Wimborne Town 5 - 6 Winchester City
If you thought City's first match in the Southern League was exciting you should have been at Cuthbury Park, Wimborne, on Tuesday 11th August. One down in two minutes,, City were level within ten minutes and ahead in 11th and never lost the lead despite a further eight goals being scored!
City were caught cold as Wimborne started well and in the their first attack of the game Carl Preston fired home after a run into the box.
Winchester were back on even terms in the 10th minute, Jaimie Barron worked his way into the box and thundered a shot past the advancing 'keeper. They took the lead in the 11th minute when George Short rolled a measured pass into the path of Warren Bentley and he completed the move with a well placed left footer.
City continued to play attacking football with Geoff Dunn particularly dangerous on the right flank.
City were caught again when Zack Glasspool deep in the Wimborne half mis-hit a return pass which fell to James Stokoe and he ran straight at the City goal beating 'keeper Sam Sommerville with an angled shot (15th minute).
Back on even terms, Wimborne seemed the have settled but in the 24th minute George Short collected a clearance lob from the City penalty area and hit a first timer from the edge of the Wimborne box which took a feint deflection wrong footing 'keeper Jason Harvell to put City in the lead again.
The home side battled back and equalised in the 38th minute when ex-City striker Mark Gamble intercepted a weak back pass by Leigh Mills and rounded Sommerville to roll the ball home.
Dan Cann tried to get into the scoring act but hit the side netting after being set-up by Jake Newton.
Bentley turned up the pressure when in the 44th minute he executed a beautiful turn and shot to score his second gaol and a minute into injury time he complete his hat trick when Glasspool worked hard to slip the ball to Barron, who in turn created space to give Bentley and easy knock in.
With City going in 5-3 ahead at half time, supporters of both sides thought they had seen all the excitement of the match in one half – they were wrong!
The game looked to have turned in the 57th minute when Adam Tomasso was judged to have handled the ball on the goal-line by the Referee. He was given a straight red-card and Gamble converted the spot kick to put Wimborne only one goal behind.
Down to ten men, City had to reorganise and try and hang on to their slender lead. Short was replaced by Liam Gilbert, and Dunn was replaced by Danny King in the 60th minute. The result was that City were pushed back and Newton, Mills, Robert Flooks and Barron hardly crossed the half way line and Bentley was often deep in his own half helping the defence. The changes, however, were working and Wimborne failed to find the goal they needed.
Assistant Manager Paul Wiltshire made his last change in the 75th minute and this proved to be a winning move. Glasspool by now a lone striker was taken off to be replaced by Adam Roberts who soon created problems for Wimborne with his speed down the flank.
It was Roberts who created the killer blow, he outpaced the full back, jinxed into the box and slipped the ball to Bentley rounded the 'keeper to slot home City's sixth goal.
The tensions was soon back on, however, when in the 83rd minute Gamble reduced the home side's arrears but a fighting performance from City made sure of the points.
City: Sam Sommerville, Adam Tomasso, Jake Newton, George Short, Leigh Mills, Robert Flooks, Geoff Dunn, Jaimie Barron, Zach Glassspool, Warren Bentley, Dan Cann, Liam Gilbert, Luke Benali, Adam Roberts, Danny King and Matthew Benham