U.S. Portsmouth (1 - 2) Win City
Winchester City faced a potentially difficult second round Wessex League Cup tie away to Division 1 US Pompey at the Victory Stadium, HMS Temeraire in Portsmouth on Tuesday 6th January 2014. Whether it was the huge empty stadium (City supporters outnumbered the home by 5 to 1 and there were only three or four home supporters!) or the week's layoff due to bad weather, but City failed to find form but edged home in the last few minutes.
There was very little excitement for the first quarter of an hour with neither side looking likely to score. Micky Hubbard, for City, shot wide when well placed and Zack Glasspool created space for Mike McEnery but he fell over before getting his shot in.
It was Glasspool in the 20th minute who broke the deadlock when he shot home from close range after US Portsmouth made a hash of clearing their box.
The goal gave City the initiative and they gradually won control of the game. Glasspool was the provider and sent Warren Bentley away into the box, he turned the full back and chipped the 'keeper but unfortunately the ball drifted wide.
Ryan Holloway got through a lot of work on the flanks but could not produce the 'killer' pass into the box.
Although City had all the play it was US Pompey who scored next. In a similar scenario to City's goal, the defence failed to clear an attack, with Luke Dempsey, Dominic Cope and Stuart Green all having clearances intercepted and as the ball was pumped back into the box Callum Casson had the misfortune to slice the ball into his own net (32nd minute).
Just before half time City 'keeper Gareth Barfoot made a good diving save to prevent the Sailors taking the lead.
City dominated play in the second half but failed to convert their chances. A good run by McEnery saw him feed the ball to Bentley but his shot was wide and then Charlie Smeeton crossed for McEnery but he put his shot over the bar.
With City making little progress Manager Paul Masters made three changes between the 55th and 70th minutes, replacing Casson, McEnery and Holloway with John Borg, Adam Roberts and Geoff Dunn.
A useful shout by Assistant managerGlenn Burnett advising Dominic Cope to come up for a corner paid dividends in the 75th minute when he headed City into the lead.
City could have sealed the victory more emphatically late in the game when Smeeton put a shot just wide and Hubbard crashed a shot against the post.
City: Gareth Barfoot, Ryan Holloway, Callum Casson, Stuart Green, Luke Dempsey, Dominic Cope, Mike McEnery, Micky Hubbard, Zach Glasspool, Warren Bentley, Charlie Smeeton, Adam Roberts, John Borg, Adam Tomasso and Geoff Dunn.