Slimbridge 2-0 Winchester City
Hugely frustrating day today, losing to a Slimbridge side who battled and scrapped for everything and had a fair bit of luck as well along the way! Ultimately we were not good enough in their box and conceded 2 goals from their only real efforts (until a few late breakaways as we chucked everyone forward) - a great opportunity wasted again to push up the table!
We were without Kinger injured and Simba ill, other than Josh for myself we kept the same side as Saturday with Rob on the bench. We created most of the chances in the first half but they scored from a free kick, 1-0 down at the break.
Second half it was the Alamo with us pouring all over them, chance after chance went begging on a quagmire of a pitch by the end! They got a 2nd on break midway through the half which made it more difficult! We just couldn’t finish, if we were still there now I don’t think we would have scored!
All in all a frustrating night, compounded by Jamie Barron picking up an injury as well!
We dust ourselves down and get ready for another side fighting for their lives Bishops Cleeve on Saturday, they had a great win against Mangotsfield sat so we need to be ready for that!
We go again! Up the citizens!
Winchester 3-1 Larkhall
What a fantastic result and display that was in the face of circumstances that were far from ideal in the morning of the game! We had Rob Carr pull out due to injury, Danny King already injured. Then I received calls from Josh Harfield, Simba Mlambo and Pat Cox, all of which had been ill through the night and unable to get to the ground let alone play! We tried to call in 4 of the young lads from the reserve setup but they all had Hampshire games, we called Keiran Winman in from Whitchurch where he has been playing (who came on for a very good cameo as we tried to close the game out) and had to shift a few things around! Coxy said he would come and try and give us all he had, he got through 70 minutes and I was very pleased with him and grateful for that superb effort from him.
As far as the game goes, it was a tough game, they are an absolutely massive team with physicality throughout their side and so we had a battle on our hands throughout, we got ahead from a great run by Willo and cut back for Baz to slot home, we had a couple of other chances but didn’t take them, they equalised with a set piece which was their only real way they looked like scoring. 1-1 at the break.
2nd half we went out and scored immediately as Oli was brought down and Baz slotted the pen superbly, we got a 3rd when Jamie Barron played a great ball through for Oli to finish! From then on we played out the game without any scares, as a side we defended superbly and I was really pleased with the professionalism and control that we played with and we took the 3 massive points!
We now have to prepare for Wednesday at Slimbridge, it’s never easy dealing with long away trips in midweek, we will do our best to recover the ill and injured and get a full squad to travel and look for a performance like today!
Enjoy your weekend, I know I will now after that 3 points! Although the old legs may not be moving much for it, 2 games over less than 48 hours when I’ve barely played most of the season was not part of the masterplan! great win though!
Up the citizens!
Paulton Rovers 2-2 Winchester
Not 100 percent sure what to make of that today in the end! All we can say is a point is a point and we battled back from behind to get it so we have to bee relatively happy from that point of view, we are really disappointed not to have picked up 3 though.
First half I thought we were superb throughout and looked a very good side dominating for long spells, all we had to show for it though was a fine Coxy finish following good work by Oli Bailey.
2nd half was more against the wind and that seemed to effect us, they equalised when their sub scored with one of his first touches, we had to defend that better though. We then fell behind with a shot catching Prycey off balance and we were 2-1 down from nowhere. We rallied though and a good run from IK and he played in Oli who was fouled and Baz dispatched the pen very well! 2-2. After that we had a good go to get the winner but they also left players up going for the win as well... in the end it’s a point on the road and we have to respect that point! One downside was injuries to Coxy and Rob Carr, we will hope to recover them this week though ahead of next weekend.
Looking at the table it’s so tight, if we had of won we would have been 4th!! We just need to put together a bit of a run and we have every chance of being right up there, all we have to do though is think about the next game and take it step by step! Firstly though we have Southampton F.C. in the Soton Snr Cup, this will be a great day for the club and our young lads will once again have the chance to show what they can do, we will also include the subs from the 1st team game, we can not afford to risk any likely starters for Larkhall, we will give it a good go and test the lads against professional players from Southampton, we look forward to the experience.
Up the citizens!
Winchester 1-1 AFC Totton
Gutting to not get the 3 points today. I won’t say too much for fear of defending my players too much, however I wouldn’t ever hide after a game and always endeavour to give my thoughts, no matter how gutted I may be! Quite simply our quality in the final 3rd with our crosses and decision making was not good enough and that is what ultimately cost us the 3 points when we obviously had all of the ball in that second half.
Scrappy first half with their captain Dave Allen getting 2 bookings and a sending off. We came out in the second half and started really pushing them back, got our goal from Oli Bailey and needed to kick on from there. Prycey was then adjudged to have brought down their forward and a very dubious penalty was given. They equalised and not long after that a lunge brought about another red card and we were against 9 men.
We had already taken Tomasso off to bring an attacking left back on and also took Joe Hayward off to bring IK on and push Willo back to full back, this meant that we kept getting it wide and overlaps and stretched the game, we just couldn’t deliver the crosses we needed to which by us scoring would have opened the game back up! No one to blame but ourselves for lacking the quality of delivery we needed.
Very disappointing and no one is more gutted than myself and the players and staff, was no lack of effort as they once again gave us their all, we just couldn’t get that breakthrough we needed, credit to them for defending like they did for the point.
We have to now move on and get ready for an away trip to Paulton which will be tough as always!
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.