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Slimbridge 1 Winchester City 2

on Sun 8 Mar

Winchester completed their second double of the season in the same week that they completed the first and moved back into fourth position in the table as they won 2-1` at Slimbridge.

Slimbridge located in the Cam and Dursley area of Gloucestershire are currently in mid-table, but since they came from behind four times in the F A Trophy tie last season to win on penalties Winchester have won all four league matches between the clubs.

With Rob Carr injured, Pat Cox ill, Dan Williamson working and Keith Emmerson only fit enough to take a place on the bench Winchester were only able to name three substitutes, one of whom was 16 year old Lawson Bright, I K Hill and Joe Hayward who came on as substitute against Moneyfields were in the starting line-up on this occasion, while Liam Gilbert came into the midfield with Craig Davis dropping back to centre back, Simba Mlambo was available again and he was one of the three substitutes.

Apart from Slimbridge having one shot that was not too far off target there was not very much goalmouth action in the first 10 minutes, but Winchester took the lead in the 12th minute when I K Hill set up Oli Bailey who scored with an excellently struck effort,. Although Slimbridge had a spell when they forced successive corners Winchester were generally defending well and ensuring that the only saves that goalkeeper Ryan Pryce had to make were of a routine nature. Winchester were winning a lot of the 50-50 balls and in the game's first period looked more likely to score the game's next goal. Oli Bailey whose pace was always a threat to the home team hit the side netting and also tried a lob which unfortunately for him the wind which was a feature of the game throughout helped to ensure the effect was off target.

In the second half Slimbridge had at least two free kicks in dangerous positions and from one of these Ryan Pryce did well to tip an effort from Soloman Wanjau-Smith away at the expense of a corner, but Winchester always looked dangerous as an attacking force and even with the wind proving a challenge they were switching the play well and using the pace they had in attack to good effect.

Winchester made it 2-0 midway through the second half when Kieran Douglas headed home a corner from Jamie Barron with the ball going in off the cross bar. Winchester for the most part were looking solid at the back and were breaking up the home team's attacks well and they had bought on Mlambo and Bright as second half substitutes. However in the 86th minute they did fail to clear their lines and Will Hawes was on hand to score at close range.

With both Joe Hayward and Kieran Douglas receiving treatment in the game's second half there was always going to be a few minutes added on at the end of the game and this amounted to six minutes. Slimbridge had introduced all three substitutes and it was a nervy finale for Winchester especially with the home team's habit of scoring late goals in this fixture, but Winchester were able to see out the remainder of the game and obtain three much needed points.

Slimbridge were in action for the first time in four weeks, but the pitch looked in good condition with a lot of work being done to remove water from it the previous weekend. They appeared to have a good spirit with all of their players staying behind for more than an hour after the game and helping to move tables for an event at the club later that evening.

The wind though was undoubtedly a factor in this match and one Ryan Pryce clearance had to be handled with care by his opposite number.






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