Cinderford 1 Winchester 2
Winchester showed great character in bouncing back from their disappointment at Highworth with a 2-1 win at Cinderford and came back from one goal behind to earn the three points. It was their first ever win at Cinderford's ground in seven attempts as although they have previously achieved three wins against Cinderford, all of these were at Winchester's ground.
Certainly Cinderford's ground has not been a particularly happy hunting ground for Winchester in the past with three draws and three losses from six previous visits and last season Cinderford did the double over Winchester for the first time.. In the most recent of these three draws at Cinderford's ground the stalemate earned Cinderford a playoff place at Winchester's expense.
At the start of the current season Cinderford appointed Steve Cleal who had been in charge of Bishops Cleeve for six years as manager and he replaces Paul Michael who has taken over at Yate..
They have made a few signings in recent weeks, but have been rebuilding the team from last season. However it is no mean achievement to come here in midweek with not everyone available and return with three points.
Cinderford went into this match with 2 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses from 6 league games, but are one of eight sides from this decision to progress in the F A Trophy. and they play Bracknell in this competition on Saturday. In the F A Cup though after beating Brimscombe and Thrupp they will have been disappointed to lose 6-5 on penalties to Wootton Bassett having been 2-0 ahead in the actual game.
Winchester made two changes to the starting line-up from Saturday with Joe Hayward and Reece Rusher who both came on as substitute at Highworth coming in. Josh Davies who Hayward replaced dropped to the bench, with Rob Carr whom Rusher replaced not among the four Winchester substitutes.
Early ont the Cinderford goalkeeper had to make good saves from Ollie Balmer and Tyrell Mitford, but it was then Charlie Philpot's turn to make a good save. However iin the 14th minute Cinderford took the lead as a result of a well struck shot from Kieran Alder that went in off the cross bar.
Winchester however drew level on the half hour with Ollie Balmer scoring from a free kick after Tyrell Mitford was fouled. Balmer then set up Rusher whose effort was wide as was an attempt by a Cinderford player later in the half. Before half time a good run by Josh McCormick is stopped at the expense of a free kick, but it remains 1-1 at the interval..
In the opening 10 minutes of the half both goalkeepers made good saves with Winchester's Danny King being denied, but 11 minutes into the half a header from Robbie Flooks gave Winchester the lead.
Ollie Balmer twice came close to increasing Winchester's lead having one shot just wide and another shot saved.
Winchester made three substitutions bringing in Kel Akpobire in for his first appearance of the season and they also replaced Dan Bradshaw with Ollie Griggs and Dan Williamson for Reece Rusher. Goalscorer Robbie Flooks then made a contribution at the other end of the pitch by clearing one effort off the line as Winchester completed a great victory.