Another absolutely epic game, this time against Southern Prem opposition, also to do it without Tomasso, Jenkinson, Carr, Bailey, Harfield unavailability through a mixture of illness and injury! What a result and we progress to the quarter finals!
We gave a debut to 16 year old Ben Sunley and a start for 17 year old IK Hill, very pleasing especially for Ben and his development who will have learned a lot from today! First half was a fairly tight affair, I didn’t think we played great but looking at the stats we actually edged the shots and crosses, we came in 1 down.
2nd half they got a 2nd goal and then from then on we absolutely bossed it and played some brilliant stuff, the introduction of the fit again Willo made a big difference! We got a goal back with a great bit of play from Gilly and a perfect finish, we piled on pressure and got the equaliser with a ball in from Barron finished by a mixture of Simba/Flooks/og... Gilly had a p come off and I went on, we kept going and a superb finish by Joe Cook seemed to have won it for us! Ref said 3 mins added and they scored from a Corner in 95th minute!! Fuming... their fans invading the pitch and flashing was unnecessary in what was a superb game!
Pens came.... I had first one saved, they blazed over, sim hit the post and they blazed over again! Then some great pens by Baz, Joe H and Joe Cook, IK and Coxy! Then a brilliant save by prycey won the game!
Fantastic result, no injuries and we were able to rest the players mentioned above ahead of a huge game now on Saturday! Well done to all the lads, incredibly proud of all of them!
Onto the next one! Up the citizens!
Winchester 2-0 Evesham
That was a very satisfying result against a side tipped for promotion and a wealth of talented players who have been about... to put in a professional performance like that today was very pleasing and left me very proud of the group!
We were able to bring back Tomasso, Flooks, Williamson, Carr but were without Gilbert, in light of the great display Tuesday we stuck with that side and only changed Gilbert for Tomasso. To be fair it was one of them games were most of the 1st half was spent feeling each other out and neither side wishing to give anything away, these are the sort of games you get in top of the table battles, we are going to have to get used to them and be ready for them, today we were!! 0-0 at the break and we were relatively content that we could change the game with our strength on the bench.
Second half I thought we began to get on top of the game more and more, then the fairly bold introduction of IK Hill and Rob Carr for Simba and Jenks opened the game up and stretched them massively. We got ahead when a brilliant free kick delivery from Rob bounced straight in for 1-0! We then got further ahead with Carr driving at their defence and his shot was parried to IK to delicately finish 2-0! From then on it was a case of closing the game out, Oli got a knock and so we took him off and I went on and to be fair we ended the game comfortably for a great 2-0 win and a vital 3 points!
I am very pleased with everyone, real squad effort it’s been over these last few weeks and we have quietly gone about our business and we are in the shake up... full credit to the lads, we did an incredibly monotonous training session this week of clearance after clearance after clearance! Absolutely not the sort of sessions we pride ourselves on running, however to a man they did it and they got rewards today where the quality of our clearances were first class! We have to keep that up! Sorry lads if you are reading it... yes we will repeat it
Enjoy the win, roll on the next one! Basingstoke will be a good test for us, we will be taking it seriously but equally no player will be risked in that game, then we make the long trek to Slimbridge next weekend!
Up the citizens!!
North Leigh 1-2 Winchester City
Absolutely delighted for everyone involved tonight, a really tricky fixture at the best of times but on a Tuesday and without Tomasso, Flooks (suspended) and Carr and Williamson injured, that would make it that much tougher! So to go and win the game 2-1 with a very professional performance was very pleasing!
1st half defending the slope was not easy, it is very difficult to get out with the slope like it is, we defended well though and broke well at times, we scored through Oli Bailey after a Barron cross. They equalised later in the half with a fairly poor goal from our perspective, we came in relatively content at 1-1 though.
We had a game plan and discussed how the game would pan out, lads followed it to the letter and we completely controlled the game 2nd half, deserved goal came with Jenks striking across the keeper for 2-1, we kept the pressure on throughout and maybe could have extended the lead but had great control of the game. We had one late scare as we scrambled their only effort away, we made a change for the last few minutes to extra secure the game and kept the ball basically for the last few minutes, extremely good win for us!
Massive credit to the boys for their efforts tonight and the way they bounced back from Saturday, huge praise must be given to all the players but Joe Hayward who stepped in and Joe Cook who came in were first class and Simba who hadn’t played for a month battled all night and showed unbelievable energy!
Back to training now and then prepare for a tough game against the very much fancied Evesham on Saturday!
Up the citizens!
Winchester City 2-3 Bideford
Bitterly disappointed is an understatement!
Scrappy first half but went behind after I felt they had fouled in the build up! We battled back well and equalised with a great move down the right involving Coxy and Rob Carr and his cross was turned in his own net to make it 1-1 at break.
Horror start to the 2nd half as they broke and scored in 20/30 second for 2-1! Once again we battled back and dominated, Baz after his heroics Tuesday from pen spot missed a pen but we kept going and a great ball by Baz our Oli through and his finish was class for 2-2! It was all us and wave after wave, sting in the tail though as a catalogue of horrific lapses defensively let them go 3-2 up and we couldn’t battle back again.
Horrible feeling after the great feeling Tuesday! We are an exciting side and have a go at people on the front foot all the time, what as a staff we cannot legislate for us game after game individuals not being able to make good solid contacts on clearances! We MUST get better at that. I don’t remember games where we have been carved open or our defensive shape being pulled apart its individual errors specifically poor clearances!
Anyway, I am sorry for the loss, we are hurting as a squad but we have to bounce back Tuesday now against North Leigh which will not be easy on a midweek.
Up the citizens!
Winchester 3 Basingstoke 3 Hampshire Senior Cup
Winchester eliminated holders Basingstoke from the Hampshire Senior Cup on penalties after the teams were level at 3-3 after 90 minutes.
Winchester gave a debut to young striker Ben Sunley and there was also a starting place for IK Hill with Oli Bailey, Josh Harfield, Adam Tomasso, Andy Jenkinson and Rob Carr not featuring and Ben Williamson on the bench, Basingstoke who are one division above Winchester did not include main strikers Ben Wright and Sam Argent and they are managed by the experienced Terry Brown.
Early on both teams had efforts blocked at the expense of corners, while Winchester's Liam Gilbert came close with a powerfully struck effort. Basingstoke however took the lead in the 28th minute when Sam Smart's cross set up Jack McKnight and Basingstoke went into the interval with a 1-0 lead.
McKnight scored his second nine minutes into the second half, but to their credit Winchester kept battling and Liam Gilbert pulled a goal back midway through the half with a superbly struck shot from distance. By this stage Winchester had introduced Dan Williamson as substitute and he was overlapping to good effect.
Winchester were also giving Basingstoke problems with dead ball situations and from a free kick Jamie Barron hit the underside of the bar and a further free kick with 14 minutes to a free kick into the box led to the equalizer. There was debate about whether Rob Flooks or Simba Mlambo got the final touch was an item for debate. although Flooks was eventually given the goal, although he was replaced immediately afterwards by player manager Craig Davis.
Three minutes from the end of normal time a long throw enabled Joe Cook to score the third to complete a great fight back. but when the three minutes of added on time had appeared to have been used up Basingstoke scored a last ditch goal following a corner with Callum Bunting the scorer,
This led to a penalty shoot out in which both teams missed their first two spot kicks. However the next nine penalties were converted with Jamie Barron, Joe Hayward, Joe Cook, IK Hill and Pat Cox scoring for Winchester before Ryan Pryce saved Basingstoke's fifth to send Winchester through much to the joy of their fans.
Winchester City 3 Swindon Supermarine 2
A Winchester team containing one change from the starting line-up from Saturday with Craig Davis coming in for the unfit Liam Gilbert in midfield came from behind to beat Swindon Supermarine 3-2.
Although Andy Jenkinson had a couple of efforts blocked one of them from a free kick there was not too goalmouth action in a first half that produced two goals. In the 17th minute Connor Thompson gave the visitors the lead with a cross cum shot, but shortly before half time Rob Carr was fouled and Jamie Barron converted the resulting penalty.
Early in the second half Swindon captain Zac Westlake received a second yellow card for dissent and Oli Bailey and Jamie Barron forced saves from the Swindon goalkeeper. Bailey then held off two challenges to score a great individual goal against his former club, but Callum Parsons scored an excellent free kick to level the scores and following that the 10 men from Supermarine looked threatening.
However right at the death full back Danny King ventured forward and Jamie Barron converted his second penalty of the evening to give Winchester the points against one of the league's better teams.
For a game that produced five goals there was relatively little goalmouth action apart from the goals. The referee did not find the game easy to control and there was quite a lot of back chat, but Winchester will be pleased that they are scoring rather than conceding late goals.
Winchester 2 Bideford 3
Winchester were defeated for the first time ever by Bideford having obtained one win and one draw both in the two league games between the clubs and the two legged F A Vase semi final in 2003/04.
Winchester made one change to the starting line-up from Tuesday's game with Swindon Supermarine, with fit again Liam Gilbert replacing player manager Craig Davis. Simba Mlambo also returning from injury was on the substitutes bench,
Early on Andy Jenkinson shot wide for the home team, while at the other end Ben Seymour created a chance for Ben Seymour, but thankfully for Winchester his effort was off target.
Craig Duff then forced a good save from Winchester goalkeeper Ryan Pryce, while at the other end it was the turn of Liam Gilbert to test the opposing goalkeeper.
Ben Seymour gave Bideford the lead in the 32nd minute with a low shot into the opposite corner. However Winchester drew level eight minutes later when good work on the right flank forced Ian Sampson to put past his own goalkeeper. The goal was initially credited to Oli Bailey, but it became clear that it was the visiting defender who had put the ball in.
Winchester's pleasure of going into the interval on level terms quickly evaporated at the start of the second half when in the opening minute Craig Duff was put through and he made no mistake. Initially Winchester struggled after going behind for the second time, but they then had a good spell of pressure with Rob Carr twice going close and a couple of near misses, although the Bideford forwards were always dangerous.
Winchester had a great chance to level when Carr was fouled in the box, but Steve Oliver in the home goal made a good save from Jamie Barron's penalty kick.
Winchester however did draw level with 11 minutes to go when Olly Bailey's pace took him clear of the visiting defence. He took stock of the situation before slotting home. However disappointingly Winchester once again conceded soon after drawing level and it was Duff who scored it taking advantage of hesitancy in the home defence.
In the eight minutes of normal time that remained Winchester were unable to draw level a third time. With both teams having spells where they shaded the game, there will be differences of opinion as to what was the fairest result, but Bideford are good side who recently recruited former Weston Super Mare and Dorchester boss Craig Laird to work alongside long serving manager Sean Joyce.
Winchester are away to North Leigh on Tuesday, at home to Evesham on Saturday and at home to Basingstoke in the Hampshire Senior Cup on the following Tuesday.
Winchester 4 Salisbury 5
An entertaining Friday night fixture in front of a crowd of 823 saw Winchester for the third successive home match surrender a lead in the final eight minutes of a game and for the second of these games fail to get any points for their endeavours, on this occasion surrendering a three goal lead to eventually lose 5-4.
Winchester made two changes to their starting line-up from Saturday's game with Taunton with Pat Cox returning from injury and Josh Harfield replacing I K HIll and Rob Flooks both of whom were on the bench.
In this game between two cathedral cities, Winchester took the lead in the 4th minute when Joe Cook scored with a lob and made it 2-0 in the 25th minute when Jamie Barron followed up after Oli Bailey's initial shot was saved. Bailey who was a threat to the visitors throughout made a good run and slotted home the third. Also in the first half Charlie Searle in the Salisbury goal had to save a Josh Harfield header at the expense of a corner and also stop a powerful shot from Danny King. Dan Williamson was also overlapping to good effect for the home team, although his final delivery did not quite lead to anything.
Tom Whelan then had a shot for the visitors which was off target (one of their few efforts of the half), but Salisbury did pull a goal back at the end of the half when Stuart Green who captained Winchester last season and came on as substitute for Salisbury during the first half pulled a goal back just before the break with an effort into the top corner.
At half time the referee felt unwell and was unable to continue, although this situation was quickly resolved.
Salisbury started the second half brightly and good strikes by Lewis Benson and Green again enabled them to draw level within 11 minutes of the start of the half.
The next 23 minutes provided a lot of goalmouth action without any goals, with Salisbury having a penalty appeal turned down, two goals disallowed, while at the other end Williamson forced Searle to save at the expense of a corner and Pat Cox heading narrowly wide. However with 11 minutes to go Rob Carr set up Oli Bailey to score his second.
Pat Cox had a chance to make it 5-3, but Searle was able to save his effort and Salisbury made them pay when Benson who was always dangerous from set pieces scored his second direct from a free kick and Tom Whelan scored the winner when what appeared to be a cross flew into the net. Even after this Winchester had a couple of dangerous attacks, but in the end it was Salisbury who won this match which was a good advert for non-league football on a Friday night.
Winchester travel to Cinderford on Saturday.