Winchester 2-0 Evesham
That was a very satisfying result against a side tipped for promotion and a wealth of talented players who have been about... to put in a professional performance like that today was very pleasing and left me very proud of the group!
We were able to bring back Tomasso, Flooks, Williamson, Carr but were without Gilbert, in light of the great display Tuesday we stuck with that side and only changed Gilbert for Tomasso. To be fair it was one of them games were most of the 1st half was spent feeling each other out and neither side wishing to give anything away, these are the sort of games you get in top of the table battles, we are going to have to get used to them and be ready for them, today we were!! 0-0 at the break and we were relatively content that we could change the game with our strength on the bench.
Second half I thought we began to get on top of the game more and more, then the fairly bold introduction of IK Hill and Rob Carr for Simba and Jenks opened the game up and stretched them massively. We got ahead when a brilliant free kick delivery from Rob bounced straight in for 1-0! We then got further ahead with Carr driving at their defence and his shot was parried to IK to delicately finish 2-0! From then on it was a case of closing the game out, Oli got a knock and so we took him off and I went on and to be fair we ended the game comfortably for a great 2-0 win and a vital 3 points!
I am very pleased with everyone, real squad effort it’s been over these last few weeks and we have quietly gone about our business and we are in the shake up... full credit to the lads, we did an incredibly monotonous training session this week of clearance after clearance after clearance! Absolutely not the sort of sessions we pride ourselves on running, however to a man they did it and they got rewards today where the quality of our clearances were first class! We have to keep that up! Sorry lads if you are reading it... yes we will repeat it
Enjoy the win, roll on the next one! Basingstoke will be a good test for us, we will be taking it seriously but equally no player will be risked in that game, then we make the long trek to Slimbridge next weekend!
Up the citizens!!
North Leigh 1-2 Winchester City
Absolutely delighted for everyone involved tonight, a really tricky fixture at the best of times but on a Tuesday and without Tomasso, Flooks (suspended) and Carr and Williamson injured, that would make it that much tougher! So to go and win the game 2-1 with a very professional performance was very pleasing!
1st half defending the slope was not easy, it is very difficult to get out with the slope like it is, we defended well though and broke well at times, we scored through Oli Bailey after a Barron cross. They equalised later in the half with a fairly poor goal from our perspective, we came in relatively content at 1-1 though.
We had a game plan and discussed how the game would pan out, lads followed it to the letter and we completely controlled the game 2nd half, deserved goal came with Jenks striking across the keeper for 2-1, we kept the pressure on throughout and maybe could have extended the lead but had great control of the game. We had one late scare as we scrambled their only effort away, we made a change for the last few minutes to extra secure the game and kept the ball basically for the last few minutes, extremely good win for us!
Massive credit to the boys for their efforts tonight and the way they bounced back from Saturday, huge praise must be given to all the players but Joe Hayward who stepped in and Joe Cook who came in were first class and Simba who hadn’t played for a month battled all night and showed unbelievable energy!
Back to training now and then prepare for a tough game against the very much fancied Evesham on Saturday!
Up the citizens!
Winchester City 2-3 Bideford
Bitterly disappointed is an understatement!
Scrappy first half but went behind after I felt they had fouled in the build up! We battled back well and equalised with a great move down the right involving Coxy and Rob Carr and his cross was turned in his own net to make it 1-1 at break.
Horror start to the 2nd half as they broke and scored in 20/30 second for 2-1! Once again we battled back and dominated, Baz after his heroics Tuesday from pen spot missed a pen but we kept going and a great ball by Baz our Oli through and his finish was class for 2-2! It was all us and wave after wave, sting in the tail though as a catalogue of horrific lapses defensively let them go 3-2 up and we couldn’t battle back again.
Horrible feeling after the great feeling Tuesday! We are an exciting side and have a go at people on the front foot all the time, what as a staff we cannot legislate for us game after game individuals not being able to make good solid contacts on clearances! We MUST get better at that. I don’t remember games where we have been carved open or our defensive shape being pulled apart its individual errors specifically poor clearances!
Anyway, I am sorry for the loss, we are hurting as a squad but we have to bounce back Tuesday now against North Leigh which will not be easy on a midweek.
Up the citizens!
Winchester City 3-2 Swindon Sopermarine
What a great win!!! Against a play off contender and to come from behind again, fantastic! Immense character in this group of lads and very proud of them!
So we were without Tomasso suspended still and Liam Gilbert succumbed to a bad chest infection that he just got through on Saturday but knocked him back and also still no Simba Mlambo who we are missing more and more as weeks tick by, so it’s fair to say we were down in numbers in midfield.
Game started and their shape was causing us a lot of problems and also the very strong wind meant we struggled to get a foothold in the game for 25 mins or so and they scored with a lucky cross to be honest! For all their dominance early on they barely tested us which shows in the shots and crosses stats that we dominated all night. We changed our shape and got on the game and took it to them, equalising from Jamie Barron with a pen, I felt they were lucky to not have a player sent off for that in truth. We then had several efforts but came in at 1-1.
Early in the second half we had all the momentum and they then had a man sent off for dissent and so we had to then be patient. We got ahead with a truly wonder goal from Oli Bailey and looked like we were cruising, only for a very good free kick from them to level it. Once again though the lads bounced back and remained patient and some good play down the left resulted in Kinger being fouled and cool as a cucumber Baz slotted the winner! We then closed the game out with relative ease!
A fantastic result and that’s the 4th time we have come from behind or pegged back an equaliser to go on and get a better result after that disappointment! That’s a huge huge habit to get in, full credit to the boys who we were looking like we had a soft centre after conceding late goals, we have really pushed and pushed this on the lads and what a great show of character in these last 4 games! Let’s hope we can carry it on, maybe not from a goal down though!
Tough game again sat against 3rd in the league, let’s hope for another exciting game and positive result.
Up the citizens!
Winchester 2 Evesham 0
Winchester achieved an excellent 2-0 win against an Evesham team who went into the match closely matched with them in terms of points. The game was won by two second half goals scored by the substitutes, with the manager deserving credit for making two substitutions early in the second half which had a major effect on the game. For youngster IK Hill it was his first Southern League goal having previously scored against Fleet in the Hampshire Senior Cup last season.
For Winchester Adam Tomasso returned from a four match suspension and he replaced the unavailable Liam Gilbert in the only change to the starting line-up from Tuesday. Early on Ryan Pryce made an important block to deny Paul Fahy and the dangerous Lewis Powell hit a free kick just off target, while at the other end Andy Jenkinson had a routine shot saved, but generally defences were on top in a goalless first half.
In the second half Ryan Pryce with his outstretched hand did just enough to deflect the ball away from Paul Fahy, but Winchester then took off Andy Jenkinson and Simba Mlambo and bought on Rob Carr and IK Hill, and the change soon produced a positive result when in the 63rd minute a Rob Carr free kick eluded everyone to give Winchester the lead. In the 80th minute it was 2-0 when Kevin Sawyer could not hold on to a Carr shot and IK Hill followed up to score.
Evesham tried hard to get back into the game, but Winchester were defending very well as a unit and were denying them any clear chances as they completed a well earned win.
On Tuesday they are at home to Basingstoke in the Hampshire Senior Cup and on Saturday they are away to Slimbridge in the league.
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 City 2 Bishops Cleeve 1
Having surrendered leads in the final 8 minutes of their last three home matches it was Winchester's turn to score a late goal as they returned to winning ways with a 2-1 win against a Bishops Cleeve side who although bottom of the table had showed improved form in recent weeks.
Winchester made two changes to the starting line-up from Saturday's game at Cinderford with Rob Flooks replacing the suspended Josh Harfield in central defence and I K Hill replacing Dan King who was on the bench with Andy Jenkinson filling the left back role.
Winchester started brightly with Pat Cox having a shot deflected for a corner having been set up by Oli Bailey. Andy Jenkinson also had a free kick saved while Bailey also came close himself. At the other end Ryan Pryce had to save a low shot from away captain Elliot Kennedy.
Winchester however took the lead in the 13th minute when Bailey broke clear and made no mistake.
A god run by I K Hill ended up with the Bishops Cleeve goalkeeper saving with his legs as Winchester continued to dominate even though they lost Ben Williamson to injury with Adam Tomasso filling the right back role.
However both sides were reduced to 10 men after 26 minutes when a challenge by Jack Watts resulted in Adam Tomasso reacting and both players receiving their marching orders. Tomasso's red card forced Winchester to reshuffle with I K Hill coming off and the left footed Dan King playing in the unfamiliar right back role.
Winchester still were creating the better chances with Pat Cox having one shot deflected for a corner and another effort over the crossbar, while Oli Bailey put in a cross that no-one was able to get a decisive touch to.
However suddenly at the end of the half Bishops Cleeve began to come into the game with Ryan Pryce blocking Charlie Pryce's effort, while Ben Hands had one powerful effort that was over the crossbar and the same player was also denied by a goal-line clearance by Jamie Barron with Pryce beaten.
The second half was end to end and Cox and Bailey had good chances to score a second. Howsever Joe Bates had on a couple of occasions cone close to levelling the scores scored at close range after a poor clearance which was becoming an increasing feature of the reshuffled Winchester defence.
The game remained very open with both teams having chances to score a second with Bailey and Cox having chances for Winchester and Kennedy coming the closest of all when his effort hit the post and the visitors had a few other well struck efforts that fortunately for Winchester were just off target.
It seemed that the game would finish 1-1, but in the final minute of added on time Winchester won a corner and Bailey got the all important touch from Carr's ball into the box.
Winchester who had a couple of youngsters on the bench travel to Yate on Saturday, and on the following Tuesday are at home to Swindon Supermarine.
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.