Cirencester Town 4-2 Winchester City
Tough game tonight, I have to say well done Cirencester who made life difficult for us, mentally no matter how much I spoke about it in the dressing room it was never going to be easy. We are 4 days away from the game of some of these lads lives, playing a side looking to exact revenge for having the cup game we have at the weekend! All of that in the melting pot it was a tough game, we didn’t play too badly but were just slightly off in all departments and that resulted in a narrow loss albeit a horrendous piece of refereeing ultimately cost us late on.
So we went in without Ty injured, Rob Carr unavailable as well as the other absentees, including Sam Roberts who has now left the club. We didn’t start the game very well and they were on top early, however we grew into the game and went ahead with a great ball from Baz finished well by Oli Bailey, we had a few more good breaks and looked in total control but a flurry of corners on stroke of half time and they equalised! 1-1 at the break.
2nd half started with them scoring from another set piece straight away which was a killer! We battled back though and levelled with Jamie Barron striking a low volley after Reece shot was saved. The game then became a basketball match totally end to end, it looked like it was going to be a draw, then a scandalous throw in was given against us, we didn’t play to the whistle though and expected the throw and they got in behind to bundle a goal 3-2! We kept going and looked to have a potential penalty appeal but somehow a free kick was given against us... we had thrown josh Harfield up top and they got a 4th on the break to kill the game.
On reflection they edged it but we played our part in the game and few could of argued that we maybe deserved a point... with all the circumstances I mentioned above, it is as always going to be a tough one and whilst I won’t accept 2nd best or below par displays, it was not a really poor display, we just lacked the bit of sparkle that we usually have.
We now have to get ourselves prepared for a huge huge game on Saturday, we are looking forward to it and will give it our all. We will lick our wounds tonight and be bubbling again and buzzing for Saturday!
Up the citizens!!
Winchester City 0-0 Hartley Witney
Bloody penalties!!!! That’s the 3rd time we have lost on penalties now, which is a horrible thing as it’s not a good way to lose, especially as we were playing a side from a league higher and we dominated very long spells of the game, still the positives are that is another game we have not been beaten by a side a league higher (4th of season so far) and also only 1 defeat over 90 minutes still in our 13th game.
We shuffled the pack slightly making a few changes from Saturdays team. There is always a concern of playing a game after the massive high of Saturday and the exciting cup draw, we had to come back down to earth, I needn’t have worried as the lads put in a very accomplished performance, we controlled the first half although didn’t have as many chances as we would have liked. 2nd half we had 14 shots on target to their 4 and we missed an absolute bag load of chances, including a late penalty. Then the lottery of pens which no surprise we lost with our dismal penalty record, Oli Bailey the unlucky man with our 7th penalty I believe...
Credit to Hartley Wintney who are a very decent outfit and had done well over the last few years and sit in top 8 in southern prem, I wish them well for rest of season and in the next round.
For us we now have to patch the boys up, we will be working hard to prepare for Cirencester next week as we have no game Saturday (despite being 3/4 games behind everyone, so frustrating!) - we look forward to next weeks game.
Well done to all the lads, a really good display and showed what a good side we are in spells tonight.
Up the citizens!
Winchester City 3-0 Cirencester Town
I am actually so proud that I don’t think words will totally express my thoughts and emotions, to say I’m buzzing is an understatement, to achieve what we have is fantastic and the players, supporters and hard workers behind the scenes deserve this day! Written off by so many people when I came in and again this summer (don’t make me dig out the messages) The players I brought to the club were vilified as no hopers from little old relegation fodder fleet! And again this summer apparently no quality at all and no goals in the team etc etc as other teams signed real ‘calibre’ players putting us in the shade! Well Prycey, Harfield, Simba and Carr didn’t look like relegation fodder today did they??? Sam Roberts, Ty Mitford, Reece Rusher, Joe Cook, Brad Gale didn’t look like the misfits they were deemed as either!! The whole group were different class! Even to the point of 6 injured/ineligible/suspended players all there kicking every ball from the sidelines and enjoying the win as much as everyone! I said in the press togetherness is our best player, I think that shines through, although I think we have some bloody good players as well!!
I will leave others to comment on best players on the day and the way the game went etc. We worked hard on a shape on Thursday, despite extremely tired bodies after the extra time exertions on Tuesday night, no complaints they all listened to the plan and once again today it was executed to the absolute maximum, Rob Carr (how nice to have him back in the fold after his honeymoon and new business commitments that stopped him being available until now), Simba Mlambo and a late pen from Joe Hayward sealed the win after a superb display, a performance that was controlled and composed yet high intensity, quite a hard thing to get the balance right of composed but intense, the way the boys did it today was perfect!
Big thanks to the great support today again, once again the togetherness between players and fans shone through, we need to all enjoy the day, enjoy the draw Monday and whatever happens we have created our little piece of history! I am a very very proud man! Anyone thinks I am going overboard in my praise, oh well.... I could go on and on to explain the difficulties we have had as a club in the last few months, the fact these players could all get vast sums more money elsewhere, yet they give their everything for me and for the club! They deserve this, well done boys!
Well done everyone and enjoy the weekend!
Up the citizens!
Winchester City 3-3 Slimbridge (AET)
It doesn’t feel right to do a long winded report today, suffice to say it was an epic game, time and time again it looked like we had done enough, then a series of missed chances in the first half and at key times to kill the game cost us, well done to Slimbridge and wish them well in the next round.
In no way am I using the sad news of today to mask my disappointment in today’s game, we will analyse and dissect the game as always, however as much as I care deeply about my team and our results, there are more important things, I am just so upset not to have won today for him today.
We now have to regroup and get ready for a monumental game Saturday.
Up the citizens.
Winchester 0 Hartley Wintney 0
Winchester went out of the Hampshire Senior Cup, a competition they had reached the final once and the semi final twice in the last three seasons. They lost on penalties to a Hartley Wintney team, one division above themselves having been promoted last season. It was Winchester's third penalty shoot out defeat this season and their second in the last week.
Winchester made two changes to the starting line up from Saturday with Jamie Barron returning from suspension and Brett Cunningham coming in for Joe Cook and Rob Carr with the first named being listed amongst the substitutes.
Early ion Reece Rusher shot just wide for the home team, while Jamie Barron forced Adam Desbois to save at the expense of a corner. At the other end Jack French shot wide following good work by Hartley Eintney captain Nic Ciardini.
Desbois made a good save from Mlambo, while Joshua Webb (not Neil Webb's son Josh) took the free kicks and from one of them Jack Ball headed wide.
Mlambo saw the goalkeeper out of position and tried to lob him, but his effort was just off target.
The first half was relatively even, but Winchester certainly had the better of the second half. They almost scored following a goalmouth scramble and Barron forced a good save from Desbois.
Winchester were desperately unlucky to score when Cook hit the bar and forced
another good save from Desbois. Apart from one cross that went across the goal Winchester were very much in the ascendancy now and Desbois made another good save to keep them out.
Tyrell Mitford was fouled by Desbois and took the penalty kick himself, but once again the away keeper kept the ball out of the net, with the follow up effort being cleared off the line.
Pryce in the Winchester goal was finally called into action in the second half, but he was able to keep Claudio Herbert's effort out. Oli Bailey came on as substitute late in the game and on one occasion he broke clear of the visitors defence, but as the keeper moved forward to try and cut him off Oli tried to lob him, but the keeper was able to reach the lob.
With the score 0-0 after 90 minutes the game went straight to penalties and the first 13 spot kicks were all converted, but Winchester missed their seventh to lose the shoot out 7-6 and were desperately unlucky to go out of the competition.
Winchester 3 Cirencester 0
Having lost all of the six league matches they have played against Cirencester Winchester stopped the rot and in doing so reached the 4th qualifying round of the F A Cup for the first time for 64 years. Cirencester had in their previous three F A Cup ties scored 15 goals and conceded none, although all of their previous opponents had been from a lower division. Ben Whitehead had scored seven of these goals.
Winchester made three changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday's F A Trophy tie with Slimbridge with Rob Carr whose work commitments in addition to his honeymoon preventing from him playing up to now, Simba Mlambo and Sam Roberts coming in for the suspended Jamie Barron, the injured Connor Cocklin and Matt Benham who was cup tied.
Winchester however made a dream start when in the second minute they were awarded a free kick which was taken by Reece Rusher which resulted in the Cirencester goalkeeper not being able to hold on to the ball with Rob Carr following up to score with virtually his first kick of the season. Mlambo then had a shot deflected for a corner, but it became 2-0 when Tyrell Mitford put Nlambo clean through and he made no mistake.
Ben Whitehead then shot over, but in general the Winchester defence were doing a good job at closing down the prolific Whitehead and Alan Griffin, the latter being the younger brother of Cirencester manager Charlie and if anything the home team looked more likely to score the next goal in the remainder of the half with Rusher who played with considerable energy and determination throughout having an effort deflected for a corner, and Mitford also having a chance, but shooting over.
One expected a second half onslaught from Cirencester and an effort by Whitehead hit the top of the cross bar and substitute Jordan Morris put in a couple of dangerous crosses on the left hand side.
The home side's task was made even more difficult when Michael Pook received a straight red card for a challenge on Reece Rusher. A good block denied Mlambo at the expense of a corner. However despite being reduced to 10 men Cirencester tried hard to get back into the game and Whitehead forced a save from Pryce and Morris also came close.
Winchester bought on Liam Gilbert and Oli Bailey returning from injury as substitutes and having been under some pressure came more into the game and in added on time Bailey broke clear and was fouled leaving Joe Hayward to convert the resulting penalty.
This made the game safe and in a difficult week for the club with the death of Life President Terry Bone an excellent team performance earned them a trip to Torquay in the next round.
As a result of being out of the F A Trophy they have no game on Saturday, but are away to Cirencester on Tuesday week.
Winchester 3 Slimbridge 3
Winchester went out of the F A Trophy to a Slimbridge team that had lost on each of their previous three visits to Winchester's ground. They lost 6-5 on penalty kicks having three times held the lead on the night and a total of four times in the tie. Even in the penalty shoot out Winchester led 1-0 after the first penalties were taken.
Winchestef made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday with Matt Benham replacing Brett Cunnibgham who dropped to the bench, while there was also a return to the bench for Simba Mlambo. Before the match there was a minute's silence for club stalwart Tina Elkins who had passed away last week, while another club stalwart Life President Terry Bone had passed away on the day of the match.
Early on Tyrell Mitford hooked a shot just wide, while at the other end Yeshaya Lomotey came close with a powerfully struck free kick. Winchester however took the lead in the 5th minute when good work on the left by Benham set up Jamie Barron to score.
Slimbridge again drew level when Lomotey this time struck a powerful shot on target. but in an end to end first half it was Winchester who went into the interval with a 2-1 lead thanks to an excellently struck free kick from Mitford. Joe Cook came close to extending Winchester's lead just before the interval, but for the second successive match Winchester went into half time with a 2-1 lead.
Winchester started the second half brightly with Joe Cook almost scoring with a lob and Reece Rusher hitting the woodwork, but shortly after these near misses Slimbridge drew level in the 54th minute when Ewen Dunbar scoring with an excellently struck shot.
Winchester bought on Simba Mlambo and he had an effort saved by Eric Edge, but
although the game remained very open as the half progressed it became increasingly likely that the match would go into extra time and so it did.
Early in extra time Jamie Barron was fouled by Joe Noakes and Mitford converted the resulting penalty. Joe Hayward cleared off the line, but Winchester went into the second period of extra time with a one goal lead. Brett Cunnigham who came on as substitute had a deflected shot saved, but the visitors again drew level when Dunbar scored with a diving header.
The match continued to be a lively affair with both teams having chances, but no further goals were scored and the penalty shoot out was required.
After both teams had taken one penalty kick it was 1-0 to Winchester, but the home team missed their third spot kick it remained all square until Winchester missed their 7th penalty leaving Slimbridge to score to win the tie much to the joy of their friendly and appreciative travelling support.
Slimbridge 2 Winchester City 2
Winchester announced an unchanged starting line-up from Saturday's win at Merthyr, but were held to a draw by Slimbridge and have yet to win at Thornhill Park in four visits, although on this occasion they were denied victory as a result of a late equalizer and face a home replay on Tuesday which means that their already once postponed Hampshire Senior Cup tie with Hartley Wintney has been put back a further week, dependent on the F A Cup tie with Cirencester being settled at the first attempt.
Early on Tyrell Mitford's hooked shot was just wide and Brad Gale shit over, while at the other end Edji Mbunga shot over when well placed. Slimbridge however took the lead in the 13th minute when Yeshaya Lomotey's effort which looked to be going wide deceived Ryan Pryce as with a bit of wind assistance the ball crept in.
Reece Rusher had an effort saved which resulted in Joe Cook shooting over from the follow up. However Winchester did draw level in the 26th minute when Tyrell Mitford headed home a cross from Rusher. It became 2-1 when Slimbridge surrendered the ball in midfield and Joe Cook set up Jamie Barron whose effort went in off the post and although a Slimbridge defender on the goal-line was able to clear the ball it was judged that the ball had already crossed the line.
Reece Rusher had an effort deflected for a corner, while early in the second half an effort from Tyrell Mitford went wide, but for most of the second half Winchester mostly contained Slimbridge with Josh Harfield making one important interception and by this stage in the proceedings Winchester had bought on Matt Benham as substitute to replace Brett Cunningham.
Apart from one effort from Slimbridge's captain Dean Turner who was clean through, but shot straight at Ryan Pryce, any shots from the home side were off target and Winchester although looking dangerous on the break at times looked to have weathered the storm. However right at the death a goalmouth scramble resulted in Max Harper-Emerson levelling the scores despite valiant Winchester efforts to clear the ball.
On Saturday Winchester are at home to Cirencester in the F A Cup and providing there is no F A Cup replay are at home to Hartley Wintney in the Hampshire Senior Cup on the following Tuesday.
Winchester club stalwart Tina Elkins passed away last week, although her husband Yony and son Wayne were both present at Slimbridge.