City back with a share of the spoils
Winchester City FC played their first game since Mid-March in sweltering hot conditions in a covid-secure behind closed doors pre-season friendly at Ringwood Town, writes Matt Richbell. Both sides netted a goal in each half with the final score ending up 2-2.
City Manager, Craig Davis, fielded two entirely different sides in each half, with a large reliance on trialists as City were without regulars Ryan Pryce, Joe Hayward, Max Smith, Rob Carr, Simba Mlambo, Reece Rusher and Dan Williamson.
There was a slow pace to the opening exchanges with both sides finding their feet again after a lengthy break without football and in energy-sapping conditions.
Kieran Douglas had a chance to put City ahead, but his header from a Jamie Barron corner went wide. New signing from AFC Totton, Liam Callaghan, sent a dangerous ball into the box shortly afterwards, which Billy Connor almost connected with, and this near miss impaired Josh McCormick's site of the ball, so when it did make its way through to him, he fired over the bar.
McCormick came close once again, when he saw his near post effort saved by the Ringwood keeper. From the resulting Jamie Barron corner, Kieran Douglas headed home past the helpless keeper to put City ahead. The lead was shortlived however and shortly before half-time, Ringwood equalised after rounding Charlie Philpott in the City goal.
The second-half commenced with City having made eleven changes. One of those changes, experienced midfielder, Liam Gilbert, came close on 57 minutes, when his low effort was saved. 60 seconds later and City had restored their lead, when Olly Balmer capitalised on a defensive error to score. Young forward, Ewan Haylor, came close to extending City's lead, but his low effort went wide.
As City appeared to be heading for a win to commence their pre-season, Ringwood levelled with virtually the last kick, a curling effort from the edge of the box.
City travel to Fareham Town on Tuesday night before a lunchtime kick-off at Bedfont Sports next weekend as their pre-season gathers momentum.