Noah Dougherty
Tuesday 30 July 2019

An action-packed second half saw the Forest Green Rovers Academy fall to a 6-2 defeat at Cirencester Town in their final pre-season game.

A Josh Parsons brace towards the end of the second half put the hosts in good stead before a Town triallist added a third mere minutes into the second period.

Jack Freeman added a fourth and the triallist bagged himself a second after Luke Hallett had pulled one back from the spot for FGR.

Harvey Bunker also put his name on the score sheet with a deflected finish before Tommy Ouldridge rounded off proceedings with a fortunate strike.

A tentative start to the encounter saw clear-cut chances come few and far between in the first quarter of an hour, Luke Hallett going the closest in that time with a header that failed to trouble Lewis Clayton after five minutes.

Just before the 15-minute mark, Parsons went close for the visitors as he spun of a sixpence outside the area before seeing his right-footed strike bounce narrowly wide of Luc Rees’ upright.

A good spell followed for the visitors, Dylan Morgan, a constant outlet in the first half, testing Clayton from range after he latched onto Archie Thayer’s neat switch to the left flank.

The visitors’ best chance of the first period came with 20 minutes on the clock as Hallet made the most of the referee’s advantage to latch onto a through ball. One-on-one with the keeper, he couldn’t quite apply the finish and fired just wide of the top right-hand corner with the keeper beaten.

Morgan could have opened the scoring once again three minutes later as he picked up Joe Jeremiah’s cut-back on the edge of the area before shifting the ball onto his left foot and firing straight at Clayton.

Using Seungwoo Yang’s overlap as a disguise, Vaughn Covil tried his luck from range with 25 minutes on the clock, and with the Centurion’s stopper only able to palm the ball back out, Morgan was unlucky to see his follow-up shot blocked by a Cirencester defender.

With 33 minutes on the clock, Cirencester took the lead. A powerful run from striker Alan Griffin saw him able to get a shot away, a deflection sending the ball skittering towards the back post where Parsons couldn’t miss with the goal gaping. 

A sudden shift in momentum saw the hosts on top, Parsons almost doubling his tally for the evening three minutes later as he fired a bouncing ball over the bar from close range.

Five minutes before the break the hosts doubled their lead as a quick give-and-go on the edge of the area saw Parsons find space in the area and he was able to calmly slot passed Rees into the bottom corner.

Just two minutes after the restart, Cirencester Town added a third as their triallist drove towards the FGR box and fired into the bottom corner.

Morgan was again unlucky not to put his name on the scoresheet after 52 minutes as he twisted and turned on the left of the box before scooping a shot into the side netting.

Just after the hour mark, Town added a fourth. Freeman picked the ball up on the corner of the Forest Green box before drilling a powerful drive into the far bottom corner via the post.

Two minutes later, with 63 on the clock, the visitors were awarded a penalty as Hallett went down under a challenge as he tried to attack a low corner to the front post.

The forward gratefully accepted the opportunity a calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left, sending Clayton the wrong way.

It wasn’t long before the hosts added a fifth though, the Town triallist pickpocketing the FGR defence to fire into the bottom corner with aplomb.

Substitute Bunker got himself on the scoresheet once again as he picked up  Dan Ogunleye’s pass on the edge of the before slotting home via a deceitful deflection.

Any hope of a late fight back was short lived for the young Rovers side as, four minutes later, Ouldridge lofted a deep cross towards the back post and Rees could only watch as the ball sailed over everyone to bounce in off the back post.

Dan Jones did his best to add his name to the scoresheet with four minutes to play but his curling strike was well saved by Clayton who pushed the midfielder’s effort behind for a corner.