Alresford (2 - 4) Win City
North Hants Senior Cup Alresford Town 2 Winchester City 4
The last thing the City Managers wanted was a local derby cup game days before City's biggest FA Cup tie for many years but that is what they got on Tuesday 7th October 2014, away to Alresford Town, the cup holders, in the first round of the North Hants Senior Cup.
As a consequence of the circumstances Tim Cole and Danny Robinson fielded a mixed team of squad players and reserves and the lads on the pitch certainly came up to the mark. City started strongly but it was soon obvious that the team had never played together before with passes going astray, players running into space but not receiving the ball and a general lack of cohesion but as the match progressed they quickly became a team and totally dominated the second half.
City were the first to show early on and Adam Roberts set up Chris Manning but his shot was saved.
Alresford forced the first corner of the match which Ross Casey safely dealt with.
Winchester took the lead in the 21st minute when a move started by Liam Green resulted in Geoff Dun crossing and Rian Nima-Otero heading home completely unmarked.
It did not take Alresford long to get back on even terms, a long cross-field ball was not cut out and when it came into the box the City defence made a hash in clearing it and it fell to Dan Strange to knock home at the far post (30th).
The goal gave the home side a boost and they shaded the first half although only one shot came close, just rising over the bar.
With City under some pressure, they broke free and nearly doubled their score on the half time whistle when a knock down by Nima-Otero gave Callum Casson a chance but he skied over the bar.
City were a completely different side in the second half, completely dominating the game. Roberts put in an early cross and Geoff Dunn, when well placed, mis-kicked his shot. It was Roberts who created the second goal in the 53rd minute. He did well to control the ball in the box before slipping it to Manning who thumped it home.
Alresford came back again and hit the City side netting before the visitors went further ahead. A good run by Dunn saw him shoot from close range. The ball was headed off the line straight back to him and he cleverly lobbed it to Nima-Otero who finished (64th).
Five minutes later City had the game won when Roberts again created the chance and John Borg headed the goal.
Winchester made a triple substitution in the 72nd minute in order to give more of the squad a taste of first team football. Lee Hayes, Casson and Nima-Otero were withdrawn to be replace by Chris Herligh, Ryan Sanger and Zack Kaiser.
City could have gone further ahead in the 83rd minute when the ball came back off the bar and Sanger was presented with a 'sitter' but he put his shot wide.
Well into injury time Alresford scored a consolation when Casey came off his line but failed to collect the ball and Jack Hoey bundled home.
Winchester City: Ross Casey, Lee Hayes, Callum Casson, Liam Green, Ben Stanbrook, Michael Miller, Adam Roberts, Chris Manning, Geoff Dunn, Rian Nima-Otero, John Borg, Zack Kaiser, Chris Herligh, Ryan Sanger, Dominic Cope and Jason Collins.