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Pitching In Southern League 

Division 1 Central


Waltham Abbey  1 - 0  Cirencester Town 


Match report by Dave Pyzer


For the second successive week The Centurions travelled across the country to return empty-handed as after suffering an early dismissal they produced a spirited late rally but were unable to claw-back the solitary 65th minute goal.


In terms of league positions and current form prior to the match – Waltham Abbey sat in 3rd place in the league table and 5th place in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table with 10 points from their last six matches whilst Cirencester were 5th and 7th (with 8 points) respectively. Last season the matches ended 3-3 (at Cirencester) and 1-1 (at Waltham) so another tough encounter was anticipated.


On the player front there have been a couple of changes as Josh Nelmes has left the Club to join Bishops Cleeve – Thank You for your commitment, we hope you enjoyed your period with us and look forward to seeing you in the future - and Ben Whitehead has returned from Swindon Supermarine – Welcome Back Ben we hope you will be as successful as you were previously and that you enjoy your football once again. 

Following Josh’s departure, the starting eleven had Nick Peare alongside Jake Lee in the centre of the defence and Joe Turley and Reegan Messenger returning to the midfield.


The Capershotts pitch looked to be in superb condition, despite the heavy rain of recent days, and certainly conducive to an entertaining game and as the visitors kicked-off they attacked down their right flank but soon lost the ball for the home side to work their left flank before switching to the right where an over-hit pass brought their attack to an end. 

Waltham were soon back again as Ben Baker took on a couple of opponents to reach the by-line and cross towards the far-left post where Prince Domafriyie headed into the waiting arms of custodian Stuart Nelson. 

Cirencester responded but were adjudged to be ‘offside’, and this was soon followed by a Charlie Johnson cross-field pass that found Luca Robinson who laid it inside to a charging Harry Burns and he delivered a low cross that was deflected into the path of Reegan Messenger – but too quickly for him to be able to adjust his feet. 

Two further Cirencester attacks ended with ‘offside’ decisions before a decision that changed the game significantly as a cross-field pass from inside the Cirencester half, left channel, was sent up to Robinson, just wide of the right front corner of the home Penalty Area, who received the ball with the instep of his right foot but it bounced away, and in his attempt to regain control he made contact with an incoming opponent in a delicate area and he collapsed to the ground. The Referee awarded a Red Card reducing Cirencester to ten men. 

It had been a brisk opening to the game but the home side soon made the most of their extra man as they worked the ball down their right flank before feeding Sam Shaban on the edge of the Cirencester box – his shot was blocked and as he collected the rebound an ‘offside’ flag was raised against one of his team-mates. 

Waltham were soon back again as they began to dominate possession with Ayobami Tanimowo and Baker combining to good effect several times down the right flank, and Domafriyie crossing from the left by-line before being adjudged to be ‘offside’ when he tucked the ball inside the right post shortly after.   

A couple of minutes later another Baker cross reached the area near the Penalty Spot where two miss-hit shots were blocked before the danger was cleared. 

At the scheduled interval Joe Turley displayed commendable composure as he was surrounded in midfield to keep control of the ball, turn this way and that, and show vision as he started a counter attack under immense pressure. 

In added-time Tanimowo reached the by-line but his cross was defended by a diving Nick Peare and Cirencester had reached the interval all-square.

Half Time:   0-0 

With their extra man advantage Waltham attacked from the re-start to press Cirencester as Tanimowo intercepted a pass and released Domafriyie to the right corner – corner kick defended. 

Following an interception from Felix Miles a free kick was awarded to Cirencester as he was fouled as he attempted to make ground - Nelson launched it to the front edge of the home box where pressure from Miles resulted in a Cirencester corner kick that Declan Rydings headed clear at the near post. 

Despite plenty of possession and territorial advantage the home side were finding it difficult to break down the resolute visitor’s defence and as the mid-point of the half approached a Cirencester free kick was launched into the home box for Peare to head across the area but it was cleared and soon with Baker, who was now back on his right flank, and his cross evaded the defenders to reach SAM SHABAN who headed home from the edge of the 6-yard box.  1-0. 

Shortly after the goal there were two moves of note – one from each side – as Oluwatamilore Ogunnowo sent the ball from the left flank to Baker in the right corner, forward to Elliott Sartorius, right by-line, who clipped it to Shaban, 6-yards out right post, but his effort was defended.

A few minutes later Ben Whitehead supplied an overlapping Johnson who crossed to the far-right side of the Waltham Penalty Area for Messenger to send it back across the area towards the back post where Miles and Whitehead were lurking. The ball eventually returned to Johnson who again delivered it to the far-right post where Messenger headed wide. 

Shortly after Miles fired wide of the left post from 20-yards and then Will Christopher intercepted a pass on half-way and galloped to the right-side edge of the home box before squaring the ball to Charlie McCrae who had his shot blocked. 

As the 90-minute mark approached Waltham pressed to the left corner front edge of the Cirencester box for Ogunnowo to cut right before sending a reverse pass to Shaban but Nelson had spotted the danger and came out to block his effort – conceding a corner kick in the process that resulted in a goal-kick. 

The home side pressed again to be awarded a couple of throw-ins in the left corner – leading to Christopher breaking free to supply Johnson who sent the ball down the left channel for Whitehead to collect and shoot from the edge of the home box – parried by Bradley Robinson into the air for Whitehead to try again but wide of the left post. 

Into added-time Nelson launched the ball forward, Burns headed on for Bennett to collect but Robinson made the save. 

A Cirencester throw-in from the left flank was returned to Burns who crossed into the box where Whitehead battled and the ball broke free for Turley to fire over the bar 

In this pulsating finale the action then returned to the Cirencester Penalty Area where Shaban laid the ball back to Ogunnowo who shot from the edge of the box towards the right post – Nelson dived to push it wide of the target – corner kick defended. 

Another long throw-in from Burns into the home box reached McCrae – shot blocked, rebounding to Burns – shot saved by Robinson and moments later it was all over.   

Full Time:   1-0 

Without doubt another battling performance from The Centurions who never gave up despite being a man down.  


Attendance:     133                            Referee:       Kyfer Mayhew 


Waltham Abbey: 

   1.     Bradley Robinson
   2.     Ayobami Tanimowo
   3.     Nathan Twin-Koranteng
   4.     Elliott Sartorius
   5.     Andrew Tirivanhu
 18.     Kieron Cathline     
   7.     Benjamin Baker
   8.     Declan Rydings     ©
   9.     Sam Shaban                                          65
  10.     Aaron Eyoma
  11.     Prince Domafriyie 

  12.     Babadi Kamara                          (Ayobami Tanimowo-77mins)
  14.     Oluwatamilore Ogunnowo         (Prince Domafriyie-57mins)
  15.     Harrison Walker                         (Elliott Sartorius-90mins)


Cirencester Town: 

    1.     Stuart Nelson
    2.     Will Christopher
    3.     Charlie Johnson
    4.     Joe Turley
    5.     Jake Lee     ©
    6.     Nick Peare
    7.     Luca Robinson
    8.     Reegan Messenger
    9.     Dan Grieve
   10.     Harry Burns
   11.     Felix Miles

   12.     Willem Pooley
   14.     Charlie McCrae                        (Reegan Messenger-77mins)
   15.     Josh Seller
   16.     Ben Whitehead                        (Dan Grieve-70mins)
   17.     Aidan Bennett                          (Felix Miles-89mins)

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