Winchester City 1-3 CirencesterTown




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Winchester City 1 Willand Rovers 1

on Mon 25 Oct

By Malcolm Clarke

Winchester drew 1-1 with Willand Rovers in what was only the second Southern League meeting between the clubs. Willand went into this match with 4 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses from 9 league games and are one of nine clubs from this division still in the F A Trophy. THe previous encounter between the teams saw Winchester win 3-0 on this ground in 2019/20, but Willand have had many changes in playing personnel since then.

Winchester made one change to the starting line-up from Tuesday with Simba Mlambo replacing Oli Bailey who dropped to the bench, while Kieran Douglas made welcome return to the bench where he replaced Dab Bradshaw.

Early on Jamie Barron forced a save from the Willand goalkeeper, but in the 10th minute Wklland's Noah Coppin hit the post. Winchester though had a great chance to take the lead when Ollie Griggs put Ollie Balmer through, but he was fouled by the Willand goalkeeper. Balmer took the penalty himself., but his shot was saved and the follow up shot from Jamie Barron hit the cross bar.

After that both goalkeepers were called into action with George Burton in the Willand goal saving from Josh McCormick and Louis Jagger-Cane and Rhys Thomas forcing saves from Charlie Philpott.

However Willand who were certainly not afraid to shoot from distance took the lead in the 35th minute when Jagger-Cane scored with a well struck shot from outside the area. However two minutes later Winchester were level when Simba Mlambo who was very much a threat to Willand scored following a good Winchester team move.

Willand started the second half brightly forcing successive corners and Danny King was required to clear off the line, but Winchester cane more into the game as the half progressed and it then became the turn of the Willand defenders to make goal line clearances and from a ball from Jamie Barron Ollie Balmer shot just wide, while a couple of Winchester free kicks tested the Willand goalkeeper.

In the 78th minute Noah Coppin received a second yellow card and after that Winchester applied a lot of pressure and it was certainly against the run of play when Jagger-Cane hit the post. However after that Winchester intensified their efforts to find a winner and it was their turn to hit the post having also forced a good save from Burton ind right at the death substitute Oli Bailey who was the first substitute used when he replaced Max Smith, with Liam Callaghan later replacing Simba Mlambo had a powerful shot that was only fractionally off target in what was virtually the last kick of the death.

Probably a draw was a fair overall reflection of the game, but with due to respect to Willand, there is a feeling of many in the Winchester camp that they are not really firing on all cylinders at the moment and that having scored five goals and obtained three points at Cinderford the previous weekend that they would have expected more than one point and one goal from successive home matches especially with the advantage of an extra man for 12 minutes of normal time plus 5 minutes of added on time on Saturday.

On Tuesday Winchester are away to third placed Frome and on Saturday are at home to Slimbridge.








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