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 Pitching In Southern League

 

Division 1 Central 

 

Cirencester Town  2 - 2  AFC Dunstable 

 

 

Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by Graham Hill

 

 

Match report by Dave Pyzer

  

The Centurions returned to The Talent Hire Stadium to face AFC Dunstable - who play a brand of free-flowing, one-touch football that tested today’s hosts back in November - and after an entertaining match with goal-mouth action, a Penalty kick and late equaliser honours were even.

  

In terms of league positions and current form prior to the match – AFC Dunstable sat in 10th place in the league table with 32 points from 22 games played whilst Cirencester were in 5th place with 35 points from 23 games played.

Examination of the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table reveals that both ‘The OD’s’ and ‘The Centurions’ have secured 10 points from their last 6 games with the former sitting in 6th place and Cirencester 4th place in the relevant table, due to ‘goal difference’.

The reverse fixture, in mid-November, at the Creasey Park Stadium resulted in a 3-2 victory for The Centurions due to a ‘90+5’ score.

  

Starting Eleven – Manager, John Brough, made two changes to the starting eleven, when compared to last weeks match against Hadley FC, as he changed the formation in an effort to combat the free-flowing football of today’s opponents. Cameron Walters (Cheltenham Town Scholar) completed a ‘back-three’ alongside Jake Lee and Nick Peare and Harry Burns returned in midfield with Felix Miles moving alongside Ben Whitehead in attack for a formation that resembles ‘3-5-2’.  

To accommodate this George Peare and John Dennis took to the bench alongside Charlie Johnson, Charlie McCrae and Ronnie Newberry.

  

The visitors kicked-off, playing towards The Shed end of the ground in perfect conditions for football, and immediately worked the ball to their left corner and into the Cirencester box where Nick Peare cleared the danger by clipping the ball downfield for Ben Whithead to latch onto and attempt an early lob, as he had spotted ‘keeper Sebastian Stacey off his line, but it passed just over the crossbar. 

Almost immediately Cirencester recovered the ball from the goal kick for Whitehead to slip it inside to a charging FELIX MILES who advanced to the edge of the box before placing his firm shot into the bottom left corner to open the scoring – the perfect start for the home side.  1-0.

Undaunted the visitors worked the ball out of defence and from left to right to reach the right corner where Rocko Tamplin delivered a low cross from near the by-line that Jake Lee cleared, leading to a free kick. Home custodian Stuart Nelson sent the kick down the left flank for Harry Burns to head on for an advanced Jordan Morris to cross – deflected for a corner kick that was headed clear to start a counter attack that reached the right corner where Ethan Holt secured a throw-in for his side.

Cirencester dealt with the threat and shortly afterwards Will Christopher sent the ball to the right corner where Miles collected and crossed for Burns to shoot, cleared to Whitehead who shot from the edge of the box – Stacey gathered the effort at the second attempt as Miles darted forward.

Following the threat at one end the ball was quickly worked to the other as Holt slipped the ball into the home box for ARNOLD MATSHAZI to collect, near the Penalty Spot, evade a challenge and tuck his shot inside the left post.  1-1. 

Encouraged ‘The OD’s’ pressed forward to the left corner where Holt and Cameron Walters battled for possession with the defender coming out on top but moments later the ball was lost enabling Dunstable to produce some more neat play - leading to a free kick that Ben Weyman fired into the home ‘wall’ - resulting in a pause as Burns took the force of the strike. 

As the half-hour mark approached Nick Peare advanced down the left channel, riding several strong challenges in the process, before slipping the ball to Burns who moved it on to Miles and he in turn switched the point of the attack by sending it right for an overlapping Christopher to collect and fire a low shot towards the far-left post from the edge of the visitor’s box – Stacey diverted the strike wide of his goal with an outstretched right foot.

In this end-to-end tussle it wasn’t long before the visitors threatened again as Kyle Brooks moved the ball to Holt, right front corner of the box, and on to Tamplin in the corner who delivered a low cross for Matshazi to collect and shoot from goal-side of the Penalty Spot – Nelson making the close range save and Lee completing the clearance. 

Cirencester responded as Willem Pooley had his shot from the edge of the visitor’s box blocked but he collected the rebound and slipped it wide to Christopher in the corner where the ball was eventually lost for a counter that reached the home box as Holt slipped the ball to Callum Nicolson, near the Penalty Spot, and he drew another fine close-range save from Nelson. 

Within minutes Weyman made the pass of the game as he slid the ball through a mass of players from the left flank, 10-yards inside the home half, to Holt, near the centre front edge of the home box, where the initial threat was cleared to a lurking Yoav Sade Lichtenfeld who fired over the target from 25 yards. 

The visitors were finishing the half strongly and an advanced Kwadwo Bugyei-Kyei sent a low cross through the front of the home 6-yard box and out for a goal-kick.

Cirencester replied with a strong run from Miles down their right flank that led to a Whitehead shot being blocked and a cross from Morris that was caught by Stacey.

Half Time:   1-1

From the re-start Cirencester attacked down the left flank to the corner but after losing the ball they recovered it to produce some neat passing of their own as they worked across the pitch to the right corner where Miles supplied Christopher who crossed into the visitor’s box – defended and cleared by Bugyei-Kyei. 

A minute later Tamplin chased after a loose ball and at full stretch managed to clip it down the right flank before it went into touch and this enabled Weyman to move it on to the right corner for Sade Lichtenfeld to deliver a cross to Brooks who fired over the bar from 10-yards, near the right post, as he arrived at pace. 

Cirencester replied as Whitehead’s shot was diverted for a corner kick that Stacey caught. 

A few minutes later the home side reached the right corner as Burns and Whitehead combined for the latter to have his shot blocked and cleared. 

As the final quarter approached Charlie Johnson headed the ball to Miles who sent it to the left corner where Burns chased and the ball was cleared to be recycled back to Miles who cut right along the front edge of the visitor’s box before firing narrowly wide of the left post. 

At the mid-point of the half Nelson launched the ball towards the centre front edge of the Dunstable box where Burns and Patrick Staszewski’s aerial challenge resulted in the ball breaking to Whitehead, near the Penalty Spot, who fired wide of the right post. 

A couple of minutes later Matshazi received the ball in the left corner and delivered a low cross towards the front edge of the home 6-yard box where Nelson bravely dived at the feet of an incoming Tamplin – with a collision the inevitable outcome – as he collected the ball. 

In this fast, end-to-end match it wasn’t long before the threat was at the opposite end of the pitch as Cirencester reached the right corner for Pooley to cross from near the by-line but it was blocked by the defender’s arm and a Penalty Kick awarded. Captain Jake Lee stepped forward and struck a firm effort against the bottom of the right post with the ball rebounding some distance enabling the visitors to embark on a counter attack to their left corner but the resulting cross was collected by Nelson. 

Undeterred by the disappointment of the Penalty miss Cirencester were soon back again as a Pooley shot from outside the box was deflected for a corner kick that was initially defended but recycled via Burns to Miles who delivered deep cross to the left post where REEGAN MESSENGER rose to head into the net.  2-1. 

Encouraged by their breakthrough Cirencester continued to press as Johnson and Miles combined down their left flank leading to another corner kick that Stacey caught and a strike from Burns that passed wide of the right post. 

This action was quickly followed by the sight of Weyman carrying the ball some 70 yards down the pitch, right channel to left channel of the home box, leaving would-be challengers in his wake, before finally shooting wide of the far-right post. 

Shortly after Weyman delivered a cross from the left corner to the back post where Holt, under challenge, fired into the side-netting. 

Either side of this last-mentioned action Pooley was heavily involved as he won the ball before slipping it wide to Christopher and then delivered a cross from the right flank to Miles who produced some sublime skill as he pulled the ball out of the air, near the Penalty Spot, but was unlucky in that Sade Lichtenfeld was behind him and was able to clear the danger. 

Three minutes from ‘time’ Rio Deall delivered a deep cross from the left flank, 30 yards out, towards the home Penalty Spot where ARNOLD MATSHAZI nipped in to divert it past Nelson and level the score.  2-2.

At the 90-minute mark Dunstable were awarded a corner kick that Johnson headed out and Nicolson fired back at the target to be blocked and cleared for a counter as George Peare received and supplied a supporting Johnson, inside to Nick Peare to continue the move. 

Three minutes into ‘added-time’ Josiah Ramsay reached the right corner and crossed towards the near-post where the ball took a wicked deflection off a covering defender – bringing a sharp reaction save from Nelson who parried it away for a corner kick. 

The final passage in this ‘all-action’ match saw Cirencester working the ball down their left flank as Pooley slipped it back to Johnson, inside to Nick Peare who produced a clever back-heel to continue the move but the final whistle was blown. 

Full Time:   2-2 

A terrific, all-action match of flowing one-touch football as both sides tested one another – with the draw a fair result. 

A superb advert for non-league football played at its best in terms of football ability and spirit. 

  

Attendance:    205                           Referee:       Zak Demetriades  

 

Cirencester Town:

    1.     Stuart Nelson
    2.     Will Christopher
    3.     Jordan Morris
    4.     Cameron Walters
    5.     Jake Lee     ©
    6.     Nick Peare
    7.     Willem Pooley
    8.     Reegan Messenger                            76
    9.     Felix Miles                                           2
   10.    Ben Whitehead
   11.     Harry Burns 

   12.     George Peare                            (Felix Miles-86mins)                
   14.     John Dennis                             (Ben Whitehead-82mins)
   15.     Charles Johnson                       (Jordan Morris-52mins)
   16.     Charlie McCrae    
   17.     Ronnie Newberry   (GK)

 

AFC DUNSTABLE:

    1.     Sebastian Stacey
    2.     Yoav Sade Lichtenfeld
    3.     Kwadwo Bugyei-Kyei
    4.     Kyle Brooks
    5.     Patrick Staszewski
    6.     Max Rosner 
    7.     Ben Weyman
    8.     Callum Nicolson     ©
    9.     Ethan Holt
   10.     Arnold Matshazi                                  13, 87
   11.     Rocko Tamplin

   12.     Callum Martin<
   14.     Josiah Ramsay                         (Kyle Brooks-60mins) 
   15.     Aidan Ackah Sanzah                (Yoav Sade Lichtenfeld-86mins)
   16.     Jacob Anderson
   17.     Rio Deall                                   (Kwadwo Bugyei-Kyei-60mins)

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