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Evo-Stik Southern League 2018/19

Division 1 South


Winchester City  3 – 2  Cirencester Town

Click   photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Courtesy of Steve Rolfe Photography

Match Report by Dave Pyzer

Cirencester returned to Winchester to face their FA Cup conquerors with a depleted squad and despite a spirited, late rally they had left themselves too much to do to snatch a point in a competitive encounter.

Over the last couple of years a friendly rivalry has developed between the two clubs and ten days after their cup exit Cirencester avenged that result by winning 4-2 at The Corinium Stadium in the league fixture.

Inevitably Winchester would be looking to repeat the cup result on home soil in the league and as they are unbeaten in their last five league fixtures Cirencester expected a difficult match – particularly as ‘The Centurions’ had a number of the squad unavailable for selection due to injuries (Babz Jarra, Will Christopher and Ellis Dunton), suspension (skipper Alan Griffin) and England Schools duty (Owen Windsor).

For the record prior to this game Winchester were 7th in the ‘6-Match Form Guide’ table with 11 points and Cirencester were 2nd with 13 points and their respective league positions were 5th and 8th with 4 points separating them.


‘The Centurions’ kicked off proceedings in miserable conditions, although they had the wind and rain at their backs, but they were never allowed to settle due to the pace in a home side that competed strongly in midfield and chased everything up front.

The home side showed their intent from the off as within the first five minutes the lively Jake Rawkins attacked down the left to win a corner kick that Mat Wieczorek punched clear and Oli Bailey had cut in from the opposite flank for a heavy touch to let him down. 

Cirencester were trying to work their flanks and had limited success during the early stages due to the intensity of the midfield battle and little room and once the ball was lost Winchester attacked quickly through Bailey, Rawkins and Rob Carr with Bailey firing a snap-shot wide.  

Shortly after Cirencester produced a neat move down the right flank involving Aidan Bennett, Antonio Gerrish, Tommy Anderson and Ben Whitehead the ball was cut out for a swift counter that reached Simba Mlambo who shot straight at Wieczorek from the edge of the penalty area.

A minute later SIMBA MLAMBO was lurking when Carr crossed from the right flank and the defensive header looped into the air enabling him to nip between defender and ‘keeper to finish from close range and open the scoring.  1-0.

The home side were soon back again as the ball was fed through to Bailey who shot wide of the right post.

As the half hour mark approached Mike Pook drove a free kick from 45 yards narrowly over the home cross-bar resulting in rapidly back-pedalling ‘keeper Ryan Pryce ending up in his net.

Cirencester were still trying to work the ball down their flanks and Gerrish was heavily involved as he moved it wide to Anderson, who had switched to the left flank, took the return and shot from 25 yards - ‘keeper Pryce parried and recovered to collect before a closing Jack Freeman could get to it.      

Just as Cirencester were beginning to make some progress they suffered a further setback when Jamie Barron’s corner kick from the right was diverted into his own net by an under pressure Adam Connolly for an OWN GOAL2-0.

Half Time:  2-0

‘The Citizens’ started the second period in positive fashion as almost immediately after the kick-off Barron fired wide of the right post but after their ‘half-time chat’ Cirencester began to retain the ball better as they moved it across the pitch, followed by Anderson, Gerrish and Freeman working to the right corner.

The home side countered down their left flank as Rawkins slipped the ball to Barron but Louis Spalding was quickly across to block and shortly afterwards he drove down the left flank to the side edge of the home area where his cross was cut-out but recycled with no positive end result.

On the hour Cirencester changed their formation as Aidan Bennett moved from right back to his more usual striking position alongside Ben Whitehead – who as the lone striker had taken a bit of a buffeting – to take some of the load and create more of a threat to the home defence.

A feature of the third quarter had been the long distance free kicks and shooting from the home side, with the wind behind them, that had reached Wieczorek without contact enabling him to collect safely.

As the final 15 minutes of scheduled time approached Winchester increased their lead when Joe Hayward crossed from the right flank to the far post where Mlambo’s header was parried by Wieczorek but he quickly latched onto the rebound to clip it a few yards across the 6 yard box for TYRELL MITFORD to head home from a yard or so.  3-0.

Six minutes later Cirencester pulled a goal back as they worked the ball down their left channel, Jordan Morris to Freeman and on to Whitehead who sent a low cross/shot towards the front edge of the 6 yard box where it was cleared to a supporting ANTONIO GERRISH who drove it into the net.  3-1. 

Encouraged Cirencester pressed forward and with time running out Mike Pook played the ball up to Whitehead, left of the penalty spot, and as he turned he was wrestled to the ground resulting in a penalty kick being awarded. BEN WHITEHEAD stepped up to drive the ball into the net.  3-2.

The final few minutes were frantic and once Winchester had made ground to the right corner they managed to retain possession and run the clock down to secure victory.

Full Time:   3-2

Whilst Cirencester mounted a spirited rally towards the end of the game to produce a tense few minutes it was too late to overcome the 3-0 deficit against an eager home side.


Attendance:  154                                

Referee:   Mr Thomas Holden 



1.   Ryan Pryce
2.   Joe Hayward
3.   Danny King
4.   Liam Gilbert
5.   Graham Williams
6.   Josh Harfield
7.   Jake Rawkins
8.   Jamie Barron     (C)
9.   Oli Bailey
10.  Simba Mlambo                                           18
11.  Rob Carr

12.  Rob Flooks
14.  Tyrell Mitford                                 (Oli Bailey-69mins)  74
15.  IK Hill                                            (Rob Carr-79mins)
16.  Brett Cunningham                         (Jake Rawkins-76mins)
17.  Craig Davis                        



1.   Mateusz Wieczorek
2.   Aidan Bennett
3.   Louis Spalding
4.   Mike Pook
5.   Alex Albert
6.   Antonio Gerrish                                          80
7.   Tommy Anderson
8.   Adam Connolly     (C)
9.   Jack Freeman
10.  Ben Whitehead                                          88p
11.  Jordan Morris

12.  James Mortimer-Jones
14.  Charlie Griffin
15.  Scott Rose  (GK)
16.  Ellis Dunton

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