Win City (6 - 0) Bemerton HH
Winchester City 6 Bemerton Heath Harlequins 0
After a miserable week City bounced back on Saturday 7th February 2015 to pull themselves back into the promotion hunt. Facing Bemerton Heath Harlequins at home, Manager Paul Masters did not make wholesale changes after two poor games but stuck with his squad and his confidence in his players paid off with the added bonus that all the clubs around City in the league lost.
City went ahead after ten minutes when a shot from Micky Hubbard was not cleared. Warren Bentley picked up the rebound and hit a shot from outside the box into the back of the net. From then on City dominated the match with Bemerton showing some promising attacks but coming up against City's best defensive display in a long while.
The new pairing of Hubbard and Jaimie Thoroughgood at the back and the return of Luke Dempsey to the defence certainly gave Bemerton very few chances and gave much wanted protection to 'keeper Gareth Barfoot which has been missing recently.
As City pressed Zak Glasspool put in a run but his shot went just wide and then Geoff Dunn worked the ball down the flank for a corner. Hubbard took the kick to Jaime Thoroughgood who put his header over the bar.
At the other end Barfoot was called into action when Bemerton's Scott Joyce had a good chance but the 'keeper made a diving save.
Adam Tomasso made a penetrating run into the box and beat the 'keeper from the bye-line and after two attempts to clear and at their 'keeper's instructed 'hooked it way'.
From this clearance Bemerton's Jack Evans tested Barfoot but again he turned a goal-bound shot away.
Geoff Dunn looked to put City further in the lead but as he shaped to shoot he stumbled and the chance was lost. Winchester went two-up in the 28th minute and it was Dunn who set it up. He left a couple of defenders flaying in his wake before squaring from the goal line for Bentley to slam home.
Tomasso looked to have won a penalty just before half time when he was pushed in the box going for a high ball teed-up by Bentley but the Referee waived aside the appeal.
In the 45th minute Bemerton had another chance to get back into the game but Aaron Cook put his header well wide.
Only three minutes into the second half, City went further ahead when Glasspool floated in a corner and Cope somehow bundled it home through a pack penalty area.
Glasspool was soon in action again putting in a cross which was headed wide by Bentley. Winchester were not to be thwarted, however, and Chris Mason chipped the ball into the path of Dunn who headed goal number four.
Dunn wrapped up the points in the 65th minute when he tapped the ball across the line after shots from Taz Roberts and Tomasso were blocked.
With the game won, the Manager gave Roberts a rest replacing him with Charlie Smeeton in the 70th minute and in the 78th minute Danilo Cadete came on in place of Dunn. The two newcomers, gave Bemerton a lot of trouble from the flanks as City decided not to settle for what they had already got.
Liam Robertson came on in the 81st minute for Mason and he added fresh legs to an already rampant forward line. Cadete from the right gave Bentley the chance of a hat trick but the 'keeper saved well and then Smeeton hit the crossbar in the next attack.
Cadete missed a good chance as the Referee was looking at his watch but the game was not over. In the next attack he created a chance for Bentley but again his shot was pushed away falling to Robertson on the edge of the box and he hit a screamer to bring up the sixth goal. There was not enough time for Bemerton to kick off before the final whistle.
Whilst the spotlight was on the strikers a lot of credit must go to the defence and midfield. Tomasso and Cope joined the attack but also defended well, Hubbard, Thoroughgood and Dempsey were imperious, especially in the air and moved up when not under pressure and Mason was at his usual creative best on the edge of the box.
City: Gareth Barfoot, Adam Tomasso, Micky Hubbard, Jaime Thoroughgood, Luke Dempsey, Adam Roberts, Chris Mason, Zack Glasspool, warren Bentley, Geoff Dunn, Charlie Smeeton, Callum Casson, Danilo Cadete, Ryan Holloway and Liam Robinson.