Collier and Griffin goals for Cirencester sink their former club Abingdon
Evo-Stik League Div 1 South & West.
Cirencester Town 2 Abingdon United 1.
LEE CLATWORTHY gave notice that he wants the goalkeeping shirt at Cirencester Town on a permanent basis as he helped his side rise to joint-second in the Evo-Stik table with a win over Abingdon United.
Local lad Clatworthy, promoted from the Development squad on the recent retirement of Matt Bath, saved a 71st minute penalty before Scott Griffin scored the winner for the home side seven minutes later.
With Chris Thompson (thumb) and Ellis Dunton (ankle) out injured and Jamie Reid starting the first of a three-match ban for a bizarre red card in the tunnel at a recent home game, there were some unfamiliar faces in the Ciren squad, and they started with an unusual 4-3-3 formation into a stiff head wind.
Sam Collier and Sam Packer were both familiar to Abingdon, having played there last season and they both started brightly. Indeed, it was Collier who put his side in front.
The centre forward ghosted into a great position to meet a first-time Ben Wells cross in the 24th minute and though he didn’t make the sweetest contact with is left-footed volley it was good enough to beat Rob Durant.
However, Abingdon had begun to play the more constructive football and it was no surprise when two of their best players combined to engineer an equaliser in the 35th minute.
The tricky Toby Nowell made a darting run forward before finding Carl Self inside the box and the diminutive striker found Clatworthy’s bottom corner with his wrong foot (right) from 15 yards.
Abingdon, though not creating many chances, were having the best of it at this point and Ciren were happy to regroup at the break.
Using the wind to good effect, Cirencester dominated the entire second 45 minutes, so it came as a shock when Abingdon had the chance to grab the lead on a rare foray forward.
The pacy Aaron Woodley tricked his way into the Ciren box only to be brought down by keeper Clatworthy, who received a yellow card. But, with captain Sysum correctly pointing to the preferred side for Luke Carnell’s spot kick, the youngster made a tremendous full-length save to keep out the pile-driver.
Ciren resumed their dominance immediately and within 60 seconds of coming on as a sub, Scott Griffin put his side ahead.
Debutant Shane Bumphrey, who had a couple of chances earlier in the half, was enjoying plenty of joy down the left channel, from where he hit a couple of dangerous crosses.
In the 78th minute he raced on to a long Sysum clearance and with Durant impetuously charging out of his area, Bumphrey headed it over the advancing keeper and towards the empty net. It may have reached the goal but Griffin, another Abingdon old boy, made sure by helping it over the line.
The three points were nothing more than Ciren deserved and although they have played more games, they are behind only Poole and Hungerford in the league standings. Cirencester Town: Clatworthy, Allard, Bennett, Sysum (capt), Wells, Hawkins, Bumphrey, Mortimer-Jones, Collier (Griffin, 77), Shepherd (Bailey, 86), Packer (Liam O’Brien, 77). Unused sub: Kye Pitts.
Standard MoM: Ben Wells.