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Pitching In Southern League 

Division 1 Central


North Leigh  2 - 1  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 August Bank Holiday fixture took The Centurions to former adversaries NORTH LEIGH - who have just returned to Division 1 Central from the Premier Division – and after a hard-fought match the home side secured victory by the ‘odd goal in three’.


Cirencester Town Manager (and former North Leigh Manager), John Brough, had an additional problem to contend with, following the match on Saturday, in that Reegan Messenger sustained an injury and was also unavailable - adding to his long list of absentees and he resolved this by adding Dan Grieve to the starting eleven and playing him alongside Aidan Bennett. As a result, the bench consisted of 17 year-olds and Assistant Manager James Mortimer-Jones.


The game kicked-off with Cirencester playing up the slope at Eynsham Park and they immediately took the game to their hosts as Harry Burns cut inside from the right flank before firing over the bar and a Nick Peare free kick brought a full-length diving save from home custodian, James Foster, in the opening minutes. 

The home reply during this period was a 20-yard shot from Jack Tutton that was wide of the target. 

Ten minutes in and Cirencester were back again as Peare clipped the ball down the left flank for Dan Grieve to collect near the front edge of the home Penalty Area, turn sharply and cross to the far-post – resulting in a corner kick that was cleared with some difficulty.

Moments later The Millers were awarded a free kick on their left flank, half-way, that was delivered to Jamal Branker on the right flank and he chipped it down the line for Karnell Chambers to collect and lay back to Lynton Goss who crossed to the far-post where Gregory Hackett headed wide from 10-yards. 

Five minutes later Charlie McCrae fired a surprise strike from 30 yards that brought another dive to the right from Foster to save and gather before an incoming Grieve could get to it.

North Leigh responded with a driving run from Chambers that took him to the right corner where he crossed to the back post for Hackett to head wide of the target.

At the mid-point of the half Daniel West made ground to the right channel front edge of the visitor’s box where Ellis Dunton came across to win the ball and concede a throw-in. The Referee, Cain Collins, however had other ideas and elected to show a Yellow Card to him and his fellow centre back, Nick Peare, for his protestations. 

The resulting free kick was driven into the ‘wall’ and eventually cleared. 

A few minutes later the home side were awarded another free kick, left flank – half way, and this was sent to the far post where it was headed back across the goal to be headed back inside again towards the centre of the 6-yard box and as a defender was about to clear LANCE WILLIAMS made the brave decision to dive forward to head over the line and break the deadlock. He paid the price for his bravery as he needed treatment for some time after his action.  1-0.   

A little while after play resumed the home side were awarded a corner kick from their left flank that George Gilmore headed wide of the right post and as they threatened again Peare won the ball and clipped it down the left flank for Grieve to collect, shield and pass inside to Aidan Bennett who fired at the target from 25 yards – blocked but rebounded into the path of a supporting WILL CHRISTOPHER a few yards further back, right channel, and he struck a howitzer of a shot that flew into the top right corner despite the despairing dive from Foster.  1-1.   

Five minutes later Foster was in action again as he made a low save at his left post from Luca Robinson’s firm strike, soon to be followed by intercepting a low cross from Bennett near his Penalty Spot. 

As the interval loomed Tutton slid a clever ball behind the visitor’s defence for Hackett to collect and cross from the left corner to Chambers but his header was safely caught by Cirencester custodian Stuart Nelson.   

The response from Cirencester was instant as Joe Turley released McCrae and his cross towards the far-post was met by an incoming Grieve but his half-volley passed just over the bar.

Half Time:   1-1  

The homes side opened strongly as Chambers made a long run down their left flank to reach the side edge of the Cirencester box where Dunton came across to halt his progress whilst conceding a throw-in that Declan Peart hurled into the box to be returned to the thrower to cross but too long – goal kick.

Ten minutes into the half Cirencester attacked down their left flank but their progress was halted and cleared down the line for Goss to collect and run at the visitor’s defence but as he entered the box Dunton came across to block and the ball rebounded to the right corner where it was crossed into the waiting arms of Nelson. 

Shortly afterwards Robinson chased after a ball into the home box and the delayed clearance from Foster was collected by Bennett who fired at the target – blocked, and recycled to Robinson but his cross was too long for any contact. 

By the mid-point play was end-to-end with neither side retaining possession for long but around the 30-minute mark Tutton fired a snap shot wide of the left post and a cross from Branker resulted in a scramble and a deflection onto the bar before it was cleared. 

Cirencester reacted to this narrow escape as Bennett, Christopher and Robinson combined to obtain a corner kick that Dunton headed back into the mix where Foster dived on the ball. 

A few minutes later North Leigh regained the lead as a long ball down their right channel was collected by LYNTON GOSS who charged through for a 1v1 with Nelson before tucking the ball inside the right post.  2-1.     

Once again Cirencester responded immediately as Christopher supplied Grieve, near the right channel front edge of the home box, who turned sharply and clipped the bar with his left footed shot. 

A couple of minutes later Christopher delivered a free kick from the right channel, half-way, to the far post where league debutant Ollie Stevenson headed narrowly over the bar. 

Despite plenty of effort and pressure on the home defence during the remaining 20 minutes (including 14 minutes of ‘added-time’) Cirencester couldn’t find a way through and the home side took the 3 points. 

Full Time:   2-1 

The match was a competitive encounter played at a furious pace but Cirencester were unable to break through the stubborn home rearguard to secure the point their commitment and effort deserved.   


Attendance:     191                            Referee:       Cain Collins 


North Leigh: 

   1.     James Foster
 14.     Jamal Branker
 19.     Owen Dore
   5.     Declan Peart
  16.     George Gilmore
  17.     Karnell Chambers     
   4.     Jack Tutton
   8.     Lance Williams     ©                               27
   9.     Lynton Goss                                           81
  10.     Daniel West
   7.     Gregory Hackett 

   2.     Lewis Thorne                             (Jamal Branker-45+6mins)
  18.     Marcel Lewis
  12.     Dan Lucas
  11.     Riley Cotter                               (George Gilmore-67mins)
   3.     Michael Hopkins                        (Lance Williams-34mins)


Cirencester Town: 

    1.     Stuart Nelson
    2.     Will Christopher                                   39
    3.     Dan Hill
    4.     Joe Turley     ©
    5.     Ellis Dunton
    6.     Nick Peare 
    7.     Luca Robinson
    8.     Harry Burns
    9.     Dan Grieve
   10.    Aidan Bennett
   11.     Charlie McCrae

   12.     Josh Seller
   14.     Oliver Stevenson                      (Charlie McCrae-75mins)
   15.     Willem Pooley                          (Nick Peare-82mins)
   16.     James Mortimer-Jones                                 
   17.     Ronnie Newberry   (GK)

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