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City do double over Fawley
Winchester City completed a season’s double over Fawley AFC with a 2-0 win at the Denplan City ground in the Sydenhams Premier Division this afternoon.
It should have been more but the Oilers’ ex-City goalkeeper George Passingham denied his old club with a great display.
Winchester boss Neil Hards included a new name on the bench, having signed central defender Ross Bottomley from Blackfield & Langley during the week.
City came close to taking the lead eight minutes in, but Liam Robinson’s effort rattled the inside of the post after Lloyd Webber’s initial effort had been blocked.
They went close again a couple of minutes later when Dan Thompson did well to reach Chris Mason’s cross but his header rolled wide of the far post.
With Winchester largely camped in the Fawley half, Liam Green was the next to try his luck with a free kick that was well tipped over by ex-City keeper George Passingham.
But one slack moment almost cost the home side when Matt Vining pounced on Webber’s underhit back pass, but City stopper Ross Casey blocked with his feet and the defence scrambled the ball clear.
Winchester upped the pressure again with the half hour mark approaching, but Fawley centre-back Nick Lane was able to clear the danger after a poor first touch by Robinson as Chris Flood found him with a threaded pass into the area.
But two minutes later the home side finally made the breakthrough against a hard-working Oilers outfit.
Defender Matt Scott won a header inside the crowded area and, with the home fans shouting for a handball amid the subsequent scramble, FLOOD maintained his composure to steer the ball across the keeper into the far corner.
Winchester kept playing their football and were rewarded with a second goal five minutes before the interval.
After some intricate passing on the left, Flood slipped the ball through to MASON who steadied himself before curling a gem of a shot past the advancing keeper.
Fawley should have pulled one back two minutes later when, following Webber’s foul on Dan Molyneaux, defender Aaron Lucas was allowed a free header from Ben Murphy’s deep free kick, but it sailed wide.
City’s Thompson had the next big chance, but he too was off target with a gift header from Danny King’s left-wing cross.
Winchester suffered a set-back in stoppage time when experienced midfielder Green was stretchered off and replaced by James Ford. Half time: Winchester City 2 Fawley AFC 0 City had an abundance of chances at the start of the second half.
First Flood fired across the face of goal and wide and then Passingham made a great save with his feet to deny Robinson before Lane’s attentive clearance looped up and bounced off the top of his own bar.
Fawley felt hard done by shortly after the hour when City defender Adam Tomasso, as last man, was only booked for handball – albeit that he was right up on the halfway line.
By now Bottomley had made his entrance for Scott and, as City continued to press, Flood and Mason speared efforts wide and Fawley saved themselves with a last-ditch clearance from Leigh Mills’s shot.
City boss Hards made his last substitution with 15 minutes remaining, bringing on Darryl Phillips for King. The ex-Stockbridge striker immediately got himself into a scoring position, but Matt Parnell got across and Phillips’ attempted shot went wide.
Phillips then looped a shot over as Passingham closed him down as he raced onto Mason’s assist.
Two more Phillips chances followed in quick succession.
First he bravely went in with the goalkeeper and prodded a shot wide and then he lobbed one over after being picked out by the excellent Mason.
Bottomley’s debut came to an abrupt end on 86 minutes when he was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Yet another opportunity presented itself to Phillips in stoppage time, but Passingham denied him at point blank range – the second instalment of a great double save by the Fawley stopper, having initially thwarted Flood.
Fawley’s only real chance of the second half came when Murphy tested Casey with an angled shot to his near post.
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