Both first team managers Mark Moore and Charlie Griffin were left praising their players after Longlevens and Cirencester Town played out a competitive and entertaining pre-season friendly, which saw the visitors win 3-0.
Longlevens started with young players Isaac Johns and Tom Powell-Davies whilst new signing Logan Roach and trialist James Barnet occupied the full back spots. Cirencester started with last season’s stop scorer Ben Whitehead up front with Alan Griffin in an almost first choice XI.
The game started with both sides looking to get the ball down and pass it around on a warm summers evening at Saw Mills. Rhys Lewis fired wide for Longlevens whilst Alan Griffin nearly converted a Tommy Anderson cross.
Longlevens youngster Tom Powell-Davies looked the part in central midfield as he and left back Logan Roach impressed those in attendance during the first half.
However it was the visitors who took the lead just after the half hour mark when former Forest Green trialist Jordan Morris was brought down in the box by Dave Rich. Ben Whitehead stepped up to convert from 12 yards.
Within five minutes it was 2-0 to the Centurions as Longlevens were caught on the break. Once again it was Morris who lead the charge and after his cross had originally been cut out by Luke Kavanagh, Whitehead slotted the ball home past a helpless Ash Wintle.
Morris then played a part in a clinical third goal for Cirencester when he dispossessed James Barnet in the left hand corner, burst into the box and saw his shot hit the post. The rebound fell to Alan Griffin who calmly side-footed the ball home.
The second half brought two different line ups and as the energy levels dropped the game almost petered out for 45 minutes.
Kieran Squires came on as part of a 3-5-2 for Longlevens and had a solid performance at the back whilst youngster Harry Emmett looked class in the middle of the park.
Cirencester used the half as a chance to look at more trialists with the likes of Mason Hathaway and Josh Beadle catching the eye, with the latter’s father and Hereford manager Peter Beadle in attendance.
The only real chances of note saw Henry Spalding test Ash Wintle low to his bottom left corner for Cirencester whilst the hosts saw shots from Harry Emmett and Myron Turner go off target.
After the game we spoke to both managers about their team’s performances.
Longlevens first team manager Mark Moore:
“The game wasn’t as negative for us as the score suggests, it was tough conditions for the boys in that first half and we gave away two sloppy goals and a penalty. You kind of expect that in pre-season but in the second half we put out the fresh faces, the average of our second half side must have been 18 or 19 and I think they showed that the future and what we are trying to do here in our 3rds and 2nds sides that we are trying to bring these young players through. The future is bright especially when today we had 6 or 7 first team players missing.”
“We don’t put any pressure on the young boys when they come into the team as they want to ultimately play football. We encourage all players to get on the ball no matter what their age or stature in the team. Everyone has their job to do and we encourage that. The second half proved that, especially as the legs were tiring.”
Cirencester Town first team manager Charlie Griffin:
“To start with a game in such hot conditions especially when the lads have had only four sessions, some only 2, so tonight I was very please with that. Three goals and a clean sheet is fantastic. It isn’t just that though, the boys really worked hard tonight and it goes to show with a great start to our pre-season.”
“The lads showed good quality on the ball and off the ball as well, again we scored some good goals with some good build up play for them. There are obviously things we can work on but there were plenty of positive things that we could see. Our schedule for pre-season is one I am looking forward too and so are the lads.”
“The lads have come in that we are looking at I am looking over the next 2 or 3 games as I think it’s fair to give them that because we want to see what they are like, especially on our home pitch. We have been able to re-sign the majority of the players from last season and we want to look at maybe two or three signings that will enhance our squad in a long season. Last year I felt that at points we were pretty low on numbers but it’s positive to be in the position we are in.”
Longlevens First Half XI (4-3-3): Wintle, Barnet, Kavanagh, Sausman, Roach, Powell-Davies, Rich, Turner, Lewis, Johns, C Martin
Longlevens Second Half XI (3-5-2): Wintle, Parry, Barnet, Squires, Shelton, Roach, Callinan, Brown, Emmett, Johns, Turner
Cirencester Town First Half XI (4-4-2): Wieczorek, Christoper, Connolly, Dunton, L Spalding, Pook, Freeman, Anderson, Morris, Whitehead, A Griffin
Cirencester Town Second Half XI (4-4-2): Merchant, Christopher, Dunton, Hathaway, Morris, Horrell, Beadle, Wheeler, Bennett, H Spalding, Ford
Severn Sport Man of the match: Jordan Morris (Cirencester Town)