Thame United 3 Winchester City 2
Winchester went out of the second cup competition in 4 days as they lost 3-2 in the F A Trophy at Thame United The clubs had met before in the competition in 2019/20 when Thame won after a replay. Thame play in the Southern League Division 1 Central and after a slow start have won their last two games.
Winchester themselves made two changes to the starting line-up from the league game at AFC Totton with Rob Flooks replacing Joe Hayward and Charlie Philpott returning in goal, with the seven substitutes including Tyrell Mitford who in midweek scored six goals for the club's under 23 team in a 10-0 victory against Clanfield (Hampshire) and substitute goalkeeper Ryan Pryce.
Thame play at a stadium that they moved to in 2011 and which has good youth and community facilities, but the match only attracted a crowd of 66. Winchester however organised a coach for the match and their supporters that were present were in good voice.
The match itself had a s,low start with neither goalkeeper really tested in the first quarter of an hour, and with everything in the 10 minutes following bring comfortably dealt with it required three goals in a 11 minute period to bring the game to life. Firstly in the 25th minute Ryan Blake whose pace was a threat to Winchester all afternoon and who is best remembered by some as the player who scored the winning goal for Chesham United against Bristol Rovers in the F A Cup in 2015 rounded Charlie Philpott in the Winchester goal after being set up by Lynton Goss. Shortly afterwards Craig Hill in the Thame goal made an excellent save to deny Jamie Barron.
However in the 34thminute it was 2-0 when Goss put Blake through and he slotted home for his second. Winchester however pulled a goal back in the 37th minute when Kieran Douglas headed home following a free kick. Before half time Josh McCormick came close following a free kick, but Winchester went into half time one goal down.
Early in the second half Danny King who appeared to be given a more forward role on the left hand side at the start of the half put in a couple of crosses, one of which no-one could quite get a decisive touch to and the other Craig Feeney was able to reach, but was not quite able to get a direct goalwards with a powerful shot.
Thame however scored their third in the 64th minute when following excellent approach work with Lynton Goss once again involved Dan West produced an excellent finish. Winchester however scored another good goal six minutes later when following an excellent team move Simba Mlambo headed home.
After the fifth goal of the game the match became very end to end and both teams had chances to score. Greg Hackett came close to scoring for Thame on three occasions, and in one goalmouth scramble it required excellent blocks by the Winchester defenders to keep the home team out.
At the other end Josh McCormick who it seems was now playing further forward on the left hand side put in another cross that eluded everyone. Winchester were also mounting other attacks which caused goalmouth scrambles and Thame were defending deeply, even if they still looked dangerous on the break with their pace up front, and at corners and free kicks in the Winchester half they were still leaving four or five players back.
Winchester had bought on Oli Bailey and Adam Grange as substitutes and in the closing moments Danny King launched a couple of long throws into the Thame box and the home team were certainly relieved when following these they were eventually able to clear their lines as they completed a victory which earns them a tie against Lymington Town in the next round.
Winchester have no game on Saturday as their original opponents Cirencester are in F A Cup action. The following Tuesday they are at home to Hartley Wintney in the league cup.