Winchester City............ 3

Cirencester Town......... 2

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South

Cirencester Town fell to back-to-back 3-2 defeats despite almost producing a stunning comeback against Winchester City on Saturday writes Dave Pyzer.

The Centurions 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.

Cirencester started with the wind and rain at their backs but they were not allowed to get into their stride by an eager home side that looked the more dangerous as they threatened on a number of occasions before Simba Mlambo latched onto a defensive header to open the scoring.

As the interval approached Cirencester conceded a second when a corner kick from the right rebounded off a defender under challenge for an own goal.

After the ‘half-time chat’ Cirencester retained the ball better in the early stages and began to press but they were finding it difficult to break down the home defence with lone striker Ben Whitehead being given little room and on the hour Aidan Bennett moved alongside him to take some of the load.

Winchester increased their lead when a Joe Hayward cross from the right reached Mlambo at the far post and his header was initially parried, recovered and chipped to Tyrell Mitford who had the simple task of heading home from a yard.

Six minutes later Cirencester pulled a goal back as they worked the ball down their left channel for Whitehead to send a low cross-shot towards the front edge of the six yard box where it was cleared to Antonio Gerrish who drove it into the net.

With time running out Ben Whitehead scored a second from the penalty spot leading to a frantic final few minutes but Winchester ran down the clock to secure victory.

The defeat left Cirencester in fifth, still clinging on to a play-off spot.

They are level on points with sixth place AFC Totton and just a point ahead of Winchester who are in seventh.

Cirencester host Larkhall Athletic at the Corinium on Saturday in the league.