Winchester City 2-0 Bashley
Professional job done tonight against a Bashley side who are going quite well in the top 6/8 in the Wessex league, very routine and comfortable 2-0 win to put us in the semi finals of the Southampton Snr Cup.
Player wise we left out IK (cup tied), Rob Carr, Gilly, Flooksy, Tyrell, Brett, myself and Kinger, bringing back Mark Fawley, Fabio and Ant Croucher who are all out on dual reg loan and have been doing well, also Graham Williams, Oli Bailey who have both been on the bench came into start, plus added 16 year olds Sam Tonks and Jack Francis who are both doing well in the youth/reserves!
Game was a little scrappy early on however we soon got a firm grip of the game and created several chances, we soon scored 2 goals with Oli Bailey getting both, the 1st after a great bit of work from Simba. Came in at half time 2-0 up and Prycey hadn’t made a save! 2nd half we basically kept them at arms length and ran out 2-0 winners without Prycey making any saves, against a half decent Bashley side after so many changes that was a good job done.
Pleasing nights work, attitude of the 1st team lads was spot on, loan players came back and performed very well, youngsters all played well, enjoyable nights work. All the beat to Bashley for rest of the season, lot of good people there who I wish the very best for.
For us now we have to prepare for a trip away to Paulton on Saturday, a game that we will need to be at our best for! We go there full of confidence though!
Up the citizens!
Thatcham Town 1-2 Winchester City
I am writing these notes fairly content after a point on the road against a thatcham side who were well fancied to do well this year, they are probably eyeing up the play offs themselves, difficult conditions with a very bobbly pitch, we also had a few injuries and issues, so despite leading 1-0 to get pegged back and pick up a point is a point gained in my eyes!
We had Liam Gilbert missing through injury, also Oli Bailey unable to get to the game until KO due to a University exam, plus Brett Cunningham was injured and not available, we were able to bring Kinger back into the side although he wasn’t fully fit, he is a crucial player for us and so he came back in, Rawks missing out. I came into central midfield for my first start of the season in the league.
Game started with a fairly strong wind in their favour, they were penning us in with long balls and gaining throw ins and free kicks, it took us a while to get into the game although we looked quite solid. We started to get into the game and whilst it was hard to be free flowing due to the pitch, we played some nice football, none more so than the goal with a neat 3 man move on edge of the box ending with a nice flicked ball over from Rob Carr and Baz volleyed home well! Rest of the half was fairly end to end and we came in 1-0 up!
2nd half we started a bit slowly, then had a great spell with several chances, Simba 1 on 1 probably the best one which hit the outside of the post/side netting! Later in the half they started gaining territory more and again the barrage of throw ins we were defending well against a very big and physical side, eventually they levelled when a long throw dropped and was finished in the box, 1-1. After that we recovered well and didn’t allow them to get momentum and a free kick on edge of the box that looked like a possible pen and a couple of other breaks didn’t get us a goal, they didn’t really create anything either other than a couple more long throws, ending in a fairly deserved point each.
All in all pretty pleased with it, we have an extremely thin squad and players playing with injuries, they are giving their all and I am proud of them!
We now have Bashley in the Soton Snr cup that we will take seriously, although there will be a lot of changes! Then more importantly a trip to Paulton next weekend to prepare for!
Big thanks to the supporters as always who were great! Have a good weekend everyone!
Up the citizens!
WCFC 2-2 Cinderford Town
I have to say in the end today I’m quite satisfied with a point, although obviously disappointing having gone 2-0 up, thing to bear in mind is once they score 1 and then 2 all the momentum is with them and it was tough after that, we had a go ourselves though and it could have gone either way, a decent point against a good side.
We welcomed back Rob Carr to the squad today, he wasn’t set to start however we had bad news in Danny King picking up an injury in the warm up, so we had to drop Rawks back to LB and brought Rob Carr in.
Game started with them enjoying a lot of possession, they played a narrow diamond and they outnumbered us in the middle of the pitch, with us pressing them as we normally do they kept finding pockets of space between us and this was causing us a problem! To combat that we adopted the same approach that we did at Merthyr and let them have it until they stepped into our half and then pressed hard and hit them with pace, this actually worked superbly well, they ran out of ideas a bit and we started getting the ball and hitting them on the counter, we got ahead through a Josh Harfield header, then had a great chance but Ty took too long and the chance went, we went in 1-0 up at the break.
2nd half started in a similar vein with us allowing them to play with it at the back, they started to go a lot longer though mixing it up a bit more, we dealt with that well and then Josh popped up with a fantastic strike on the volley to put us 2-0 up! Sadly we didn’t stay 2 ahead for long enough and a dubious free kick on their left was curled in 2-1. Not long after it was all level with a neat finish in the box, from there it gave them a huge lift and we needed to dig deep! To be fair they didn’t have a lot of chances apart from a spilled free kick Prycey managed to pull of a wonder save to keep it level, we also had a great chance in the last minute that we needed to do better with. In the end full time 2-2 and a fair result.
Credit to Cinderford who I thought were impressive, best side we have played this year so far in my view, however we dug in well and had a lot of players playing with injuries and this had an impact on us, so full credit to my lads for the effort and also adapting to the changes we made mid game so well!
We now have to recharge the batteries and patch up the injured lads, then we can train hard for another tough game away at Thatcham on a very poor surface over there, we very much look forward to the challenge though.
Have a good weekend!
Up the citizens!
Blackfield and Langley 0-4 Winchester City
Well a very happy new year to everyone!!! That was some way to break in the new year with a really emphatic win 4-0 away against the league leaders Blackfield, a side who had been very hard to break down this season, we produced a stunning performance and thoroughly deserved the result!
We went with the same squad as last weekend with Rob Carr still not recovered from his ankle injury, I made 1 change with skipper Jamie Barron coming in for Oli Bailey who dropped to the bench.
We absolutely dominated the 1st half and had them camped in their half for the majority of it, leaving Rudi Plummer totally isolated up front, we went ahead with Simba brought down for a pen that Ty despatched 1-0, we got a 2nd with Flooksy touching on Baz excellent corner 2-0, we had more chances but didn’t convert and came in 2-0 up.
2nd half they had the slight wind advantage and they made a couple of subs to get back in the game, we weathered the storm that we expected to come and got back on top, we made a couple of changes, 1 of which Brett Cunningham popped up with a great touch and finish 3-0 and then a 4th came with Simba a constant menace on the wing, travelled 30/40 yards and crossed for Ty to stoop and nod home for 4-0!
A brilliant result against a side who have been tearing the league apart, attitude and preparation of the players was exemplary and I am very proud of the way they performed today.
Now we have to get ready for another tough game against Cinderford who are having a very decent season and are above us at the minute, we will need to be at our best to get the result we want, we will be going into it full of confidence though.
Brilliant away support again from everyone, so pleased we could give you all so much to enjoy today! Happy new year and let’s hope 2019 can carry on in the style of today!!
Up the citizens!
Coach To Paulton Rovers - Saturday 19th January 2019
Coach to Highworth - Saturday 2nd February 2019
Coach to Evesham - Saturday 16th February 2019
Thatcham 1 Winchester 1
Winchester obtained their second successive draw having taken the lead when they were held 1-1 by Thatcham who are managed by former Winchester boss Danny Robinson and are the club where Lawrie Sanchez scorer of the winning goal in the 1988 F A Cup final began his playing career.
Winchester made two changes to the starting line-up from the previous Saturday with Craig Davis coming in for his first start of the season in place of the injured Liam Gilbert and fit again Danny King replacing Jake Rawkins who dropped to the bench. Oli Bailey was sitting an exam in Exeter on the morning of the match, but commendably drove all the way to be there just before the start of the games, but in the circumstances had to be named on the substitutes bench.
For Thatcham who are in the lower half of the table despite having won as many league games as they have lost two notable players were returning from injury were on the substitutes bench in Tom Melledew who captained their F A Vase winning team of the previous year and Lewis Coyle who scored important goals for Kidlington against Winchester last season.
Early on Thatcham's Tom Moran had an effort blocked with James Tennant hitting the follow up shot wide. TennantMoran was then only inches away to getting a touch to a Josh Helmore cross that went across the goal. Pryce then made a good save from Tennant with the follow up resulting in a corner being conceded. At the other end Tyrell Mitford had an effort blocked. Thatcham then thought they had grounds for a penalty following a race to the ball in the box, but neither Winchester or the referee thought so,
Winchester took the lead in the 38th minute when Rob Carr set up Jamie Barron to score.
In the second half Joe Hayward set up Barron who shot over, while it was then the turn of Simba Mlambo to set up Tyrell Mitford, but again the effort was off target. However the best chance undoubtedly fell to Mlambo who was clean through, but shot narrowly wide. At the other end an effort from George Jeacock was deflected into the side netting, while the long throws of Curtis Angell who is related to former football league striker were always a danger even if Winchester generally dealt with them well.
Jeacock was replaced by Conor Lynch and soon after coming on following another of Angell's throws resulted in the ball being played into the box and the substitute scored at close range with 10 minutes remaining.
Winchester by this stage had introduced Bailey and Rawkins as second half substitutes for Mitford and King and after the equalizer both teams had half chances with Winchester having one free kick just outside the area following a foul on Oli Bailey who headed the ball more often than one would expect for whom pace is his main asset. However nothing came from it and overall a draw was probably a fair result.
The crowd of over 200 included a sizeable contingent from Winchester and for me personally it was good to renew acquaintances with several Thatcham committee members who have served their club loyally over a number of years.
On Saturday Wiunchester are away to Paulton Rovers.
Winchester 2 Cinderford 2
For the fourth time in five matches between Winchester and Cinderford the match finished all square, with three two all draws out of four.
Cinderford are just below the playoff zone and just above Winchester in the table and bought a good band of supporters to the game which attracted a crowd of 194.
Danny King pulled up injured in the warm up having been originally named in the side which meant that Rob Carr came in, with Jake Rawkins moved to full back to accommodate this switch in an otherwise unchanged starting line-op from New Year's Day.
Early on Simba Mlambo made a good run, but his effort was wide and Winchester had other promising attacks, but probably the nearest we came to seeing a goal in the first 25 minutes of the game was when Josh Hunt's powerful header was just off target.
Captain Jamie Barron had an effort that Cinderford goalkeeper Alex Harris did well to tip over the bar for a corner in the 26th minute, but from the resulting corner Josh Harfield headed home to give his side the lead.
Dean MacDonald then had an effort blocked and in the follow up Josh Hunt hit the post. Tyrell Mitford then had a great chance to make it 2-0, but he took a bit too long and the visiting defence were able to get in a crucial block.
Ryan Pryce then did well to palm away a Dean MacGonald free kick early in the second half, but Winchester scored a second thanks to an excellently struck volley from just outside the area from Josh Harfield who scored his second goal of the game in the 57th minute. Winchester's two goal lead only lasted a minute as Dan MacDonald's free kick went directly in although there were bodies in the box looking to get a touch.
With their confidence boosted by this goal Cinderford who were a strong and powerful side had their tails up and Ryan Pryce had to save a powerful header from Josh Hunt and the pressure told when substitute James Harding who had only been on the pitch for a short while levelled the scores.
Cinderford looked the more likely team to score again, but Winchester defended doggedly and got in some crucial blocks and were also able to create chances of their own. Winchester also introduced Brett Cunningham, Oli Bailey and I K Hill as substitutes during the second half. Cinderford hit the top of the cross bar, forced Pryce to make a crucial save from a MacDonald free kick and an effort that went fractionally wide. At the other end Rob Carr's effort was blocked, Joe Cook shot over and another Josh Harfield header was deflected for a corner.
Although Cinderford shaded it, both teams played with great commitment and it can be very much argued that Winchester deserved a share of the spoils in a match in which several minutes of added on time was played at the end.
Winchester Reserves were beaten 3-2 by Hamble Reserves with Billy Connor scoring both of their goals and earlier in the week they beat Salisbury 4-3 with goals from I K Hill, Ant Croucher, Oli Bailey and Tom Allen having at one stage held a 4-0 lead.
Winchester are away to Thatcham on Saturday and are at home to Bashley in the Southampton Senior Cup on Tuesday week.
Blackfield and Langley 0 Winchester City 4
Having on the Saturday scored four goals in a league game without conceding for the first time in Craig Davis's time as manager of Winchester they repeated the achievement on New Year's Day and so made a good start to 2019 having also finished 2018 with a victory.
Blackfield who included in their ranks former Winchester players Lewis Noice and Adam Tomasso and went into this match top of the table having the previous season been promoted from the Sydenham's Essex League. However as a result of this defeat they surrendered top position.
Winchester welcomed back captain Jamie Barron to the starting line-up with Oli Bailey reverting to the role of substitute as the one change from Saturday.
After quarter of an hour a Jamie Barron free kick eluded everyone, but two minutes later a penalty was awarded for a foul on Simba Mlambo which Tyrell Mitford converted. Ryan Pryce made an important save to keep out the home team, while at the other end Liam Gilbert shot wide and Lewis Noice saved with his legs to deny Mlambo.
Ten minutes before half time Winchester score a second when Rob Flooks headed home a corner from Barron. Mlambo also came close to scoring as Winchester before the interval which came with Winchester having a two goal advantage.
In the second half Winchester made all three substitutions and nine minutes after coming on Brett Cunningham made it 3-0 with a shot into the bottom corner and two minutes later Mlambo sets up Mitford to score the fourth with a header. Almost immediately Mitford was taken off and replaced by Oli Bailey, but it is a great afternoon's work for Winchester.
Winchester 4 Mangotsfield 0
After two successive defeats Winchester returned to winning ways with a 4-0 home win against Mangotsfield. It represented only their third home league win of the season, but it pushed them back into the top half of the table, and enabled them to complete the double against the Bristol based club for the first time. It is also believed to be Craig Davis's most convincing league win as Winchester boss.
Winchester made one change to the starting line-up from Tuesday with Jamie Barron carrying an injury and reverting to the role of substitute. However Rob Flooks returned with Joe Cook taking on a midfield role in the absence of Barron and Dan King assuming the captaincy.
Early play was fairly uneventful although for the visitors Kyle Tooze had a powerful shot just off target. Winchester however took the lead when Simba Mlambo was fouled by Mangotsfield captain Chris Peck and Tyrell Mitford converted the resulting penalty. Kieran Hodges in the visitors goal did well to tip over a free kick from Mitford over the bar, while from Simba Mlambo's cross Oli Bailey was not quite able to direct his header goalwards. Liam Gilbert came close a couple of times and was influential in midfield, while at the other end Jordan Williams was not quite able to get a decisive touch to a cross from the right. An effort right at the end of the half flew across the Winchester goal.
With only a single goal ahead at the interval Winchester could not afford to relax and they made a few misplaced passes at the start of the half. They were grateful to Ryan Pryce for making an important save to deny Tooze and Joe Hayward also made a crucial block to keep out Daniel Demkiv.
Winchester bought on Olly Griggs for Oli Bailey in a tactical switch. The move was quickly followed by Winchester scoring a second following a good team move. This made the home team more comfortable and they looked the more likely to score again and the goal arrived when Mitford was put through and scored again. Mlambo also had a shot saved before Liam Gilbert completed the scoring with a spectacular strike that flew into the net by which time Winchester had used all three substitutes with I K Hill and Brett Cunningham coming on.
Winchester are away to Blackfield on Tuesday and at home to Cinderford on Saturday.
Dave Malone has now stood down as Director of football having seen the club through a difficult spell in the club's history.