Winchester 3 Thame United 3
Winchester and Thame United went into this F A Trophy tie knowing that the winners would be at home to Frome Town who play in Winchester's division in the next round. However there was further frustration in the competition for Winchester who last season lost a replay to Slimbridge on penalties having led four times in the tie. This time they were leading Thame United 3-0 with seven minutes to play, but Thame United scored three late goals to earn a replay at Thame next week which replaces the originally scheduled league game at home to Highworth.
Thame play in the Southern League Central Division and arte currently in mid-table and beat Kidlington to reach this stage of the competition. Thame have played in the Hellenic League, South Midlands League, Ryman and Southern League and it is believed to be the first time the teams have met. However Thame left the Southern League West Division at the end of the 2005/06 season when Winchester were being promoted to the same division.
Winchester made only one change to the starting line-up from the Sholing match with Luke King replacing the injured Kieran Douglas. Dom Panesar-Dower who scored the winning goal in that game as substitute has now joined Bideford, but Winchester had four substitutes which included Max Smith who was returning from holiday and Oli Bailey,
The start of the game was very open with Ryan Pryce having to make three good saves in the opening five minutes one from an effort from Ryan Blake, and on one occasion he had to tip the ball round the post for a corner. However Winchester came back strongly even if Ryan Pryce was called on to make a further save, with Dan King putting in a cross that no-one could het a decisive touch to, IK Hill and Simba Mlambo having efforts saved and Mlambo also coming close with a header. Midway through the half Ollie Balmer did well to gain possession and went on a good run before putting the ball away. It was 2-0 when Balmer set up Jamie Barron to score.. Before half time player manager Craig Davis shot just wide, but it was 2-0 to Winchester at the interval.
In the second half Balmer had an effort well saved by Craig Hill in the Thame goal. However when Keith Emmerson set up I K Hill to score the third it seemed to be all over, even if Greg Hackett and Dan West had efforts that were narrowly off target and Ryan Pryce did well to tip an effort from Jack Tutton over the bar and make a further save from Ryan Blake following the third goal. However Thame received a lifeline when Luke King who had made some good defensive headers during the evening scored an unfortunate own goal. It was then game on when away captain Dan West scored a second soon afterwards when he rounds the goalkeeper.
At that stage Winchester were defending deeply, but they were just doing enough to keep the visitors out until, an excellent strike from Greg Hackett in the final minute earned Thame a replay. Several minutes were added on due to an injury to Thame substitute Andy Gledhill who had only been on the field five minutes,, but Winchester now have to prepare for Saturday's trip to Barnstaple prior to Tuesday's replay.
Rob Carr, Max Smith and Oli Bailey all came on as substitutes for Winchester in the latter stages of the second half replacing Ollie Balmer, Jamie Barron and Simba Mlambo respectively. Ben Sturgess replaced Gledhill with just under half an hour to play and makes an important contribution to his team's recovery.
Winchester 2 Farnborough 0
Winchester progressed to the next round of the league cup with a comfortable 2-0 win against Farnborough, I K Hill gave us the lead on the stroke of half time having a few minutes earlier forced a good save from the Farnborough goalkeeper and Jack Francis made the game safe in the 81st minute when a corner was not cleared,
Winchester made six changes to the starting line-up from Saturday, Captain Jamie Barron, Ollie Balmer, Kieran Douglas and Joe Hayward were rested and were at the game with the last named having seemingly recovered well from his injury on Saturday, Rob Flooks was out injured and goalkeeper Ryan Pryce was ion the bench. Harry Birchnall was bought in as goalkeeper, Dan Williamson and Dom Panesar-Dower were promoted from the bench, Oli Bailey and Luke King were recalled and Jack Francis the scorer of the second goal also started.
Farnborough who play in the Premier Division and are managed by Spencer Day, better known as Spencer Trethewy who once appeared on the Terry Wogan programme in conjunction with his involvement with Aldershot had several players unavailable with the match arranged at short notice, a factor which meant that the crowd of 62 and only fielded two regular first team players.
Winchester made a bright start to the game and nearly scored in the opening minute with an effort following a corner being just off target and Jack Francis, Simba Mlambo, Dom Pansear- Dower and I K Hill all came close in the early stages, Farnborough's Nirajan Khadka also came close for the visitors, but apart from that and a free kick that Birchnall was comfortably able to save they did not offer much as an attacking threat during the first half. Winchester were very much controlling the game, but they did not really trouble Jacob Lear in the Farnborough goal until the 40th minute when Oli Bailey set up IK Hill whose shot was well saved by Lear. However right at the end of the half Dom Panesar-Dower made a good run and cross which led to an effort being blocked and I K Hill being on hand to score.
Winchester continued their dominance into the second half and early in the half it was the turn of player manager to Craig Davis to be narrowly off target. Simba Mlambo was also agonisingly close to scoring on a couple of occasions and Jack Francis had a shot saved by Lear. However much though Winchester were creating the better chances you sensed that they needed a further goal especially when Joshua Hooks forced Birchnall to make his first save of note.
The second goal did come in the 81st minute when after a corner was not cleared and Jack Francis was on hand to score. After that Farnborough never looked like getting back in the game.
In the second half Winchester introduced Ewan Haylor and Kyle Saunders as substitutes. and Haylor came close to scoring on one occasion.
Sholing 1 Winchester City 2
After the disappointment of losing 3-0 to Cinderford the previous week Winchester returned to winning ways with a 2-1 win at Sholing and there was further good news for them with their development team winning 6-1 against Netley Central Sports.
The fact that the development team were playing at all meant that with Winchester missing some players through illness and injury meant they were only able to name three substitutes. The three changes to the starting line-up .saw I K Hill, Kieran Douglas and Dan King come in for Luke King, Oli Bailey and Dan Williamson. For their part Winchester's changes meant that Keith Emmerson operated in a midfield role and certainly at least Winchester's midfield trio which also included player manager Craig Davis and club captain Jamie Barron were not lacking in experience .
Sholing are in their sixth season as a Southern League club, but this season marks the beginning of their third spell at this level. They have made a slow start to the season, but once again the Mason family are an important part of their team. Brothers Byron and Dan were in the starting line-up, while cousin Marlon was on the substitutes bench. Another Mason brother former Eastleigh striker Barrie has also given many years of service to the Sholing cause.
Winchester though made a slow start and fell behind in the 3rd minute when Alex Sawyer set up Dan Mason to score. Sholing were holding the ball up well in the early stages and came close to scoring again with Brad Targett shooting narrowly wide and Joe Hayward having to race back and intercept almost on the goal-line.
Winchester however draw level in the 20th minute when Simba M;ambo crossed for Jamie Barron to score. Sholing looked dangerous following the goal with Targett putting in a cross that no-one could get on the end of, Marvin McLean shooting narrowly wide and Ryan Pryce making an important save to deny Sawyer. However Winchester finished the half strongly with Ryan Gosney in the home goal having to make saves from I K Hill, Mlambo and Emmerson. Winchester also had a penalty appeal turned down and following a further save from Gosney, this time from Barron, Ollie Balmer's follow upshot was just wide.
Winchester certainly started the second half brighter than they did the first half. Simba Mlambo had an effort just wide and when Sholing attacked Winchester got in some crucial blocks with Kieran Douglas and Joe Hayward particularly resilient and Keith Emmerson playing with his customary determination. IK Hill had an effort tipped over the bar by Gosney and shortly afterwards Winchester had to reshuffle when Rob Flooks went off injured with Dan Williamson coming on at right back and Joe Hayward coming on as centre back. Hayward would later epitomise the spirit in the Winchester side when he received an accidental cut to the head which required it to be bandaged, but he carried on valiantly and even on occasions attempted to head the ball. At that stage on proceedings Rob Carr was the only substitute available to Winchester and he was barely fit having picked up an injury on having a run out from the reserves following his return from suspension,
Ryan Pryce in the Winchester goal had to make a save from Dan Mason and an even better one to tip an effort from Brad;ey Targett round the post for a corner. At the other end Gosney made further saves from Emmerson and Mlambo, but the home goalkeeper will be disappointed with the goal he conceded when from Jamie Barron's corner Dom Panesar-Dower who had only just replaced I K Hill got a touch which normally the keeper would have kept out, In the first half Gosney had been drawn out of position and did well to recover.
For the final 17 minutes Winchester survived without too much alarm and achieved their second successive 2-1 win on their travels.
Winchester 0 Cinderford 3
Winchester went into Saturday's game with Cinderford having won three and drawn two of the five league matches played between the clubs at the Simply Health stadium, but this record came to an end as three first half goals enabled Cinderford to achieve a 3-0 win having two weeks ago beaten Basingstoke 2-1 on this ground.
After Tuesday's fine win at Mangotsfield manager Craig Davis wanted to field an unchanged starting line-up, but one change was forced upon him with Danny King unavailable new signing from Gosport Borough Luke King came into the team taking Danny's left back slot despite being naturally right footed.
Cinderford who reached the playoffs last season even if the rules that were in place meant that they would not have been promoted even if they had won these and went into this match with 10 points from 6 matches.
Early on Cinderford gave notice of their intentions with a powerful strike by Josh Hunt going just over and the same player heading just wide from a corner and another effort just wide. Cinderford took the lead in the 13th minute when Craig Norman got on the end of a cross from the left by James Harding. it became 2-0 when a run and a cross from Sam Turl on the right hand side was converted by Harding and it was 3-0 in the 33rd minute when Josh Hunt scored with a lob from distance. Although Simba Nlambo, and Ollie Balmer had efforts blocked and Dan Williamson going on a couple of good runs Winchester really struggled to create anything of note in the first half.
At the interval Liam Gilbert came on for Dan Williamson and Winchester switched to three at the back with King moving to right back, Joe Hayward being pushed further forward and Liam Gilbert although in midfield playing deeper than usual.
The home team tried hard to get back in the game. From a corner Luke King forced a save from the Cinderford goalkeeper with his header from a corner and Ollie Balmer putting in a cross that no-one could get a decisive touch to. Robbie Flooks got in a firm header from Jamie Barron's free kick, but could not quite get it on target and Oli Bailey shot over.
Winchester however never really tested the Cinderford goalkeeper Andrew Hannah although they had a couple of further efforts blocked and bought on I K Hill as substitutes. Cinderford though became the closest to scoring a goal in the second half with substitute Ethan Moore hitting the woodwork and Marley Thomas having a couple of good chances,
Winchester City 3-3 Thame United
Well that was very very frustrating!!! Game was dead and buried and that we should have been further ahead in, a stonewall pen turned away again as well! Then a crazy 10/15 minutes and we end up hanging on for a replay, momentum is a major thing in football and we lost it, partly the long injury stop didn’t help matters either but only ourselves to blame!
We went with basically the team that beat sholing, other than an enforced change with Kieran injured and replaced by Luke King! First half we were outstanding really and played them off the pitch apart from a very open first 10/15 mins, got 2 ahead with great play by Balmer for the first and again with an assist for the 2nd for Baz to finish! 2-0 at break!
2nd half more of the same and IK got a 3rd and it looked game over! A long break for an ambulance for a bad elbow injury halted things, however an unfortunate OG by Luke King gave them a lifeline and they got a 2nd and then a 3rd to earn a replay!
We have to learn from it and be ready to bounce back in a massive game next weekend against Barnstaple before we think about the replay!
Frustrating but we have to learn from it!
Up the citizens!
Winchester City 2-0 Farnborough
So another good nights work in the end! We took the opportunity to make 8 changes from the starting lineup, plus 5 different subs filled with youth team players, 3 of which came on and had 1st team debuts, brilliant to see! We left out 8 players completely to protect them a bit after a punishing schedule!
Farnborough also put a young side out with a couple of first team players involved, their management team were not there though... one thing I will say is even for the reserve games both myself and Sean are at every one possible, we know everything about our young lads coming through and very proud of them.
First half we were totally dominant but lacked that cutting edge, we got a goal through IK Hill after Dom went down the line and cut back for Bailey who’s shot was blocked. We were not that happy with the lads but in truth they were totally dominant!
Second half I thought we were even more controlled and played some very good stuff at times, we eventually got a 2nd with Franno finishing after my corner was nodded down to him in the box! It really should have been several more but in truth it was as comfortable as you will ever see, even at 1-0 it was never in doubt without ever playing to full potential.
We had 5 youth team players involved whilst a floodlit cup youth game was going on and the lads won that as well, 6-1!! Fantastic night for the club! We also had 8 teenagers on the pitch tonight at one time, that’s pretty impressive, in fact 2 of them were only 16 and excellent both of them.
Well done to the boys for another win, we now have to prepare for Saturday and a tough game in the trophy against in form Thame, we have more availability issues Saturday, so we are going to have to see what we can do! We will need the supporters roaring us on though!
Up the citizens
Sholing 1-2 Winchester City
Fantastic result for us against a side who were unbeaten at home and you can see why!
Once again we had major availability issues, not helped by having to field a reserve side away to Netley as they wouldn’t call it off for us (fantastic 6-1 win for our young lads which is phenomenal in light of the age of that group) - we had Griggsy still injured, Max away, Oli Bailey working, then Luke King and Liam Gilbert pulling out ill on the morning of the game, then when we turned up Rob carr failed a fitness test and so we only had 2 fit subs, not helped by Flooksy coming off injured in 2nd half and Hayward getting an awful cut to eye and having to play on! Safe to say the lads who did play gave me and the club absolutely everything and I am very proud of the whole group!! I personally have barely played since last year but due to the circumstances I have been pressed into action on the day of the game twice now, far from ideal for me! So if anyone wants to question it, it’s not by choice it’s been a necessity! Feel free to come and speak to me about it directly rather than stand and moan! If I have to play I will play and will give my all, just like my group of players do... 2 wins out of 3 games played so not been too much of a hinderance! Rest assured though if either the commitment levels of 1/2 of the missing players (which clearly people don’t understand why they maybe left out) was different or when Griggsy is back fit, I will be back where I want to be in the technical area.
Game didn’t start too well with them scoring early, we then had a bad spell for 10 minutes or so, then after that we created chance after chance but got level with a great goal down the left and crossed for Baz to slot home, we were level at the break.
2nd half it was reasonably end to end but we seemed the one in control and got the winner with Dom prodding a mistake from Gosney in goal home. After that it was a case of closing the game out which we did very well to be honest!
All in all in view of the circumstances it’s a brilliant win!! Well done to everyone!
Up the citizens!
Winchester City 0-3 Cinderford Town
Disappointing day, we again had several missing for a host of reasons, suspension/injury/work and went with the same team as Tuesdays excellent win, other than new signing Luke King taking Danny King place who was away.
We were against the very strong wind in first half and struggled to get out, it was poor decision making defensively that helped them out, 1 a fantastic strike but should never have got to that point!3-0 down at the break and mountain to climb.
2nd half we changed shape and brought Gilly on and to be fair we played very well for most of it but a poor cutting edge meant we didn't get the goal we needed to put pressure on them and push us on, we lost 3-0 to a good side but know that we were nowhere near our levels and gave them a real helping hand.
We now have Farnborough in the league cup which we will be making a lot of changes in, then the bigger game away to Sholing next weekend which we look forward to!
Apologies for a poor day today but these boys always work hard for me and the club and will bounce back.
Up the citizens!