Winchester City 1-3 CirencesterTown




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Winchester 4 Sholing 0

on Wed 8 Jan

Winchester's attempt to reach the quarter finals of this competition having already beaten Farnborough and Thatcham was successful as they put four goals past Sholing without reply and in the next round will play away to Paulton Rovers with other teams through being Cirencester, Frome, Hendon, Chesham United, Needham Market and Coalville Town, with three of the other quarter finalists also in the Division 1 South, two in the Central Premier and two in the South Premier.

Winchester made seven changes to the starting line-up from Saturday with only Dan Williamson, captain for the night Joe Hayward, Ollie Balmer and Luke King maintaining their places and Balmer was originally named as substitute, but Kieran Douglas another of Saturday's starters injuring himself in the warm-up. This injury meant that Joe Hayward reverted to centre back and I K Hill to full back. Sholing who had won through three rounds to reach this stage of the competition had beaten Basingstoke 6-1 on this ground only three days ago rested two of their better players in Byron Mason and former Winchester captain Stuart Green both of whom were on the bench.

After Harry Birchnall made a good save early on following a header from a corner which was conceded when Dan Williamson made a good interception to deny Brad Targett, the first half was fairly even with both teams having half chances Winchester went ahead when Oli Bailey got a touch to Craig Davis's free kick and Bailey scored his second before the interval after being set up by Dom Panesar-Dower in a move also involving Davis. Winchester were playing some good football at this stage and Panesar-Dower hit the post, Balmer hit the top of the cross bar and Bailey had a shot saved.

Winchester continued to play well in the second half with the fringe players determined to put themselves in contention for a first team spot. They put together some good passing movements and made some crucial blocks at the other end, while they were also keeping Sholing's goalkeeper Ryan Gosney on his toes.

However as the second half entered its' second period Sholing began to apply some pressure and it was their turn to be denied by the woodwork, but fortunately for Winchester Birchnall made a couple of further good saves, tipping one effort over the bar.

A good piece of play by Panesar-Dower who had been lively throughout and had scored the winner in the league game between the two clubs earlier in the season, enabled him to score the third which put them very much in the driving seat, even if the Thame match in the F A Trophy reminded them that a three goal lead late in the game does not necessarily guarantee victory.

Winchester though introduced youngsters Ewan Haylor, Jordan Preston and Jacob Brown as substitutes in the second half and for these three youngsters and Birchnall and Jack Francis it was good experience and it was also a chance for the likes of Panesar-Dower, I K Hill and Ollie Griggs and Oli Bailey to get some valuable game time with experienced player manager Craig Davis on the field to guide them.

Haylor in particular made some excellent runs on the left hand side and from one of these he created the fourth goal for fellow substitute Preston to complete the victory,

Simba Mlambo was on the bench, but other regular first team squad members who did not play in this match such as Ryan Pryce, Keith Emmerson, Kieran Douglas, Jamie Barron and Dan King all came along to lend their support to their fellow players.






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