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Pitching In Southern League 

Division 1 Central


AFC Dunstable  2 - 3  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 made the 2-hour journey across the country to meet AFC Dunstable and after an entertaining match of fast-paced, ‘end-to-end’ football secured the 3 points with virtually the last kick of the game.


In terms of league positions and current form prior to the match – AFC Dunstable sat one place below Cirencester, who were 5th in the league table, with 18 points from their 11 games played (Cirencester 19 points from 14 games) and 6th in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table with 9 points from their last six matches whilst Cirencester were 17th having obtained 6 points.

Last season this fixture resulted in a 2-0 home victory and the reverse fixture a 1-0 victory for Cirencester.


Starting Eleven – Cirencester Captain and Centre Back Jake Lee returned alongside Nick Peare so Reegan Messenger moved back to his usual midfield role and Willem Pooley continued in midfield. Ben Whitehead started in attack as Dan Grieve has returned to Highworth Town.

Luca Robinson is serving his 3rd and final suspension at this match.



The home side kicked-off proceedings in bright sunshine, but cool conditions, and immediately started moving the ball about at pace as they displayed their ‘pass and move’ brand of football and within the first couple of minutes Jake Lee was called upon to make a superbly timed tackle in the Cirencester Penalty Area to bring Cameron Cook’s darting run to an end. 

Cirencester responded as Charlie Johnson clipped the ball down the left touchline to half-way where Felix Miles produced a clever flick to evade an incoming tackle from Jacob Anderson before charging to the left side edge of the home box to slip the ball inside to Ben Whitehead who turned and shot in one move but wide of the far-right post.  

Dunstable then worked their left flank for Enrico Greco to dart into the Cirencester box where Lee stopped his progress but conceded a corner kick that was played short before being fed to Cook who fired over from the centre front edge of the box. 

During this early period Cirencester were finding it difficult to get any worthwhile possession as they were chasing shadows due to the quick, confident passing of their opponents making it difficult to make a tackle. Dunstable pressed to the half-way line, and if Cirencester got too close they were happy to use ‘keeper Thomas Finch as an extra outlet to keep possession, before switching the point of attack and this they did in the 8th minute to create room for Cook to fire an instant shot, from near the Penalty Spot, that required excellent reactions from custodian Stuart Nelson to push it away from his goal.

A few minutes later Dunstable worked their right flank as Yoav Sade Lichtenfeld charged down the right channel to cross – the ball ricocheted in the box and CAMERON COOK nipped in to score inside the right post from close range.  1-0. 

Around the 15-minute mark Cirencester produced a couple of moves of their own as following some multi-pass moves Nick Peare struck a couple of long cross-field passes from the left channel to right corner – the second of which yielded a corner kick that Miles delivered towards the Penalty Spot. It was initially cleared but immediately returned by Will Christopher for Peare to produce a back-header that Finch caught as Whitehead closed. 

As the mid-point of the half approached, Cirencester were having a little more possession and Johnson made a determined run down the left channel before firing wide of the right post from 30 yards.

A couple of minutes later a challenge from a home player resulted in a couple of Yellow Cards – one for the culprit and one for Cirencester for remonstrating about the decision. The free kick to Cirencester was delivered into the home box and concluded when Peare’s overhead kick passed over the bar. 

Shortly before the 30-minute mark Cirencester pressed down their right flank and this led to Whitehead’s shot from the edge of the box being deflected off the shoulder of a defender for a corner kick that passed through the home 6-yard box without contact to be cleared.

Dunstable responded with a quick counter attack as Josiah Ramsay burst down the centre before supplying Lichtenfeld to his right who shot from 30 yards – saved by Nelson.

The game was being played at pace as a Cirencester free kick, right channel - 35 yards out, resulted in a corner kick that was cleared for a counter attack that required good awareness and control from Christopher in the Cirencester box to evade a challenge and start a counter attack in the opposite direction. 

Almost immediately Miles fed the busy Willem Pooley and he sent the ball out to Harry Burns who delivered it into the home box – resulting in a corner kick that was initially cleared but recovered to be switched to the left corner. 

In the final few minutes of the half Christopher made a couple of strong runs down the right flank and Callum Nicolson a darting run into the visitor’s box. 

Half Time:   1-0  

A couple of minutes into the second half Cirencester mounted an attack down their right flank as Burns fed Reegan Messenger and he slipped the ball to Whitehead who cut left from 10 yards inside the Dunstable half before moving the ball on to Miles as he cut in from the left flank to reach the edge of the home box – shooting over the bar. 

A few minutes later a multi-pass move from Cirencester led to Miles supplying Whitehead in the left corner and his cross was headed away by Max Rosner but Cirencester were soon back again as they searched for a goal. Willem Pooley exchanged passes with Christopher to reach the right corner before delivering a superb cross that Lichtenfeld headed clear from near the far-left post. 

In this fast-paced game the action was soon at the other end as Ben Weyman took a pot at goal from 20 yards – Nelson blocking the low shot before collecting near his left post.

As Dunstable pressed again Pooley won the ball on the edge of the visitor’s box and quickly sent it forward to Miles who clipped a terrific, instant pass (25 yards inside his own half – left channel) out to Burns who made ground to the right corner to deliver a dangerous ball to the front edge of the home 6-yard box that just evaded an incoming Whitehead.

Around the hour mark Dunstable retained possession for a period with their quick inter-passing, eventually playing it back to Finch to launch downfield for Cirencester to counter down their left flank. 

A few minutes later a challenge between Messenger and Rosner resulted in the ball rebounding into the face of the Dunstable defender and he required some attention before play could continue. 

Shortly before the mid-point of the second half Pooley sent a great pass down the left channel for Miles to collect near the edge of the home box but his shot was deflected for a corner kick that resulted in a quick counter attack as Kyle Brooks sent the ball towards Ethen Holt but Nelson was quickly out to the edge of his box to collect. 

Back came Cirencester – Lee to Whitehead, left to Johnson, forward to Miles who drove into the Penalty Area, blocked by Axel Ampedu but recycled for a corner kick that was cleared from the 6-yard box to Joe Turley – out to the right corner for a Cirencester throw-in that Burns launched into the home box, Pooley laid it back to Johnson who fired wide of the left post. 

Another Cirencester multi-pass move followed for Johnson to shoot, blocked and recycled for Pooley and Miles to shoot from within the home box – both blocked. 

The pressure had been increasing on the home defence and finally Cirencester made the breakthrough when another cross into the box was cleared to be collected by Messenger who laid it into the path of HARRY BURNS, left of centre – 20 yards out, and he drove a low shot inside the left post.  1-1. 

Dunstable responded as Rosner clipped the ball to the left side edge of the Cirencester box where John Shamalo collected, twisted and turned to send a low cross though the 6-yard box (Cook darting forward to get on the end of it but finishing entangled in the net) that resulted in a corner kick from the right – Messenger heading the kick clear.

A few minutes later Lee sent a cross-field pass to Johnson and after an exchange with Miles he crossed the ball from the corner to the back post where HARRY BURNS arrived to head goalwards – striking a recovering Finch on its way into the net.  1-2. 

Shortly before the 90-minute mark Aidan Bennett won the ball, right of centre - 35 yards out, and seeing Finch off his line attempted to lob him but it drifted wide of the target and this was immediately followed by a counter attack down Dunstable’s right flank and a low cross from the corner that JOHN SHAMALO swept inside the right post from close range.  2-2.   

A minute later Cook displayed some trickery as he worked his way along the left side edge of the Cirencester box to cross to the back post where it was cleared to a lurking Kyle Brooks, right of centre -25 yards out, and his firm strike took a deflection resulting in Nelson diving right to make a vital low save. 

Into added-time and a looping cross from the right by Burns struck the left post and rebounded for Messenger to drive into the net but the Referee declared Finch had been fouled in the build-up so it was disallowed. 

Cirencester were soon back again and were awarded a free kick, right channel – 40 yards out, that Miles delivered to the back post where Peare challenged and the ball broke to JAKE LEE who promptly smashed it into the back of the net to secure victory for The Centurions with virtually the last kick of the game. 

Full Time:   2-3 

A superb, entertaining game of quality ‘end-to-end’ football played by two committed teams. 

A great comeback from The Centurions who never gave up against quality opposition who wouldn’t give them a kick early on. 

Non-league football at its best.


Attendance:     131                           Referee:       Jason Porter 


AFC Dunstable:

   1.     Thomas Finch
   2.     Yoav Sade Lichtenfeld  
   3.     Enrico Greco<
   4.     Axel Ampedu
   5.     Jacob Anderson
   6.     Max Rosner     
   7.     Rio Deall
   8.     Callum Nicolson     ©
   9.     Cameron Cook                                                    12
  10.     Josiah Ramsay
  11.     Kyle Brooks

  12.     Alexander Munroe
  14.     Daniel Naylor
  15.     Ethen Holt                                (Jacob Anderson-46mins)
  17.     Ben Weyman                             (Rio Deall-46mins)
  18.     John Shamalo                           (Josiah Ramsay-68mins)  88


Cirencester Town:  

    1.     Stuart Nelson
    2.     Will Christopher
    3.     Charlie Johnson
    4.     Joe Turley
    5.     Jake Lee     ©                                                   90+5
    6.     Nick Peare
    7.     Harry Burns                                                      76,85
    8.     Reegan Messenger
    9.     Felix Miles
   10.    Ben Whitehead
   11.     Willem Pooley

   12.     Charlie McCrae
   14.     Aidan Bennett                          (Ben Whitehead-81mins)
   15.     Josh Seller
   16.     Oliver Stevenson
   17.     James Mortimer-Jones

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