of minutes later Cirencester were back again as Dan Hill released Luca Robinson for another run to the right by-line and this time his low cross was blocked at the near post but recycled for a corner kick that Grieve headed wide at the back post.

Cirencester pressed again to be awarded a free kick, left channel – 20 yards out, and Harry Burns fired a low shot towards the target but ‘keeper Ryan Gosney made the save.

Twenty minutes into the game Cirencester were working the ball along the left touchline as Johnson battled for possession to release Jonny Dennis and Charlie McCrae for the ball to be moved inside, to the left channel front edge of the Sholing Penalty Area, where Grieve shaped to shoot but cleverly slipped the ball right to LUCA ROBINSON as he charged into the box to blast it inside the left post from right of the Penalty Spot.  2-0.

Cirencester continued to press forward but the visitors defence held firm and as they attempted to counter the home defence often intercepted to end their progress and one such interception led to a strong tackle on a home player as he brought the ball forward and a ‘conversation’ with the Referee.

Just after the half-hour mark Sholing worked the ball forward as Hesketh played it down the centre to Cope who moved it left to an overlapping Sam Mould, forward to Francis but as his options were limited he laid it back to TJ Cuthbertson so that they could start again. The ball was played up to the home Penalty Area where as it was being cleared a high challenge was penalised – resulting in a free kick to Cirencester and the culprit having a ‘conversation’ with the Referee.

Almost immediately the ‘guilty party’ was involved in another challenge and the Referee dismissed him from the pitch.

A couple of minutes later Cirencester were awarded a corner kick from the right that Joe Turley delivered to the back post where Ellis Dunton headed towards the far-right post – cleared off the line but collected by Johnson who had his shot from just outside the box blocked and cleared.

As the interval loomed Cirencester pressed and probed with Luca Robinson and Grieve firing over the target.

Half Time2-0

When play resumed Cirencester attacked down the right flank as Dunton launched a 30-yard pass to Dennis, touchline – 25 yards out, and he slipped it inside for Messenger to carry forward to the corner with the resulting cross being blocked for a corner kick that was delivered to the back post for Jake Lee to head back across the 6-yard box where Messenger headed over the bar.

As Cirencester pressed forward the ball was lost and quickly fed to Wayne Robinson who charged down the left channel but as he reached the edge of the home box a covering defender brought his progress to a halt.

Sholing then worked the ball down their left flank to the corner where Charlie Wagstaffe slipped it inside to Cope but his pass down the left channel was too long and Nelson was able to collect.

Immediately Johnson sent a diagonal pass from his left flank to Dennis in the right corner, and he exchanged passes with Hill before slipping the ball to Nick Peare who struck a fierce left footed shot, from the right channel – 30 yards out, that was blocked.

A similar diagonal pass from Brad Targett was collected by Jake Flanagan, right touchline – 30 yards out, for a charge to the front corner of the home box where he struck a ferocious shot at the target – Nelson got a strong hand to it to send it towards the Penalty Spot where an incoming CHARLIE FOX drove it into the net – with a slight deflection evading the despairing dive from Nelson.  2-1.

A few minutes later Hill made a driving run down the right flank to reach the corner and his cross resulted in a corner kick that struck the back post before play was halted for an infringement and a free kick awarded to Sholing.

Around the hour Flanagan moved the ball on for the willing Wayne Robinson to chase, collect and carry to the right by-line but his cross was blocked and recycled to Flanagan who sent the ball through the home box without contact – Goal Kick.

As Sholing worked the ball down the centre Turley won possession and quickly moved the ball forward to Aidan Bennett who spotted REEGAN MESSENGER on a run down the right channel and immediately played it to him. Once in the box the midfielder struck a powerful low shot that nestled in the far side netting.  3-1.

Undeterred Gosney launched the ball to the left corner where Mould and Wayne Robinson combined to supply Fox who slipped it back to Robinson but his cross was blocked at the near post so they tried the right flank but their progress was halted by a back-tracking McCrae.

Shortly afterwards as Sholing attacked down their left channel Lee denied them further progress but was the subject of a late tackle with the culprit (who had been warned earlier in the match being awarded a Yellow Card). The Cirencester Captain needed treatment and left the pitch limping heavily.

Substitutions were then made by Cirencester to cover his loss but almost immediately there was another strong challenge and it all kicked-off with players from both sides joining the fray.

The match was then abandoned before there were any more serious injuries to those involved.

Full Time:  3-1 (Abandoned 75 mins)

A disappointing end to an entertaining and competitive game but probably the correct decision as tackles were beginning to fly in and the serious competition hasn’t started yet and no doubt players from both sides would like to be available when it does.



Stuart Nelson, Dan Hill (Will Christopher 73), Charlie Johnson, Joe Turley, Jake Lee © (Josh Seller 73), Ellis Dunton, Luca Robinson (Jonny Dennis 46), Reegan Messenger, Dan Grieve (Aidan Bennett 63), Harry Burns (Nick Peare 46), Charlie McCrae.

Subs (not used):-   Willem Pooley, Ollie Stevenson, Ronnie Newberry (GK).



Ryan Gosney, Jake Flanagan, Sam Mould, Charlie Wagstaffe, TJ Cuthbertson ©, Brad Targett, Cowhen Whittaker (Charlie Fox 46), Jake Hesketh, Wayne Robinson, Jake Cope, Matt Francis.

Subs (not used):-   Ollie O’Mahoney, Dylan Sadler, Mark Gamble, Michael Kurns (GK), Mark Diaper.

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