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Pitching In Southern League 

Division 1 Central 


Cirencester Town  2 - 2  Stotfold 


Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by Graham Hill


Match report by Dave Pyzer


For their second home fixture of the new season Cirencester welcomed newcomers STOTFOLD, who were promoted to the Division via the play-offs from The Spartan South Midlands Premier Division at the end of last season, and after a battling performance the points were shared.


The Cirencester starting eleven had a different look about it as a number of regular players were missing – last seasons regular centre backs Jake Lee (injured) and Josh Nelmes (suspended) whilst new recruit Charlie Johnson (who has also played at centre back) was also unavailable as he was injured in a match for Hartpury University in mid-week. Winger Jonny Dennis was also absent as he has not recovered from the injury he sustained against Thame United.

As a result Nick Peare took up a position alongside Ellis Dunton who moved across to the right centre back berth and Dan Hill came in at left back for his second start since joining The Centurions. The bench consisted of Dan Grieve, Ollie Stevenson (18year-old) and Willem Pooley, Josh Seller and Ronnie Newberry (all 17 year-olds).


Cirencester kicked-off playing towards The Arena end of the ground and immediately lost possession for Stotfold to counter but they too lost possession enabling Harry Burns to release Luca Robinson for a run to the right by-line where his cross was blocked for an early corner kick that was defended at the near post. 

In the third minute of the match Robinson charged down the right flank to be unceremoniously brought to ground with the culprit sustaining an injury in the process and being awarded a Yellow Card. 

A couple of minutes later Stotfold’s Lewis Franklin cut back from the right corner to deliver a left footed cross that was collected by Jordan Stewart and his cross was blocked and fed to Robinson for another run down the right channel – resulting in a cross and a corner kick that Joe Turley delivered to the near post where Nick Peare’s header towards goal was headed over the bar by Charlie McCrae. 

A period of head tennis followed after this exciting start to the match before Lewis Smith slid a pass down the right channel and through the home back-line for Ricardo Green to collect and square towards an incoming Connor Vincent but Ellis Dunton had spotted the danger and came across to block and concede a corner kick that resulted in an ambitious overhead attempt from Vincent that sailed over the bar. 

During the next fifteen minutes or so the ball was in the air far too much as both sides launched it backwards and forwards and the only shots at goal came from Aidan Bennett (over the bar) and Kade Bagge (into the arms of ‘keeper Stuart Nelson) although Green did get the ball into the Cirencester net but was declared ‘offside’. 

Around the half-hour mark Haroon Merial fired a snap shot over the bar following some pressure from Stotfold and Turley delivered a free kick from the left flank that passed through the visitor’s box without contact despite several efforts to get on the end of it. 

Ten minutes before the scheduled interval Cirencester were awarded a free kick – right channel, 25 yard out – and Turley slipped it towards the corner where Robinson fired it through the front edge of the 6-yard box but Peare was unable to make contact.

A feature of the half was a number of cross-field passes from Peare to the right flank and from one of these Burns headed over the bar.

As the interval loomed Stotfold were awarded a corner kick from the right that Franklin delivered to the far-post where the tall DANIEL SEARS arrived to head into the net.  0-1. 

A minute later Sears was heading the ball again but this time away from near his Penalty Spot. 

Deep into ‘added-time’ Cirencester mounted an attack to the right corner as Robinson reached the by-line and battled with Callum Kane for possession before passing back to Burns who promptly sent it towards the central front edge of the 6-yard box where AIDAN BENNETT collected, shielded and turned sharply to blast the ball into the roof of the Stotfold net.  1-1. 

Half Time:   1-1  

Almost immediately from the re-start Cirencester had the ball for Bennett to release McCrae for a run to the left corner that yielded a corner kick that was quickly followed by one from the right flank. 

A few minutes later Bennett intercepted a pass near the centre circle and immediately slipped it left to CHARLIE McCRAE who collected it near the left touchline, 30 yards out, before embarking on a run that took him into the Stotfold box where a couple of ‘shimmy’s’ later, to manoeuvre around would-be challenges, he reached the left front corner of the 6-yard box to smash the ball into the roof of the net. 2-1. 

Shortly after the hour mark Stotfold pressed as Merial slipped the ball to Bagge in the left corner and as he cut inside he back-heeled the ball into the path of an overlapping Kane who took it to the corner before losing possession. 

The busy Kane was soon back on the ball as he made a strong run down the left channel evading challenges as he reached the edge of the home box where he slipped the ball through for Bagge who was adjudged to be ‘offside’. 

At the mid-point league debutant Willem Pooley nearly had his first assist with his first touch as he carried the ball to the right by-line before slipping it inside to Robinson who miss-hit his strike for the ball to be cleared.

Cirencester returned soon after as Robinson sent the ball down the right touchline to Burns who took it on to the by-line where a free kick was awarded. The kick was delivered towards the right front corner of the 6-yard box where Peare produced a diving header and with the ball destined for the bottom right corner Stotfold ‘keeper Liam Gooch dived to push it wide for a corner kick. 

The initial corner kick was cleared but recycled for McCrae to send back into the box for Peare to win another corner kick that Gooch punched clear. 

Following this period of Cirencester pressure the visitor’s responded as Bagge reached the left by-line, back to Kane and a switch to the right flank where Franklin’s effort was blocked but recycled to their left flank and crossed to the front edge of the 6-yard box where the tall DANIEL SEARS arrived to head home.  2-2. 

Encouraged Stotfold were soon back again as the ball was fed from right to left and back again for Luke Oswick to head wide of the right post.

A few minutes later a quick ball down their left channel found an unmarked Henry Snee who volleyed over the target. 

At the 90-minute mark Gooch launched the ball down the pitch for Snee to collect and lay back to Bagge, right to Montel Brown, right to Franklin (right channel front edge of the home box) and he blazed over the bar. 

Three minutes into added-time several Cirencester players combined for a corner kick to be awarded and when this was delivered to the back post Peare headed it down towards the left post and another league debutant, Josh Seller, got a touch but it was caught by Gooch. 

Both sides were still going for the win and there was time for Robinson to cut inside, as Will Christopher made a ‘distracting’ run to the corner, to shoot wide of the right post and for Stotfold to reach the home Penalty Area but the final action of the match saw Cirencester attack to the right corner for a free kick to be awarded that produced a header from near the Penalty Spot that rebounded to Gooch. 

Full Time:   2-2 

A strange match in that the first half started positively before a period of ‘launch-it’ football and then end-to-end play with two late goals. 

After the interval Cirencester scored a superb goal but sat back enabling Stotfold to gain some momentum and equalise but with a couple of youngsters making their league debuts Cirencester battled well to deny Stotfold a victory and could have ‘nicked‘ it at the end but a draw was a fair result.


Attendance:    158                             Referee:       Paul Collier 


Cirencester Town: 

    1.     Stuart Nelson
    2.     Will Christopher
    3.     Dan Hill
    4.     Joe Turley
    5.     Nick Peare 
    6.     Ellis Dunton 
    7.     Luca Robinson
    8.     Reegan Messenger
    9.     Aidan Bennett                                      45+4
   10.    Harry Burns
   11.     Charlie McCrae                                     52

   12.     Daniel Grieve                           (Charlie McCrae-76mins)       
   14.     Willem Pooley                          (Reegan Messenger-65mins)
   15.     Oliver Stevenson
   16.     Josh Seller                              (Ellis Dunton-85mins)                                 
   17.     Ronnie Newberry   (GK)



    1.     Liam Gooch
    2.     Lewis Franklin
    3.     Jordan Stewart     ©
    4.     Alexander Coppin
    5.     Daniel Sears                                         43, 79 
    6.     Luke Oswick 
    7.     Kade Bagge
    8.     Lewis Smith
    9.     Connor Vincent
   10.    Haroon Merial
   11.     Ricardo Green

   12.     Callum Kane                              (Jordan Stewart-6mins)       
   14.     Aaron Hector
   15.     Montel Brown                           (Ricardo Green-53mins)                                
   16.     Robbie Buchanan
   17.     Henry Snee                              (Connor Vincent-65mins)

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