Bemerton Heath Harlequins 0-0 Winchester City
By Malcolm Clarke (compiled from twitter)
Winchester City moved closer to qualification for the quarter finals of the Hampshire Invitational Cup with a 0-0 draw with Bemerton Heath Harlequins. They only now need to avoid defeat in their final group[ match against a Brockenhurst team that have lost all three matches to ensure qualification. Even if they fail to do this results in Bemerton's final two games against Ringwood and New Milton would have to go against them.
Bemerton Heath Harlequins were at the end of the 2018/19 season relegated after 30 seasons of top flight Wessex League football, However towards the end of their relegation season they appointed former Winchester boss Ian Saunders as manager and Ian has previously won the Sydenhams Wessex League Division 1 and Premier League in successive seasons with Petersfield Town. The current chairman of Bemerton Steve Slade was player manager of the club at the beginning of their Wessex League career.
Winchester made six changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday's win against New Milton with Charlie Philpot and Danny King returning to the side, Rob Flooks making his first appearance of the season and Graham Purdy, Max Smith and Ollie Griggs who were substitutes on Tuesday starting on this occasion.
The first 20 minutes of the game was mostly confined to midfield, but Bemerton's Danny Finnigan came close to scoring when hr hit the cross bar with his effort. As the end of the first half progressed Winchester began to exert a degree of pressure and forced the home goalkeeper into action on a few occasions. A glancing header was just wide for the visitors, but Winchester had a great chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty, but Reece Rusher's spot kick was saved.
In the second half Dan Bradshaw hits the post with the ball then rebounding into the hands of the grateful goalkeeper. During the course of the second half Winchester bought on all five substitutes with Ryan Penny, Dan Williamson, Joe Hayward, Liam Callaghan and Alex Haynes entering the field of the play.
Much of the latter stages of the game was scrappy and lacking in fluency, but Winchester and Bemerton remain the two unbeaten teams in the group.
Winchester for whom Josh NcCormick, Dan Bradshaw and Ollie Balmer are their only players to start all three group games are at home to Brockenhurst on Friday in their final group game.
Winchester City 5-2 New Milton Town
By Malcolm Clarke
Winchester made it two wins out of two in the Hampshire Invitation Cup when they came from twice behind to beat New Milton 5-2. New Milton play in Wessex Division 1, but they had already beaten both Brockenhurst and Ringwood Town in this competition and won through four rounds of the F A Vase this season. The club playing at their current home of Fawcetts Field as the merged Lymington and New Milton won the Wessex Premier League and played in the Southern League. However since 2007 Lymington and New Milton have operated as two separate clubs.
Winchester made six changes to the starting line-up from the win against Ringwood the previous Tuesday with goalkeeper Ryan Pryce and central defender Kieran Douglas coming into the team and Ryan Penny, Dan Williamson, Alex Haynes and Reece Rusher also included with Tom Bragg, Max Smith, Liam Callaghan and Ollie Griggs who started against Ringwood on the bench.
They fell behind in the 10th minute when Scott Sampson scored from close range. They came close to levelling the scores when Ollie Balmer had an effort cleared off the line, but they did draw level when Simba Mlambo scored with a header, but Scott Sampson with his second goal of the game restored New Milton's lead before the interval.
Winchester bought on all five substitutes at the interval and midway through the game's second period a New Milton player scores an own goal with Simba Mlambo in close proximity. Winchester made it 3-2 with quarter of an hour remaining when Tom Bragg scored with a bullet like header. Their cause was also helped when New Milton's George Richardson son of local footballing legend Taffy Richardson (the captain of Wimborne's 1992 F A Vase winning team) was sent to the sin bin.
With nine minutes to play good work by Ollie Balmer and Ollie Griggs set up Max Smith to score from the edge of the box and an excellent individual goal by Josh McCormick made it 5-2.
Winchester City 0-1 Evesham
Disappointing result but without Max and Dan who have been integral that was a blow, however against a direct side who smashed it forward at every opportunity on a very bobbly pitch we didn’t produce the sort of stuff we have been, credit to them for getting the goal and preventing us playing! Even their goal came courtesy of an horrific bobble meaning Kinger missed his clearance allowing a tap in, unfortunate in the extreme.
They had a few chances on the break and Charlie made a few good stops but in truth it was wave after wave of us and we couldn’t get the equaliser. Also a couple of stone wall pens not given.
In the end it’s a loss but the efforts from the lads has been sensational, I believe in our style of playing and I wouldn’t want to put out a side to attempt to play any other way, we will win more than we lose but we have to sometimes win an ugly game like today if we want to be a really good side.
Work in progress!
Up the citizens
AFC Totton 1-2 Winchester City
his group of players are the very best I could wish for, budgets on display elsewhere dwarf anything we have, by a long way, however the spirit, togetherness and style that they do it with is a joy!
It means nothing to be 9 from 9 including away wins at melksham and totton who were both pre start favourites, is outstanding, but we can sit back and enjoy them results.
Some of the displays truly outstanding, will pick a couple out, Balmer and McCormick, both of which deemed surplus to requirements to our opponents when they were blackfield! We bring them in, work with them and shine them up a bit, develop them in areas and give them a platform to go and play! Whole display a different class though in all aspects football wise when 11v11 we played great stuff and the resilience when down to 10 incredible.
Well done boys, we are counting the cost now though with knocks, hope Dan Bradshaw can be back soon following his head injury, he has been superb with Max so far, Griggsy to come on and slide home the winner though says it all about the group.
Up the winch! Hope you all enjoy the win, you all deserve it as we do things with a class as a club that I am very proud of, more and more things that you experience at places like today shows that in an abundance.
Bath City 3-2 Winchester City
Couldn’t be prouder of that group of players and staff trudging home after completely going toe to toe with a side who were play offs at step 2 last season away from home!
A hardy few committee members only able to witness it, I hope that some who were able to witness it can give their view. Absolutely went for the win, not just to sit and get rolled over.
Well done boys, unbelievable group of people let alone very talented and care about the squad and pride in the shirt they wear!
Outstanding Saturday, simply outstanding, tonight for long spells extremely poor in comparison, albeit if we didn’t give them a super sloppy goal at 3-0 up we would have gone on and scored a few more I think, we gave them a lifeline! They didn’t create anything with quality but with long balls and sheer effort which deserves respect and that’s why games against lower opposition is very hard.
Still 3 wins from 3 games, 2 vital prize money wins and we roll on. 2 sides in our league went out to sides in Clevedons league tonight, them games are always banana skins but we got the job done.
Delighted for the whole club. Up the citizens!