Another Tuesday night, another footballing adventure and this time it would be taking place at Cirencester Town for my 3rd Southern Premier League game in the space of 7 days. I don’t know why I have decided to attempt to complete this league but I guess its the highest Non-League division with a lot of grounds within a reasonable distance to Bristol. After a quick check of the fixtures on Monday I decided that instead of using my free ticket to watch Bristol City getting battered 0-4 by Brighton & Hove Albion I would head to the Corinium Stadium. The home of Cirencester Town. I knew of only 1 problem with the location of the ground, even though the distance wasn’t too far from my house, it was all on A roads which meant it took a lot longer than I expected.
The journey, in spite of the A roads issue, wasn’t too bad. As usual I left early, to allow for contingency if the game was suddenly called or off or there was a 10 car pile up on the way there. This is sometimes a problem when I arrive there with no issues whatsoever! It isn’t too bad though. I arrived at the ground at around 6:30PM so this allowed me plenty of time to get a drink, read the programme and have a look around the pitch & ground.
Cirencester Town are a club that were formed in 1889 and were one of the founder
members of the Gloucestershire County League and are currently owned by a former Swindon Town professional Steve Abbley. They play their football at the 4,500 seater Corinium Stadium which was officially opened in 2002 when they hosted Tottenham Hotspur in a more than respectable 0-0 draw against their Premiership opponents. The project which cost £2million, £684,000 of this coming from the Football Foundation. This also then led the FA to refer to the club as the first British Community Football Club. As well as this in their recent history, they were recently promoted back to the Southern Premier League after winning the South & West division in 2014.
Their opponents this evening were fellow Bristol club Paulton Rovers who I had recently visited and were still in a relegation dog fight at the bottom of the league whilst their hosts were looking to finish the season as high up the table as possible and currently lie in mid-table. In addition to this they were looking to erase any memories they have of their last outing, if you could call in an outing. Their game away against Weymouth was postponed prior to kick off due to “safety concerns”. As a matter fact, it was a wonky piece of the stadium hanging down… in my opinion (granted, I wasn’t there) common sense should prevail in these situations after the 2 and a half hour journey had taken place by the players, staff & fans. I guess the real kick in the teeth was the fact that following the postponement, the Weymouth players managed to train at the stadium…
The match itself was a real game of two halves. Paulton completely dominating the opening 45 minutes. Chance after chance went begging, a combination of good saves and wasteful finishing contributed to a 0-0 half time score. This really would come to bite them on the backside as Cirencester used this as an opportunity to re-group and come out fighting in the second half. This was exactly what they did. The second half was a completely different game. It took the hosts just 13 minutes to break the deadlock, a neat turn and finish by Charlie Griffin gave Cirencester the lead. 16 minutes later and another goal. This time after good work by the left back Dunton forced a corner which was taken and a bullet header by that man Dunton gave the keeper no chance and it was 2-0. Paulton were staring defeat in the face. Things were only about to get worse as 5 minutes from the end it was 3. Some good work down the right hand side and a ball across the box was met by Ollie Knight at the far post to squeeze in the 3rd goal of the night.
So these 3 goals put Cirencester back in the winning mood and put them in good stead to welcome the league leaders Poole Town to the Corinium Stadium this coming Saturday. A solid performance but frustrating for Paulton as they will be disappointed that they didn’t continue to push on following their good first half performance.
What Were The Statistics?
Cirencester Town 3-0 Paulton Rovers
Attendance – 54
Price of ticket – £5 (Student)
Programme – £2.00
Car Parking – Free
Miles Travelled – 62
Weston-super-Mare vs. Chelmsford City – 27/02/2016
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Swansea City – 28/02/2016