Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Winchester City v AFC Stoneham 05/03/19

Winchester City 3 AFC Stoneham 4

EXCELLENT cup tie, and an upset as Stoneham beat a team two leagues above them who fielded pretty much their strongest side. Stoneham scored the winner in injury time after having been behind three times. The final is at St. Mary’s against Alresford Town.

Few events in the first 15 minutes, but the pattern was set, as Stoneham’s physical strength belied the fact that they can also play some good football, building up well from the back, and ex-City Glasspool leading the line intelligently, and bringing his wingers into play. City also played good football but resorted to the long ball towards half time as the rain fell for the entire first 45 minutes.

The Purples had an early chance as Laptas got down the right but elected to shoot wide from a tight angle rather than cross. Welch then had a shot blocked before City took the lead on 19 minutes through the speedy BAILEY, who beat a defender on the right, poked the ball at the keeper and was quick enough to get there first and net the rebound. Stoneham came back with a Glasspool cross shot which went wide. At the other end Mlambo robbed a defender and set off down the left, but his shot hit the side netting.

Stoneham were giving as good as they got and equalised after 37 minutes as a good move down the left saw the cross come to GLASSPOOL, who calmly controlled the ball and put it the corner. Close to half time a good move by Winchester from right to left saw Mlambo’s shot go narrowly over. HT 1-1

The second half saw Palmer’s 30-yard shot skid just wide off the wet turf for Stoneham, but City took the lead again on 51 minutes as a cross from the left was headed in by MLAMBO at the near post. The Purples then took the game to City again and Jiminez had a shot turned round the post by Pryce, who also saved from Manning. Glasspool also had a run to the bye line on the left, Pryce having to come out and block. Howls for a penalty then came from the Purples fans as Jimenez ran on to a through ball, tried to lob Pryce – the ball went wide, but Jimenez appeared to be felled by the keeper – nothing given.

On 75 minutes came the overdue second equaliser as a cross from the left saw GLASSPOOL get there first at the near post to turn it in. In a mad five minutes we then saw City take the lead again as Carr slipped BAILEY in for his second, only for Stoneham to come straight back and equalise again as Laptas won the ball on the right and delivered a perfect cross for sub CABALLERO to score with what I think was his first touch.

Both teams went for it in a thrilling last ten minutes – most of the danger coming from set pieces, City from corners, and Stoneham from free-kicks, CLARKE had one header saved, but in injury time another free-kick saw him head the ball towards goal at the far post, and the ball seemed to go through a few players and end up in the net for the winner. A couple of minutes later wild celebrations at the final whistle showed what the result meant to them, reward for a great team effort. Another big local game well hosted by Hamble Club, and the pitch held up well despite the rain and the match being off at Follands 200m down the road. FT 3-4