Thatcham 1 Winchester 1
Winchester obtained their second successive draw having taken the lead when they were held 1-1 by Thatcham who are managed by former Winchester boss Danny Robinson and are the club where Lawrie Sanchez scorer of the winning goal in the 1988 F A Cup final began his playing career.
Winchester made two changes to the starting line-up from the previous Saturday with Craig Davis coming in for his first start of the season in place of the injured Liam Gilbert and fit again Danny King replacing Jake Rawkins who dropped to the bench. Oli Bailey was sitting an exam in Exeter on the morning of the match, but commendably drove all the way to be there just before the start of the games, but in the circumstances had to be named on the substitutes bench.
For Thatcham who are in the lower half of the table despite having won as many league games as they have lost two notable players were returning from injury were on the substitutes bench in Tom Melledew who captained their F A Vase winning team of the previous year and Lewis Coyle who scored important goals for Kidlington against Winchester last season.
Early on Thatcham's Tom Moran had an effort blocked with James Tennant hitting the follow up shot wide. TennantMoran was then only inches away to getting a touch to a Josh Helmore cross that went across the goal. Pryce then made a good save from Tennant with the follow up resulting in a corner being conceded. At the other end Tyrell Mitford had an effort blocked. Thatcham then thought they had grounds for a penalty following a race to the ball in the box, but neither Winchester or the referee thought so,
Winchester took the lead in the 38th minute when Rob Carr set up Jamie Barron to score.
In the second half Joe Hayward set up Barron who shot over, while it was then the turn of Simba Mlambo to set up Tyrell Mitford, but again the effort was off target. However the best chance undoubtedly fell to Mlambo who was clean through, but shot narrowly wide. At the other end an effort from George Jeacock was deflected into the side netting, while the long throws of Curtis Angell who is related to former football league striker were always a danger even if Winchester generally dealt with them well.
Jeacock was replaced by Conor Lynch and soon after coming on following another of Angell's throws resulted in the ball being played into the box and the substitute scored at close range with 10 minutes remaining.
Winchester by this stage had introduced Bailey and Rawkins as second half substitutes for Mitford and King and after the equalizer both teams had half chances with Winchester having one free kick just outside the area following a foul on Oli Bailey who headed the ball more often than one would expect for whom pace is his main asset. However nothing came from it and overall a draw was probably a fair result.
The crowd of over 200 included a sizeable contingent from Winchester and for me personally it was good to renew acquaintances with several Thatcham committee members who have served their club loyally over a number of years.
On Saturday Wiunchester are away to Paulton Rovers.