Winchester 3 Cirencester 0
Having lost all of the six league matches they have played against Cirencester Winchester stopped the rot and in doing so reached the 4th qualifying round of the F A Cup for the first time for 64 years. Cirencester had in their previous three F A Cup ties scored 15 goals and conceded none, although all of their previous opponents had been from a lower division. Ben Whitehead had scored seven of these goals.
Winchester made three changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday's F A Trophy tie with Slimbridge with Rob Carr whose work commitments in addition to his honeymoon preventing from him playing up to now, Simba Mlambo and Sam Roberts coming in for the suspended Jamie Barron, the injured Connor Cocklin and Matt Benham who was cup tied.
Winchester however made a dream start when in the second minute they were awarded a free kick which was taken by Reece Rusher which resulted in the Cirencester goalkeeper not being able to hold on to the ball with Rob Carr following up to score with virtually his first kick of the season. Mlambo then had a shot deflected for a corner, but it became 2-0 when Tyrell Mitford put Nlambo clean through and he made no mistake.
Ben Whitehead then shot over, but in general the Winchester defence were doing a good job at closing down the prolific Whitehead and Alan Griffin, the latter being the younger brother of Cirencester manager Charlie and if anything the home team looked more likely to score the next goal in the remainder of the half with Rusher who played with considerable energy and determination throughout having an effort deflected for a corner, and Mitford also having a chance, but shooting over.
One expected a second half onslaught from Cirencester and an effort by Whitehead hit the top of the cross bar and substitute Jordan Morris put in a couple of dangerous crosses on the left hand side.
The home side's task was made even more difficult when Michael Pook received a straight red card for a challenge on Reece Rusher. A good block denied Mlambo at the expense of a corner. However despite being reduced to 10 men Cirencester tried hard to get back into the game and Whitehead forced a save from Pryce and Morris also came close.
Winchester bought on Liam Gilbert and Oli Bailey returning from injury as substitutes and having been under some pressure came more into the game and in added on time Bailey broke clear and was fouled leaving Joe Hayward to convert the resulting penalty.
This made the game safe and in a difficult week for the club with the death of Life President Terry Bone an excellent team performance earned them a trip to Torquay in the next round.
As a result of being out of the F A Trophy they have no game on Saturday, but are away to Cirencester on Tuesday week.