Winchester City 2-3 Paulton Rovers
Really gutted today to be honest, Paulton really have turned into a bogey side for us, that’s 5 games against them without a win since ive been here, today was a sickener as we should have been out of sight by half time. Missed chances and poor goals from set pieces had them level, then to make it worse we concede and lose 3-2 in second half. Gutted but we fight on.
We went ahead with a lob from Tyrell in first minute, pegged back from set piece, then instantly 2-1 up with a great run from Reece Rusher and cross as put in own net. Then pegged back again 2-2, we missed a hatful with Simba being main culprit sadly and had to be content 2-2.
Connor had to come off injured at half time which meant a reshuffle and Matt Benham who we signed today came on... we didn’t really get the same grip of the game in 2nd half but still had numerous chances to get a goal, then conceded with a really sloppy bit of defending and try as we might we couldn’t get that equaliser.
Gutted but we would have settled for 4th place with a game in hand on 2 above us, 10 points from 15 and still in fa cup at start of season, however we really did miss an opportunity today and that is what really hurts today.
Boys are giving their all, playing through all sorts of niggles, we also have several missing still that we need back ASAP.
We have a week to train and recover now ahead of a good trip away to Merthyr, nothing expected of us up there and so we will go and give it a good go!
Sorry about the result but we have to go again now!
Up the citizens!
Winchester City 2-1 From Town (AET)
Well what can I say about that!!! Immensely proud of the whole group, to get through against Southern Premier opposition over 2 very evenly contested ties, is an absolute credit to our lads, they have been outstanding! Reduced budget, signing players written off from everywhere and they remain unbeaten over 7 games having come from behind in 5 of the games. As a group of players and staff they are all giving me and the club absolutely everything, it will all have to come to an end at some stage, for now though it’s a phenomenal run and we just have to enjoy what the boys are doing!
As for the game, they altered their way of playing to prevent us playing the football we did on Saturday, they sat back and let our defenders stroll forward unopposed and closed the space for us to pass it like we normally do, this affected us early on especially, we made bad decisions on the ball. We went behind and it could have been more. We had to go a bit longer to stretch the game a bit and it worked.... we equalised with a good finish by Tyrell. Then had a penalty saved from Baz. We could have been 2-1 up at the break, however in truth they had the upper hand in the first half.
After a few words at the break, the rest of the game was a definition of end to end, with shots and chances and saves at both ends, I have to say I felt Harfield and Connor C were immense in the face of the balls they angled into their big strikers. 1-1 at full time.
Extra time carried on in similar style, we got ahead with a towering header from Connor C to put us 2-1 up. Then the floodlight failure to add more suspense, in truth though our defending was immaculate and we closed it out well for a place in the 2nd qualifying round away to Merthyr, plus a crucial £6k prize money for the club!
Well done all the boys, so chuffed for them all, plus all the supporters to enjoy the moment tonight! Let’s go again Saturday against an always tricky Paulton side, then we can enjoy 2 cup ties next week!!
Up the citizens
Frome Town 1-1 Winchester city
Proud of the boys again today, remain unbeaten over 90 minutes for the season, away to an established Southern Prem side, we also had issues with illness on the morning of the game, so to come away with a 1-1 draw and another crack at them on Tuesday is a decent result in the end, whatever the outcome on Tuesday night we have shown that we can mix it with good sides.
So we were without Oli Bailey for the last game of his 3 game ban, long term absentees Carr and Gilbert, plus Jake Rawkins shoulder keeping him out. Then we had Danny King call in very sick this morning and unable to play, this is hard to contend with at the biggest squads, let alone our very small squad, so we had to reshuffle yet again with Josh Harfield out of position at left back (which he coped with very well). First half started with them on top for about 15 minutes or so, we then took control of the game passing it and keeping possession well, we didn’t hurt them enough with that possession but we looked good, then an error all of a sudden let them in which Prycey had to bring the forward down, he then went onto make the save, a goal then would have been very cruel as we were controlling it, we carried on like that to the break. 0-0 at half time.
Second half started in a similar fashion, with us controlling the game, we got a deserved goal with a lovely turn and finish by Tyrell after a good period of possession. We carried on for 10-15 minutes controlling the game, they then threw on big cf Bath and went very direct and penned us back in, they got level and that left us with 15 minutes of their tails up, Robbo went off injured after a superb display from him, we had yet another reshuffle but managed to stave off any real scares and got a decent draw.
There was certainly no one celebrating or thinking we have done the hard work by drawing away, they are higher league opposition, we know they will be a tough nut to crack again, however we have a great home record and a couple of players back hopefully, we certainly have a better chance than we did today, an exciting game in store though that’s for sure!!
Thanks for the small band of supporters who were there today making plenty of noise, we were short of a number of people who couldn’t make it, Rob Conway getting married (how inconvenient of him lol, many congratulations to Rob and his new wife Jo) and with several supporters unable to attend - hopefully we can have as many as possible there for the return match on Tuesday night!
Good shift from the boys, hopefully we can recover everyone and be ready for it!
Up the citizens!!
Winchester City 2-2 Melksham Town
Hard to complain too much about a draw 2-2 after being 2-0 down against a decent side, however I was disappointed with the manner of the start of the game, also after being well on top it was a shame that we didn’t go onto win the game, we can’t be top down about it though, it’s a very decent point, they are a side with again a far superior budget to us and well fancied, I was fairly content in the end with the point.
We are obviously without Gilly, Rob Carr and now Oli Bailey 3 game ban which started today, so we had worked on how we would play it, also how to exploit them, the annoying thing is that everything we worked on was the stuff that worked, we just didn’t do that for the first 15/20 minutes, we in my opinion passed the ball very well, whereas they got it launched it forward to the excellent Jon Davies (who is as good as anything in our league)... unfortunately a goal that Prycey should have done more with and a very sloppy 2nd had us behind 2-0, we did start to get game going and created a number of chances, 1 of which we took with Joe Cook heading home and 2-1 down at the break.
As we do, we battled back for 2-2 with Simba (who has been fantastic for us so for this year) heading an equaliser which we deserved. We had the majority of the rest of the game and a few chances, they were dangerous with the long ball forward always, however they were wanting the final whistle more than us, although Prycey did atone for his error with a couple of late saves.
What I will say is that it’s always entertaining with us, I think we have a group of lads who’s character is without question and togetherness is first class, they don’t know when they are beaten and for the 3rd time in 4 league games we have come from behind to get a win or a draw, twice from 2-0 down!! For me that’s a fantastic habit to get in and long may it continue!
Are we getting carried away, no we are not, we are far from the finished article or happy with everything, however saying that with 10 points from 4 games and in next round of the FA cup is not bad eh!!
Onto the league cup Tuesday and then fa cup next Saturday which is a massive game for many reasons! First though we will be rotating the squad and giving a lot of opportunities to the squad on Tuesday, a game that we will make the very most of and serve us a good purpose.
A decent point that I think we can be content with, onto the next one!
Up the winch.
Merhyr Town 1-4 Winchester City
For a variety of reasons I’m not saying much tonight but maybe will in coming days.
All I will say is that group of players and staff are absolutely working their socks off for this club and have done everything I have ever asked them to do, any training, any tactic we come up with, literally given me everything with no questions asked!
Many much maligned lads including from within have pulled off an extraordinary performance despite most playing through injuries, plus a whole host missing through injuries etc, I will let others comment on the rest.
Fans absolutely unbelievable, players phenomenal and you both deserve every bit of praise you get!
Proud of everything we did as a club/group today, even as far as the conduct of the whole group in the face of the farcical coach breakdown situation! I must also say a big thanks to Merthyr Town as a club for their warm welcome while we waited 4 hours for the coach to be repaired!
Well done all.
Winchester 2 Paulton Rovers 3
Winchester suffered their first defeat of the season when they went down 3-2 to a Paulton Rovers team who recorded their second league win of the season.
Both Winchester and Paulton had F A Cup replays in midweek against teams 1 division higher than themselves to contend with, with Winchester winning through and Paulton exiting the competition.
With Oli Bailey injured Winchester replaced him with Brad Gale as the only change to the starting line-up from Tuesday. The home team though made a dream start with Tyrell Mitford scoring with a well executed lob from well outside the area in the 1st minute. At the other end an effort from Liam Monelle wss just wide, but Winchester came close to adding a second with Simba Mlambo shooting wide from a good position following a cross from Reece Rusher and Rusher forcing a good save from Paulton goalkeeper Mark Brown at the expense of a corner.
However Paulton drew level in the 24th minute when a corner was not cleared and Sam Hedges was able to score from close range. A minute later though Winchester were ahead again when Sam Hedges at the other end of the pitch deflected a Reece Rusher past his own goalkeeper.
Winchester's second lead of the game corner from Paulton captain was headed home by Joe Hiollard meaning four goals had been scored in the first half hour of the game.
Winchester had great chances to regain the lead before half time with Tyrell Mitford beating the offside trap, but having his shot saved by Brown and Mlamnbo also having a shot saved, and although bot teams had chances to score a third it was Winchester who had the better opportunities and one sensed that they might have to pay the price for this.
At half time Winchester bought on Matt Benham who had just rejoined he club having formerly been a Paulton player for the injured Connor Cocklin with Joe Cook reverting to centre back.
Winchester's passing was a mixture of clever played through balls to misplaced passes, but defensively they looked vulnerable at times. Liam Monelle stung Ryan Pryce's hands with his effort, Ben Withey also had a shit saved and Paulton almost scored from a goalmouth scramble. At the other end Joe Cook had an effort cleared off the line, while Mlambo headed over.
Paulton got the all important third goal in the 74th minute when a cross from the right was played into the path of Liam Monelle who made no mistake.
Paulton were reduced to 10 men when substitute Josh Morgan Williams was given a straight red for a challenge on Jamie Barron, but even with an extra man Winchester seldom tested Mark Brown in the Paulton goal.
Winchester turn their attention to Saturday's F A Cup tie at Merthyr, with their Hampshire Senior Cup with Hartley Wintney being put back to 2nd October, assuming that their F A Trophy tie with Slimbridge three days earlier is not drawn.
Winchester 1 Gosport Borough 1
Winchester went out of the league cup on penalties to Gosport Borough after the teams finished level at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
With an F A Cup tie at Frome on the Saturday Winchester fielded a completely different team to Saturday although the regular first team players were in attendance. However Jake Rawkins, Sam Roberts who captained the team on the night and new signing Brett Cunningham were all in the Winchester starting line-up which also included player manager Craig Davis.
Gosport for their part also had an important F A Cup game on the Saturday, but although former Winchester favourite Robbie Flooks did not feature, their small squad effectively represented their first team with the two best known players being player coach Matt Tubbs who started the match and player manager Craig McAllister who was on the bench. Gosport's team included roughly half of the team that had beaten Metropolitan Police three days earlier.
Before the game a minute's silence was observed for Hampshire football association stalwart John Ward who recently died.
The first half was mainly Gosport's and they took the lead when their number 5 Harry Medway headed home a corner from the left. Nradley Stone, Connor Hoare and Samuel Lanahan also came close to scoring for Gosport, while Josh Corner made an important block to keep them out, but it was 1-0 at the interval.
During the second half Winchester rallied well even though they lost Jake Rawkins to a shoulder injury and he was replaced by chairman's son Alfie Trodd. Lamar Koroma forced a save from Patrick O'Flaherty and Craig Davis had a free kick deflected for a corner. They drew level when a corner from the left from Craig Davis was headed home by Sam Roberts. Interestingly enough both goals were headers by number 5's from corners from the left and at the same end of the pitch.
Gosport still had chances of their own in the second half and rallied particularly strongly after Winchester scored, but the young Winchester team who even had some youngsters unavailable for this match showed great determination and can take much credit for the fact that they were able to finish level after 90 minutes against a squad of players from a higher division.
After 90 minutes the match went straight to penalties and although Craig Davis scored Winchester's first spot kick and Gosport missed theirs, three penalty misses out of 4, with only Lamar Koroma converting combined with the fact that Gosport converted their next three spot kicks meant that with the score 3-2 in the penalty shoot out Gosport did not need to take their fifth penalty.
Winchester City 2 Melksham Town 2
Winchester and Melksham both maintained their unbeaten starts to the season as for the second successive home league game Winchester recovered from two goals down, but this time could not score a winner as this time the match finished 2-2.
Melksham are newly promoted from the Toolstation Western League having last season finished runners up to Street who were also promoted and recently moved to a new ground which helped fuel their promotion ambitions having failed to go up at the end of the 2014/15 season despite finishing champions due to ground grading issues.
Winchester bought in Brad Gale to replace the suspended Oli Bailey as the only change to the starting line-up from Monday's win at Moneyfields.
However Melksham drew first blood in the 7th minute when Neikell Plummer scored with a low shot in to the corner of the net. The influential Jon Davis who previously played for AFC Totton whilst Stuart Ritchie was manager then had a shot saved by Ryan Pryce, while a good block from Connor Cocklin kept out Davis. At the other end following a cross from Joe Cook resulted in Tyrell Mitford having a shot deflected for a corner.
It was Melksham though who scored the second goal when Neikell Plummer beat the offside trap and found himself clean through in the 14th minute and made no mistake from close range. Not long afterwards two goal hero Plummer had to go off injured and was replaced by Jamie Lyons. Davis came close again, while Simba Mlambo forced a routine save from Kent Kauppinen,
Winchester however did step up a gear and Kauppinen had to make good saves from Reece Rusher and Mitford at the expense of corners and it was following a corner that Winchester reduced the deficit with Joe Cook getting on the end of the set piece delivery.
After scoring a first goal Winchester had a great chance to another when Tyrell Mitford was in a good position to receive a cross from Simba Mlambo, but with the ball moving and needing to hit the ball first time his effort was wide.
Both teams had attacking moments during the remainder of the first half, but Winchester if anything were looking the more threatening. They certainly started the second half well with Kauppinen being tested in the opening minute of the half. Five minutes into the half the scores were level when Simba Mlambo headed home a cross from Joe Hayward.
After this both teams had their attacking moments, but some good saves by the goalkeepers and important interceptions by the defenders ensured the remainder of the game was goalless, Rusher and Davis from free kicks forced saves from the opposing goalkeeper, with Pryce doing well to tip Davis's effort over the bar. Simon Gilbert set up Jamie Lyons who shot just over, while Mlambo had an effort blocked, but overall a draw was a fair result,
After Tuesday's league cup tie with Gosport Winchester turn their attention to Saturday's F A Cup tie with Frome. Earlier in the week I found information on the internet which indicated that the Danny Greaves who manages Frome is the same Danny Greaves who is the son of Jimmy Greaves, but it appears that is not correct. The Frome manager in fact joined the club from Bradford Town whom he guided into the last 16 of the F A Vase last season.
The fact that Frome managed their first home win of the season on Saturday means that they may not need to call on the services of white witch Titania Hardie. In the 2003–04 season, the club attracted attention nationally when they asked her, to help improve their home form. The witch blamed the Decor of the changing rooms, and once the club changed them the team won eight of their nine remaining home games.
Good wishes to club stalwart Rob Conway on his wedding this Saturday to Jo.
Winchester City 1 Bournemouth Poppies 0
Winchester reached the F A Cup 1at qualifying round with a 1-0 win against Bournemouth Poppies of the Sydenham's Wessex League who had beaten Bashley from their own league in the previous round, with for the third successive game Tyrell Mitford scoring the winning goal.
Bournemouth Poppies have made a good start to their season and with the prize money at stake Winchester could not afford to underestimate them. The home team started with the same eleven players who had been on the pitch when Winchester began their great fight back on Tuesday.
Early on Ron Frost for the visitors had a powerful shot just wide, while at the other end Simba Mlambo forced a good save from Sam Jones in the Bournemouth goal. Mlambo then got on the end of a cross from Oli Bailey and though he was only a few yards from goal he needed to hit the moving ball first time and he was not quite able to direct his effort on target. Reece Rusher was also unable to direct his effort on target following a cross from Danny King, while a powerfully struck effort from Oli Bailey was just off target.
At the other end a header from Fawzi Saadi following a free kick from captain Chris Spears tested Ryan Pryce and Saadi also came close again and Bournemouth certainly kept the Winchester defence on their toes, although during the half the majority of chances created by both teams were nothing more than half chances.
During the second half both Tyrell Mitford and Jamie Barron tested Jones and Mlambo had another good chance, while Bournemouth Poppies continued to look threatening going forward. It seemed that the game would end goalless and a replay required until the 87th minute when Jamie Barron was fouled and although Jones was able to save Mitford's penalty the Winchester striker was able to strike the rebound into the back of the net. Winchester almost immediately took off the goalscorer and in the remaining 3 minutes plus 3 minutes of added on time Winchester were given a few anxious moments and goalkeeper Pryce was forced into action a couple of times, but the main thing from a Winchester point of view the main thing was to get through, with seven clubs from their 20 team division already out and four more facing replays.
On Saturday Winchester are at home to Melksham in the league and the following Tuesday they are at home to Gosport in the league cup.