Melksham Town 1-2 Winchester City

Cirencester 2 Winchester City 1

on Tue 18 Feb

Winchester's attempt to reach the final of the league cup ended in disappointment as they lost 2-1 to Cirencester who won the tie with a late winner and now face Chesham United in the two legged final. Cirencester earlier in the season bought in John Brough as manager and John is experienced at this level having won the league with Cinderford. Nevertheless it was disappointing for Winchester who are now out of all cup competitions.

Winchester who had beaten Farnborough, Thatcham, Sholing and Paulton Rovers in the competition to reach the semi finals while scoring 13 goals and conceding none in the process were up against a Cirencester team who had beaten Wantage, Yate, Redditch and Frome to reach this stage, for a place in the league cup final.

The Winchester team showed two changes to the starting line-up from the team that had played at Cinderford 10 days ago. Ollie Balmer came in for Liam Gilbert, while Harry Birchnall was in goal with Ryan Pryce on the substitutes bench.

In the 4th minute a good team move saw Ross Gabriel give the home team the lead. However in the 18th minute Winchester's Oli Bailey forced a good save from Cirencester's former Salisbury goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer, while two minutes after this Birchnall had to save a deflected shot from Lewis Thompson.

Winchester however did draw level in the 29th minute when Rob Carr's low shot crept in and Winchester almost took the lead seven minutes later when Dan Williamson forced a good save at the expense of a corner from which a header from Kieran Douglas hit the bar and Oli Bailey's follow up shot was cleared off the line. Cirencester also had a\ good chance at the end of the half that went wide, but it was still 1-1 at the interval.

Both teams made substitutions early in the second half with Max Smith coming on for Winchester, but although Will Wellon came close with a volley and Oli Bailey had a header saved the first period of the second half was fairly quiet.

Substitute Tommy Anderson made a good run and cross which no-one could on the end off and fellow substitute Levi Irving had a header just wide, while at the other end Olly Balmer had a free kick saved,

Another Cirencester substitute John Dennis came close to scoring, but with three minutes to go a fierce drive from Anderson gave Cirencester the lead and although Winchester bought on I K Hill for Balmer this proved to be the winner.

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