BetVictor Southern League Challenge Cup


Cirencester Town 2 – 1 Winchester City

CIRENCESTER TOWN will face Premier Division Chesham United in the final of the Southern League Challenge Cup after a last-gasp Tommy Anderson strike secured a semi-final victory over Winchester City, writes Dave Pyzer.

Cirencester came out of the blocks very quickly to press their league conquerors from the off and an incisive move down the right flank enabled Mike Pook to find Ross Gabriel to finish into the top-left corner.

The home side continued to press, but shortly before the 20-minute mark the pace of Oliver Bailey and Rob Carr on the counter created a couple of chances for Winchester as they found themselves one-on-one with the experienced Kev Sawyer who denied them both.

The visitors were beginning to settle and seven minutes later they were level after the ball was threaded down the right channel for Rob Carr to collect in the home area before tucking it inside the far post as Sawyer advanced.

The game became end-to-end and as the interval loomed a Winchester free-kick was headed against the home bar and as it dropped it ‘bobbed about before Sawyer claimed it and on the stroke of half-time a neat Cirencester moved created room for Toumani Sidibe to shoot wide of the right post.

Cirencester opened the second period positively as they pressed down their flanks with Will Wellon and Anderson firing narrowly wide and Jonny Dennis testing keeper Harry Birchall, but Sawyer also had to produce a close range save to deny Bailey.

With the game drawing to a close, Winchester countered quickly a couple of times and launched free-kicks into the home box, but Cirencester were resolute and countered themselves as another Dennis effort passed just over the bar and as added-time approached a Levi Irving shot rebounded to Anderson and he blasted it into the back of the net to secure victory and a place in the final.

CIRENCESTER TOWN: Kevin Sawyer, Nick Hancock, Jordan Morris, Michael Pook (C), Josh Nelmes, Will Wellon, Toumani Sidibe (Tommy Anderson 46), Joe Turley, Ross Gabriel (Levi Irving 60), Lewis Thompson (John Dennis 60), Jack Freeman.

Unused subs: Tommy Ouldridge, Lewis Clayton.

The Centurions welcome Willand Rovers to the Corinium Stadium on Saturday, 3pm.