Frome 2 Winchester 0
Having won their last five away league games Winchester came unstuck when they lost 2-0 to leaders Frome. In the only previous encounters between the clubs Winchester beat Frome in a replay in last season's F A Cup, but Frome who last season were relegated after eight seasons as a Premier Division club are having a good season and the previous week they put eight goals past Basingstoke. They have now won 12, drawn 5 and lost 1 of their 18 league games.
Winchester made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday's game with Paulton with Kieran Douglas replacing Dan Williamson who was on the bench.
Early on Frome's Dan Cottle hit the post, while at the other end Keith Emmerson and Dan King set up I K Hill who forced a good save from the home goalkeeper while in another attack I K Hill shot wide when well placed. Winchester however fell behind after 15 minutes with Kane Simpson scoring from with a good strike from the edge of the area. Dan Cottle then set up Rex Mannings whose effort was deflected for a corner, but Winchester lost Keith Emmerson who has been in commanding form of late to a head injury and he was replaced by Dan Williamson. Emmerson is currently a resident of Somerset and no doubt would have wanted to perform well against a team from his own county.
Going into the second half 1-0 Winchester came close to drawing level following Simba Mlambo's flick from Jamie Barron's free kick and they also bought on Ollie Balmer and Oli Bailey during the second half and they certainly made a go of it in the second half. They forced a good save from Kyle Phillips in the home goal and although it was not all one way traffic with Kane Simpson also forcing a good save from Ryan Pryce in an end to end second period it is fair to say that the visitors applied a lot of pressure in the half. However any hopes they had of getting something out of the game were ended when Matt Smith volleyed home following a corner to add to the goal by Simpson who also scored on Winchester's last visit to this ground in the F A Cup last seasoin.
Winchester 0 Moneyfields 1
Winchester's attempt to reach the quarter finals of the Hampshire Senior Cup were ended when they lost 1-0 to Moneyfields which means that the last four matches between the clubs have been won by the away team with the home team failing to score.
Moneyfields went into this match having conceded seven goals on Saturday, but defended resolutely in a game of relatively few chances. It was a cold night and that was reflected in a low attendance and a pitch that began to become more frozen as the match progressed'
Winchester made four changes to the starting line-up from Saturday with Harry Birchnall, Kieran Douglas, Oli Bailey and Ollie Balmer replacing Ryan Pryce, Danny King, I K Hill and Luke King. However Hill replaced Bailey during the second half. Luke Jing was cup-tied and Danny King was injured.
The all important goal came in the 75th minute when Birchnall could only parry Conor Bailey's free kick into the path of Steve Hutchings who made no mistake. The nearest Winchester came to scoring was in the second half was when Jamie Barron forced a good sae from the Moneyfields goalkeeper. Ollie Balmer also forced a save from the Moneyfields goalkeeper in the second half, but Birchnall was the busier goalkeeper and he made a good save from Miles Everett in the first half and he made a further save to deny Hutchings in the second half.
Moneyfields generally had the better of the first half with Hutchings heading just wide from Lewis Fennemore's cross and former Winchester City player Joe Briggs forcing a good save from Birchnall although the offside flag was already up. However in the second half Winchester came much more into the game in the second half. They begun putting together some good passes across the park although the Moneyfields defence made some goof interceptions and it was only after going 1-0 behind that they really tested Moneyfields's debutant goalkeeper Max Flintoft.
Winchester 1 Paulton Rovers 1
Both Winchester and Paulton Rovers went into this match in the top four of the table with eight league wins out of 12 and so as expected a tight match. Since Paulton's return to this division all four games between the clubs on this ground have seen the club opening the scoring fail to win,.
Liam Gilbert was missing due to injury and Oli Bailey was unavailable; due to work, but there was a return to the team for both Jamie Barron and Luke King. Early on Barron set up Rob Carr whose effort was well saved by Joe Perry in the Paulton goal. Winchester did however take the lead in the 8th minute when the Assistant Referee noticed a handball and Jamie Barron converted the resulting penalty. During the remainder of the first half a header from Luke King from a Jamie Barron free kick was the nearest that Winchester came to scoring again. At the other end Edward Butcher twice came close and Paulton looked menacing as an attacking force in the first half and kept the Winchester defence on their toes. However just as it seemed that Winchester would go into the half time interval with a 1-0 lead a foul by Ryan Pryce led to the second penalty of the game being awarded and this was converted by the division's leading scorer Ben Bament.
At the interval Winchester bought on the two Ollie's Balmer and Griggs both of whom scored as a substitute the previous week and they replaced Max Smith and I K Hill. The switch almost paid immediate dividends when Perry made a fine save from Balmer at the start of the half. At the other end Keith Emmerson who once again looked solid in central defence made a block to deny Butcher at the expense of a corner. From the resulting corner the ball was played back to Ben Whitley who shot wide.
However the second half was a fairly even contest with both teams having half chances. Winchester also bought on Kieran Douglas for Dan Williamson with Joe Hayward reverting to full back. In the latter stages of the game Paulton's David Sims-Burgess received a straight red card following a tackle, but Winchester were unable to make their extra man count.
Cirencester Town 3 Winchester City 4
It is perhaps ironic that while in 1996 the concept of a football academy was initiated by Cirencester College and Cirencester Town football club, that on the day when Winchester ended their barren run on Cirencester's ground having lost on their four previous visits they did so with two players who begun their career at Eastleigh's academy in Joe Hayward and Ollie Griggs were on the scoresheet in a 4-3 Winchester win.
Cirencester were runners up in the league last season., but are not doing quite as well this season. Their prolific marksman of last season Ben Whitehead has joined Weston Super Mare although he appears to in any case be suffering from a knee injury. The manager Charlie Griffin tecently left the club although his brother Alan a key member of the team was playing.
Cirencester play on a 4G pitch and so although there was rain during the course of the day there was no danger of the match not being played.
With Jamie Barron being unwell on the day of the match and Luke King also unfit Liam Gilbert came into the Winchester side, while Joe Hayward came in as centre back with Kieran Douglas on the bench.
The first half produced only one goal when following a corner which was awaaded when Ollie Bailey had an effort tipped round the post and Joe Hayward who had a good fan club watching him scored from the resulting corner. In the first half Cirerncester's John Dennis hit the outside of the post, but I K Hil;l and OLi Bailey before the latter had to go off with a cut to his head were quite lively in attack for the Winchester. I K Hil had one effort saved at the expense of a corner and put in one cross that no-one could get on the end of, while Liam Gilbert and Shgyne Anson both came close for their respective teams.
.Both teams had other attacking moments, but a précis of this game will show that the second half was much more eventful than the first. Early in the second half Cirencester's Jack Freeman forced a save from Ryan Pryce in the Winchester goal, but then Simba Mlambo had two great chances to increasing Winchester's lead which in fairness he did well to get in position for. One sensed that perhaps Winchester might have to pay for this. However it was 2-0 in the 54th minute with a good strike from Rob Carr. Winchester's two lead lasted only two minutes as Toumani Sidibe headed home a cross from the right. Soon afterwards Cirencester scored their second in similar fashion with the same player scoring, although between the goals I K Hill came very close to scoring for Winchester.
Cirencester were reduced to 10 men when Michael Pook was sent off for a foul on Liam Gilbert. Although Pook had also been sent off in last season's F A Cup tie between the teams there were a fair number of people thought that this challenge merited no more than a yellow card. Soon afterwards Gilbert was replaced by Ollie Balnmr who ass it turned out had a significant impacton the match.
Winchester regained the lead when IK Hill set u pOPllie Griggs who had earlier replaced Bailey .and the substitute scored with a great strike. Before the 90 minutes were up William, Tunniicliff had a chance for the home team, but shot over, while an excellent shot by Winchester's Ollie Balmer hit the bar
In the 93rd minute Cirencester drew level again with Sidibe completing his hat-trick to jubilant scenes. However there was a final twist when Ollie Balmer scored with a free kick for further scenes of jubilation from a different set of players to erupt.
Winchester moved into third place with this win with their final two goals being scored by substitutes named Ollie, one of whom had replaced an Oli. Perhaps Oli-via Newton John ought to write a song about it.
Winchester City 0-1 Moneyfields
Disappointing night on a bitterly cold evening and an ice rink pitch by the end. We just didn't get going and in the end a goal from them and a number of late spurned chances meant we lost narrowly to Moneyfields.
We had a bit of a disaster before the game in finding out that Luke King had played a small part for a previous team in Hants cup and so was ineligible, then Griggsy and Danny King failed fitness tests, so it threw our plans into chaos! We also made a few other changes to ensure lads were getting minutes!
Game was a poor one, they are a side who are well below their potential in the league, that same group were 3rd in the league last season and so they are in a false position! They battle hard and were on top for spells in first half! No goals to show! It was opposite in 2nd half as we bossed much more of the game but again no goal! Then late on their striker hutchings who is a major threat scored and we just couldn't get the leveller!
So we bow out, it's not the end of the world but we will regroup at training now and get ready for a massive task with a trip to the runaway league leaders Frome on Saturday!! We look forward to it!
Up the citizens!
Winchester City 1-1 Paulton rovers
Tough game that against a very decent and physical Paulton side who were 4th and a point behind us before the game started, you can see why as they are tough nuts to crack! I must say that our performance was far from sparkling that’s for sure, partly our levels not the same but also the way they condensed the game allowed us very little space and without going ahead again to open the game up it made it a tough game! I am relatively content with the point and we move on!
We had to Bailey and Gilbert today but welcomed Baz and Luke King back, we didn’t get going at all in first half but got a pen that Baz finished well, they got one themselves with a very rash decision from Prycey, 1-1 at break but they had been in more control than us.
Second half I felt we edged the control of the game but despite a few chances we didn’t get the goal we wanted, even after they went down to 10 men with a few minutes to go!
All in all a point and a fair result, we can’t complain with it and it was a good battle!
We now move onto Hants cup against Moneyfields Tuesday and then a trip to the league leaders Frome next weekend! Not easy but we keep pushing each other!
Up the citizens!
Cirencester Town 3-4 Winchester City
Absolutely breathless victory against a side who we haven’t had joy from away from home over the years! So proud of everyone involved today, top stuff!!
Unfortunately due to the 3G Luke King who has been immense was unable to play due to previous injury, then on morning of the game Jamie Barron was unable to play due to illness, far from ideal! Then after a decent start Oli Bailey was kicked in the head and due to the cut was forced to come off and so we had some bad luck! We went ahead though with Joe Hayward smashing home from a set piece, 1-0 at the break and should have been more!
We then went further ahead with Rob Carr lashing home, we switched off tho and 2 headers at the back post and it’s 2-2 from nowhere! A horrible tackle then reduced them to 10 men, their player apologised for it as he came off to his credit! Sadly it forced Gilly to come off injured as well! We then went ahead with a great finish by Griggsy into the top corner! Further chances came and went before a sucker punch in the 93rd minute when they scrambled an equaliser! We didn’t give up though Ange a free kick from 25 yards was bent into the top corner by Olly Balmer! What a way to win it!!
Such a good win against a good side on their 3G, an unfamiliar surface against a side who absolutely smash the ball up to the excellent griffin the whole game! We needed to deal with it better but they are effective at it!
So that win our 8th away game out of 12 puts us 3rd which is credit to everyone of the group and staff! We just have to keep battling away for each other! Next up another hard test against a good larkhall side on Tuesday night!
Thanks to the fans today who were awesome as well! Glad we could reward you for it with that win in the end!
Up the citizens!!
Winchester City 4-0 Thatcham Town
Excellent display by the group tonight against a Thatcham side who are top of the league if win games in hand! They made a handful of changes but all were strong 1st team players so it certainly wasn’t a weak side, we did the same making 7 changes and playing 2 lads from the development squad as well as bringing on another in the shape of Jordan Preston for his debut.
We really played some good stuff throughout and went ahead with a good finish from IK Hill, then got a 2nd with a deflected goal by Griggsy who was back after a 2 month injury layoff! We then got a 3rd when Dom Panesar-Dower who has returned to us from Bideford scored with a delightful free kick! 3-0 at the break.
They had a go at us in the 2nd half and brought on 3 of their main players, however we defended very well with Emmo and Kieran excellent (until Kieran went off after a horrible tackle on his shin) then Joe Hayward coming on and doing equally well! We got a 4th with Olly Balmer finishing superbly at the far post!
4 goals and a clean sheet and we advance to the next round of the cup, more importantly though excellent minutes for lads that needed it, plus a continuation of the momentum we are trying to build, very pleasing!
We now have to get ready for a tough task away to Cirencester which we know will be tough, we go there looking forward to it very much though!
Up the citizens!