Winchester City 2 Melksham Town 2
Winchester and Melksham both maintained their unbeaten starts to the season as for the second successive home league game Winchester recovered from two goals down, but this time could not score a winner as this time the match finished 2-2.
Melksham are newly promoted from the Toolstation Western League having last season finished runners up to Street who were also promoted and recently moved to a new ground which helped fuel their promotion ambitions having failed to go up at the end of the 2014/15 season despite finishing champions due to ground grading issues.
Winchester bought in Brad Gale to replace the suspended Oli Bailey as the only change to the starting line-up from Monday's win at Moneyfields.
However Melksham drew first blood in the 7th minute when Neikell Plummer scored with a low shot in to the corner of the net. The influential Jon Davis who previously played for AFC Totton whilst Stuart Ritchie was manager then had a shot saved by Ryan Pryce, while a good block from Connor Cocklin kept out Davis. At the other end following a cross from Joe Cook resulted in Tyrell Mitford having a shot deflected for a corner.
It was Melksham though who scored the second goal when Neikell Plummer beat the offside trap and found himself clean through in the 14th minute and made no mistake from close range. Not long afterwards two goal hero Plummer had to go off injured and was replaced by Jamie Lyons. Davis came close again, while Simba Mlambo forced a routine save from Kent Kauppinen,
Winchester however did step up a gear and Kauppinen had to make good saves from Reece Rusher and Mitford at the expense of corners and it was following a corner that Winchester reduced the deficit with Joe Cook getting on the end of the set piece delivery.
After scoring a first goal Winchester had a great chance to another when Tyrell Mitford was in a good position to receive a cross from Simba Mlambo, but with the ball moving and needing to hit the ball first time his effort was wide.
Both teams had attacking moments during the remainder of the first half, but Winchester if anything were looking the more threatening. They certainly started the second half well with Kauppinen being tested in the opening minute of the half. Five minutes into the half the scores were level when Simba Mlambo headed home a cross from Joe Hayward.
After this both teams had their attacking moments, but some good saves by the goalkeepers and important interceptions by the defenders ensured the remainder of the game was goalless, Rusher and Davis from free kicks forced saves from the opposing goalkeeper, with Pryce doing well to tip Davis's effort over the bar. Simon Gilbert set up Jamie Lyons who shot just over, while Mlambo had an effort blocked, but overall a draw was a fair result,
After Tuesday's league cup tie with Gosport Winchester turn their attention to Saturday's F A Cup tie with Frome. Earlier in the week I found information on the internet which indicated that the Danny Greaves who manages Frome is the same Danny Greaves who is the son of Jimmy Greaves, but it appears that is not correct. The Frome manager in fact joined the club from Bradford Town whom he guided into the last 16 of the F A Vase last season.
The fact that Frome managed their first home win of the season on Saturday means that they may not need to call on the services of white witch Titania Hardie. In the 2003–04 season, the club attracted attention nationally when they asked her, to help improve their home form. The witch blamed the Decor of the changing rooms, and once the club changed them the team won eight of their nine remaining home games.
Good wishes to club stalwart Rob Conway on his wedding this Saturday to Jo.