Southern League Division One South & West
Winchester City 7
(Adam Tomasso, Craig Feeney x4, Jamie Barron, Jack Hannam)
The Denplan City Ground
I was always confident of squeezing one more game in before Christmas; I just didn’t think it would be a return to the Denplan City Ground to watch Winchester City for the second time in a week.
After last Wednesday’s drab 1-0 victory over Yate Town, I didn’t leave SO23 expecting to return in a hurry. In the league above, Frome Town were entertaining Cirencester but the more I thought about the 100 mile round trip the more I wanted to just curl up watching Arnold Schwarznegger’s Jingle All The Way!
However I made the decision to give Winchester another go, and what a game it turned out to be.
It also gave me a good chance to have a look in their club shop, which, as I mentioned last week, is an Aladdin’s cave of football memorabilia. I also managed to pick up some pin badges that were missing from my collection.
It occurs to me that my comments on the Denplan last week weren’t as complimentary as they could have been, the poor game had not put me in the best of moods and that reflected in my comments.
For a city like Winchester, I would still expect more from the ground, however it is still a decent place to watch football. The seated stand seems too far back away from the pitch so I stood, in the rain, out in the open for the first half.
As the rain got worse, I migrated round to the opposite side and took shelter under the cover and, having not been over there in my previous two visits, it wasn’t half bad and I kept dry at least.
To see my other comments from last weeks blog post, visit; Travelling To- Winchester City.
Craig Feeney bagged four goals as Winchester headed into Christmas on the back of six straight wins. Adam Tomasso, Jamie Barron and Jack Hannam also got on the score sheet as they thumped lowly Slimbridge 7-0. Ian Saunders’ men have been unbeaten in the league since their 2-1 home loss to North Leigh on November 16th.
Winchester looked busy in attack throughout the encounter but it was the home goalkeeper Lewis Noice who was thrown into an early save when he dramatically tipped Sean Lawson’s shot over the bar.
City went close to taking the lead through Jamie Barron when his low free kick from the edge of the box bobbled up and was fumbled over the bar by Slimbridge number one Ben Reed.
From the resulting corner, The Citizens took the lead through defender Adam Tomasso. Slimbridge had managed to block a header on the line before IK Hills hit the post allowing Tomasso to smash in the rebound at the third attempt.
The Swans were still making a game of it and Marley Thomas sent a cross along the edge of the box but Archie Haskayne chested the ball down before volleying wide.
Barron then went close to making it two for the home side when he tried a cheeky back heel at goal but the ‘keeper made a point blank save to keep the ball out.
Reed was dealing with the onslaught as he parried away a good effort from Feeney. It was again from a set piece that City managed to double their lead when Reed missed the ball completely allowing Feeney to bundle over the line from short range. Slimbridge protested for a foul on the ‘keeper but the referee played on and City found themselves in the driving seat.
Barron did get on the score sheet in spectacular fashion when he struck a sweet shot from the edge of the box into the top corner on 39 minutes. Slimbridge had again struggled to deal with a Winchester set piece and Tomasso struck the underside of the bar from six yards before it landed to Barron to make it 3-0 from the edge of the box.
Slimbridge’s fortunes didn’t improve after the break when Richard Thwaite blocked Joe Briggs’ cross and it went out for a corner when it could well easily have beaten the ‘keeper and added a fourth.
The introduction of powerful striker Howard Neighbour at half time didn’t make things easier for the visitors when Saunders was forced into an early change when Stuart Green picked up an injury.
Feeney did add his second of the night when he pressured Thwait into a mistake with a headed back pass to nip in between the defender and ‘keeper to tuck into the bottom corner.
Moments later Feeney claimed the match ball when he again dispossessed a Swans defender and coolly slotted in for City’s fifth.
Slimbridge did have an opportunity in City’s box but substitute Joe Stokes played a tame shot at Noice.
Feeney was running the show and he added a fourth when he latched on to Neighbour’s headed flick on and he cut inside Thwaites and place the ball in for 6-0.
With the game well and truly won, Barron was unlucky not to add to his personal tally when Reed saved well to deny a seventh goal of the night.
With 13 minutes left to play City substitute Jack Hannam played a nice ‘give and go’ with Neighbour to drill the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to end the night in style and continue Winchester’s unbeaten December.
2016/17 Games: 70
2016/17 Grounds: 51
Total Grounds Visited: 143 (37)