City leave it late before edging past impressive Winchester

City were given a huge FA Cup scare by Southern Football League Division One South Winchester City at Twerton Park this afternoon before a late deflected Tom Richards shot secured a 3-2 win and a place in the 3rd Qualifying Round. And all this came after they had a dream start when Callum Evans’ low cross was steered into the net by Tommy Conway after just two minutes. City looked to build on this, controlling possession but only a low Evans shot that keeper Philpott turned away for a corner threatened a second goal. As the half progressed the visitors began to come more into the game but it took a 39th minute mix-up between Ryan Clarke and Frankie Artus to gift them an equaliser, the latter heading into his own net from a corner. And it got even worse for City five minutes later when Mitford created room to drive a low shot past Clarke. The second half started with Conway forcing a smart stop from Philpott and Lloyd James curling a shot narrowly wide but Winchester also twice went close to further extending their lead, Clarke keeping out Carr’s free-kick and Jason Pope blocking Balmer’s goal-bound shot. As the weather conditions worsened both sides continued to create openings, the best falling to Conway when he beat the Winchester offside trap but saw Philpott kept his shot out with his legs. However, on 72 minutes the keeper could do nothing about Conway’s great finish from six yards out to make it 2-2. With a penalty shoot-out looming the teams continued to search for a winner and with four minutes left substitute Richards tried his luck from 20 yards and via a deflection off Davies the ball looped over the helpless Philpott. It still took a stunning full-length save from Clarke to keep out Balmer’s stoppage-time shot before a thoroughly entertaining game was brought to an end.

The Club offers its apologies to everyone who paid for a live stream of the match and for its poor quality, with atmospheric conditions severely affecting the service. We will be sending a full recording of the match to everyone who paid for a pass, as well as offering a refund or free pass for a future match. We will also address all possible ways to avoid a repetition of the problems. Thank you for your understanding.