Cirencester friendly

THE pre-season friendly match between Cirencester Town and Sholing FC was abandoned in the 75th minute by the referee after a number of dangerous tackles threatened to cause serious injury. 

Cirencester were leading 3-1 when captain Jake Lee was subject to a late challenge by a Sholing player, who were already down to 10 men after Jake Hesketh was sent off. 

Hesketh had been warned a number of times for his tackling in the first-half before the referee eventually showed him a straight red card. 

Then late in the second-half, another strong challenge prompted an on-field scuffle between both sets of players that was brought to an end when the official called an end to the match. 

Friendly that turned sour. Ref pulled the plug.

— Cirencester Town FC (@CirenTownFC) July 29, 2023

Real shame. Have to say Ciren we’re much the better team. Some really reckless challenges throughout. For my money, the referee was nowhere near strong enough. Fingers crossed for our skipper who took an almighty clattering.

— Terry Keogh (@terrykeogh3) July 29, 2023

Agreed mate, no place in pre-season for a challenge like that on Jake.. on a positive note we played some really good stuff, Ellis outstanding at the back throughout, Robinson looks an addition.. hopefully a successful season in the making 🔴⚫️🔴⚫️

— Sam Lloyd (@SamLloy56393175) July 29, 2023

It had been a very encouraging opening half-an-hour for Cirencester, who were 2-0 up against a side a level above them in Step 3 Sholing. 

Dan Grieve’s bullet header had the Centurions ahead before Luca Robinson’s cool finish made it 2-0 after just 20 minutes of action. 

Then the tackles began to fly in and Hesketh had already been spoken to by the referee for a couple of challenges before the official’s patience ran out and he dismissed the player from the pitch. 

Cirencester had chances to extend that lead before the break but the score remained the same into half-time.

The home side began the second-half like they ended the first, on top and creating chances but it would be Sholing who would reduce the deficit when Charlie Fox’s deflected effort found the back of the net. 

But Reegan Messenger restored the two-goal advantage with a fine run and strike into the far corner, before the game officially turned sour. 

Cirencester’s captain Lee was on the receiving end of a late tackle that left him grounded for some time before limping off the pitch and that was soon followed by another foul that sparked the scuffle on the pitch.

The referee called time on the contest with 15 minutes remaining.

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