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The Emirates FA Cup 

Preliminary Round 


Flackwell Heath  2 - 0  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 Centurions travelled to FLACKWELL HEATH for this Preliminary Round match in The Emirates FA Cup and were knocked out by their hosts as they struggled to deal with the pitch and their opponents.


Flackwell Heath currently play their football in The Combined Counties League – Premier Division North and sit in 3rd position with maximum points from their two games so far.

In the previous round of the FA Cup they secured a 3-0 victory at another Southern League Division 1 Central side – Kidlington.

The Centurions and The Heathens met at the same stage of the competition in September 2020 when Cirencester inflicted a 3-0 defeat on their hosts at Wilks Park. 


Following their mid-week victory against Thame United an unchanged starting eleven was initially named by Cirencester Town Manager, John Brough, but he had to make a change before the kick-off as Jonny Dennis (who scored the first goal in the 2020 fixture) aggravated an injury in the warm-up and had to withdraw. Dan Grieve took his place with Aidan Bennett moving to the flank.


Cirencester kicked-off, playing into the wind, to work the ball down their right flank for Dan Grieve to shoot narrowly wide of the far-left post from the right channel front edge of the home box and Flackwell Heath replied with a free kick from Matthew Ayres that passed through the Cirencester Penalty Area without contact.

During the early stages both sides probed and tested one another and play became scrappy as neither side was able to keep possession for long.

Cirencester crosses were either punched clear or caught by the tall ‘keeper, Jack Brooker, and The Heathens used their home advantage to good effect as the reply was often a long ball being launched down their right flank for the speedy Kieran Jordan to chase or run at the visitor’s defence.

Shortly before the mid-point of the half Jordan managed to get behind the Cirencester back-line to shoot towards the far-left post from just inside the Cirencester box. His effort was cleared from the goal-line by a covering Josh Nelmes.

This was followed up by several attacks from the home side with the busy and tricky Jack Shakespeare often involved and from one break he cut along the front edge of the Cirencester box, from left to right, and ‘keeper Stuart Nelson comfortably gathered his shot.

Cirencester responded as Luca Robinson was released by Will Christopher for a run along the right by-line but his cross was blocked for a corner kick that was defended.

Around the half-hour mark Jordan supplied the robust Marcus Mealing who cut left before shooting – Nelson was in position to save.

The home side finished the half very strongly as they pressed a number of times – Ellis Dunton pulled off a well-timed tackle inside his own Penalty Area to deny Jordan and Nelson saved from Shakespeare and Callum Mapley before Mealing fired a free kick into the defensive wall.

During this period Grieve fired a couple of efforts over the home bar.

Half Time:   0-0

Within minutes of the re-start Cirencester attacked down their right flank to reach the corner before being switched via several players to their left where a free kick was awarded to be defended by the home side.

A few minutes later Flackwell launched a free kick to the left corner and eventually it led to a corner kick that produced a clever back-heel from Shakespeare that enabled Ayers to enter the visitors Penalty Area but it resulted in a goal-kick.

Shortly before the hour mark Flackwell Heath opened their account when a cross from their right flank led to a number of blocks in the Penalty Area before MATTHEW AYRES managed to toe poke the ball inside the left post from just inside the Cirencester box.  1-0.

Cirencester made a couple of changes to their personnel immediately and they made a couple of attacks that reached the corners but both ended in goal-kicks.

In the 70th minute Flackwell sent the ball down their left flank and when it was intercepted on the half-way line by Nick Peare he was flattened by a late, clumsy tackle from Mealing that prompted Josh Nelmes to push the culprit over. After various remonstrations the Referee awarded a Red Card to Nelmes.

Cirencester re-organised and continued to press forward in search of an equaliser – Peare having a header saved, Christopher a shot blocked and a cross caught by Brooker, and Robinson a number of driving runs that ended with crosses over the bar.

With six scheduled minutes remaining a pass down their left channel was collected by JETHRO ODUMOSU on the edge of the Cirencester box where he cut right to avoid an incoming challenge and placed a low right-footed shot inside the far-right post.  2-0.

During the final few minutes both sides mounted attacks with no real threat to the score-line.

Full Time:   2-0

A disappointing performance from The Centurions against well organised opponents who took full advantage of their home fixture.


GOOD LUCK to Flackwell Heath in the next round.



Attendance:    285                            Referee:       Tolga Inanc 


Flackwell Heath: 

   1.     Jack Brooker
   2.     Kieran Jordan
   3.     Ben Fraser
   4.     Jamie Essex     ©
   5.     Callum Mapley
   6.     Mark Nisbet
   7.     Harrison Mepham         
   8.     Matthew Ayres                                     58
   9.     Marcus Mealing
  10.     Jack Shakespeare  
  11.     Charlie Malin

  12.     Phil Pryor                                    (Ben Fraser-78mins)
  14.     Abdellah el Jalaoui
  15.     Jethro Odumosu                         (Charlie Malin-70mins)  84
  16.     Louis Fountain
  17.     SamColes
  18.     Jamie Ayres                               (Matthew Ayres-82mins)
  19.     Ryan Avery


Cirencester Town:

    1.     Stuart Nelson
    2.     Will Christopher
    3.     Charlie JOhnson
    4.     Joe Turley     ©
    5.     Josh Nelmes 
    6.     Ellis Dunton 
    7.     Luca Robinson
    8.     Reegan Messenger
    9.     Aidan Bennett
   10.    Harry Burns
   11.     Dan Grieve  

   14.     Dan Hill
   15.     Nick Peare                                 (Reegan Messenger-59mins)
   16.     Charlie McCrae                          (Dan Grieve-59mins)                          
   17.     Willem Pooley                            (Joe Turley-82mins)
   18.     Ronnie Newberry   (GK)

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