Three red cards in ill-tempered cup tie at the Corinium
FA Carlsberg Trophy.
Cirencester Town 2 Guildford City 3.
CIRENCESTER TOWN have gone out of a second cup competition at the first hurdle this season after an ill-tempered FA Trophy tie at the Corinium on Saturday.
Town were down to ten men from the 22nd minute when Scott Griffin was shown red for foul and abusive language, while City played the final seven minutes with just nine players, despite which they held on for the win.
City had begun their Southern League Central division campaign with five straight victories but the opening 45 minutes could hardly have been more one-sided in favour of the hosts.
Sam Collier had a couple of chances inside the first two minutes and then tested Anthony Hall with a fierce free kick which the keeper could only parry, Jamie Reid arriving just too late to bury the rebound.
Reid dragged a shot wide in the 17th minute before James Mortimer-Jones struck a pile-driver from 25 yards a minute later which unluckily came back off the inside of the post.
Then came a key moment in the match; Griffin delivered a cross to the head of Collier who put his chance straight at Hall, but an unpunished late challenge from Simon Cooper so incensed Griffin that he protested too vehemently to the linesman and he was sent to the showers.
Ten-man Ciren continued to look the more dangerous side and a Collier header was handled on the line, only for the linesman’s flag to be raised for offside. Then Collier, who had been involved in almost everything up front, failed to make contact with a bouncing Ellis Dunton throw into the area when well placed.
Guildford’s only chance of the half came on 31 minutes when Joel Hughes dragged an effort wide.
Then, in the 41st minute, the sides were evened up as Jack Guilford was shown a straight red for a calf-high challenge on Ben Wells.
In the ‘handbags’ that followed, Reid was bundled to the floor and Guildford’s Jaydon Gibbs given a yellow card.
The second half opened with Collier and Aidan Bennett failing to hit the target with long-range efforts before Hughes gave the first indication of the influence he was going to wield after the interval, attacking from the dead ball line and forcing Matt Bath to save with his feet at the near post.
City were now showing more zip than when they had a man advantage. But it was Ciren who gifted them the lead when Sysum smothered Dan Moody to the floor in the box and the wide man, who scored 32 goals last season, added another from the spot.
Hughes put another chance wide in the 55th minute but his goal in the 66th minute was a striker’s masterclass. First he outmuscled Sysum and then with a drop of his shoulder he ghosted past Thompson before giving Bath no chance.
It completed a surprising turnaround given the first 45 minutes.
Ciren were given a chance to get back in the game in the 76th minute when a roughhouse challenge on Reid (which ended the midfielder’s participation) earned Tommy Tydeman a yellow and the hosts a penalty, which Collier smoothly dispatched.
Unforgivably, Ciren let Guildford restore the two-goal cushion within a minute. Hughes, on a breakaway up front, again got the better of Sysum and Thompson and with no one bothering to track substitute Scott Todd into the area, the prolific striker had the easiest of tasks to finish off Hughes’s pass from ten yards.
A rash, high Tydeman challenge on Dunton earned him a second yellow and when sub Sam Packer flicked home a Collier cross a minute later in the 84th minute, there was still time for Ciren to force a draw.
But even with the advantage of an extra man, their earlier exertions when a man down for 20 minutes in the first half seemed to take their toll and they were unable to bag the equaliser.
Cirencester Town: Bath, Allard (Sheppard, 69), Dunton, Sysum (capt), Wells, Thompson, Reid (Packer, 76), Mortimer-Jones, Collier, Griffin, Bennett. Unused subs: Bailey, Hawkins, Hale.
Standard MoM: Ellis Dunton.