Thatcham 2 Winchester City 1
Winchester ended 2019 with a 2-1 defeat to leaders Thatcham Town with all three goals coming
in a 10minute spell either side of half time. The result pushes Winchester down to fifth in the table, but they will move above Evesham if they win their games in hand. Prior to this encounter Winchester had played seven league games at Thatcham's ground and won four, drawn two and lost one, and earlier in the season Winchester beat THatcham 4-0 in the league cup, but it is fair to say that both teams were not completely at full strength for that fixture.
Thatcham founder members of both the Hellenic and Wessex Leagues are the club where Lawrie Sanchez scorer of Wimbledon's winning goal in the 1988 F A Cup final are the club began his career and are now managed by Danny Robinson who previously managed Winchester City. Winchester made one change to the starting line-p from the Willand match with Liam Gilbert coming in for Max Smith.
The early stages of the game were fairly even, although Thatcham had the better chances with George Jeacock hitting the bar with a header in the 10th minute, Jeacock having a free kick well saved by Ryan Pryce and Barder shooting just over. Winchester had a free kick in a good positionearly on, but it did not come to anything.
Thatcham took the lead one minute before the interval with Curtis Angell playing at Full back
putting away a deflected Jeacock shot at the far post. Angell is in fact related to former Everton striker Brett Angell and his long throws are often a threat to opposing teams. Winchester however came close to levelling a minute later when a free kick from Jamie Barron eluded everyone, but they trailed 1-0 at the interval.
Winchester however started the second half brightly and three minutes into the half they drew level when Rob Carr scored with a low shot. Three minutes later Jeacock hits the post, but Winchester's reprieve is short lived when a minute later Kyle Tooze restores Thatcham's lead with a deflected shot.
Barder goes close for Thatcham, but following a corner midway through the half Winchester had a chance, but Kieran Douglas headed wide. By the latter stages of the second half Winchester have introduced Oli Bailey, I K Hill and Dan Williamson replacing Liam Gilbert, Rob Carr and Joe Hayward.
It requires a goal-line clearance from substitute Adam Kelly who had only been on the field four minutes to keep out another Kieran Douglas header, and Paul Strudl;ey in the Thatcham goal having to make a couple of saves to keep Winchester out in the latter stages, although despite the away side's pressing Thatcham still looked dangerous on the break and they were able to complete the win which consolidates their position at the top half of the table. Generally though Winchester can be pleased with their league campaign to date especially having played 10 of their 16 league games away from home