Winchester 4 Evesham United 1
Winchester returned to winning ways with an excellent 4-1 triumph against an Evesham team that went into the match in third position
Evesham who were very nearly transferred to the Evo-Stik Northern League during the summer, but successfully appealed against the decision had good travelling support which helped increase the attendance to 178.
For Mick Catlin's last game in temporary charge Winchester announced an unchanged starting line-up from Tuesday's draw at Mangotsfield which with Jamie Ford, Danny King and Stuart Mott not featuring, Danny Smith and Adam Roberts were once again drafted into a makeshift defence.
Robbie Matthews and Adam Tomasso were the only recognised defenders in the back four, but in the first minute Matthews was shown a red card for what was deemed to be a professional foul on Adam Mann, although there was some debate as to whether he was last man. Tomaasso only lasted 15 minutes as he went off injured to be replaced by Olly Searle.
In thew early stages Lewis Noice had to twice rush from his area to deny Mann, once clearing the ball with his head. Although Craig Feeney forced Nick Stanley to clear at the expense of a corner, Winchester were generally on the back foot in the first half and it was somewhat against the run of play when they took the lead in the 28th minute when Howard Neighbour crossed from the right for Stuart Green to score.
Feeney forced a couple of corners, although Evesham continued to have most of the play with Mann having one powerfully struck shot just off target, and Noice having to save from Elliott Kennedy. Just as it looked as though Winchester were going to hold out until half time Lance Smith crossed for Mann to level the scores just before the interval.
Early in the second half Evesham were given a free header from a corner, but Lewis Noice saved. Andy Jenkinson also had a well struck free kick well saved by Kevin Sawyer, while Winchester's makeshift defence were doing well to snuff out Evesham's attack.
On the hour parity of numbers was restored when Archie Haskayne was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident after the referee had awarded Evesham a free kick.
By now Winchester were creating the better chances. Howard Neighbour was just off target and Craig Feeney broke clear, but was unable to test Sawyer in the Evesham goal, although Sawyer was tested during this period of play.
In the 79th minute Winchester regained the lead when Craig Feeney was fouled and Howard Neighbour converted the resulting penalty. Evesham tried to get back in the game, but Winchester continued to defend well and Craig Feeney came close to adding a third goal.
Winchester made it 3-1 when Andy Jenkinson scored directly from a free kick in the 89th minute and in added on time good work by Feeney set up Green to score a fourth.
The game was a bit niggly at times with several bookings in addition to the sending offs, but even if the final scoreline may have been a bit flattering, there is no doubt that Winchester played well and worked hard as a unit with Jamie Barron a source of strength.
On Saturday Winchester travel to Bishops Cleeve and on the following Tuesday are at home to Bideford.
Mangotsfield United 3 Winchester City 3
City battled out a rollercoaster 3-3 draw at Mangotsfield United last night in the Southern One South & West.
Having taken an early lead through Stuart Green, the Citizens went in 2-1 down at the break.
Craig Feeney and Andy Jenkinson turned the game around 3-2 in City's favour before Mitch Tippins pulled the Mangos back on terms.
A night of breathless action had got going on 16 minutes when Green slammed in the rebound after Howard Neighbour's shot had been saved.
With City still leading after 43 minutes, it looked as if stand-in boss Mick Catlin would be giving a happy half-time team talk.
But the game changed dramatically just before the break as Matt Groves (penalty) and Liam Morelle made it 2-1 to the Mangos.
The pendulum swung back City's way with Feeney's 32nd goal of the season making it 2-2 on 49 minutes before Andy Jenkinson weighed in with a bullet header midway through the half.
But there was one last twist to come as Tippins levelled 3-3 on 81 minutes and it took some fine goalkeeping from Lewis Noice to prevent the Mangos claiming all three points.
City had Taz Roberts sent off for a second yellow in stoppage time.
North Leigh 2 Winchester City 0
Winchester's outside hopes of reaching the playoffs suffered a setback when they lost 2-0 to North Leigh who as a result move above them in the table and became the first team to complete the double against them this season.
With manager Ian Saunders away on business Mick Catlin took charge of the team for this game, while North Leigh are managed by John Brough who won this division with Cinderford last season.
Winchester made one change to the starting line-up from the revious Saturday with Lewis Noice replacing Brendan Norris in goal.
In the first minute of the game a free kick from Roger James North Leigh's former Clanfield (Oxon) winger was headed just wide by George Seacole son of former Oxford United legend Jason Seacole. At the other end North Leigh defender Matt Sysum made a crucial block to deny Craig Feeney at the expense of a corner.
Adam Roberts found Craig Feeney but the striker's lob landed on the roof of the net.
North Leigh took the lead in the 27th minute when James's fierce cross from the right was deflected past his own goalkeeper by Olly Searle.
Before half time Michael Hopkins had a couple of powerfully struck shots that flew just wide and a deflected shot from Stuart Green was saved by goalkeeper Manny Agboola at the expense of a corner.
Winchester bought on Howard Neighbour at half time and early in the half he had a good chance to score, but he headed just wide from Stuart Green's cross. North Leigh made them pay in the 52nd minute when Seacole met Hopkins's cross with a diving header.
Although Hopkins had another attempt on goal which was again just off target Winchester created more chances to score, but in the end they left themselves too much to do. Joe Briggs had one shot saved and he also had another effort that was narrowly off target. Agboola also had to save when Neighbour got on the end of a cross from Stuart Green. Green and Feeney were also narrowly off target with headers and Neighbour put in a cross that no-one could on the end of, but it was North Leigh who emerged victorious.
On Tuesday Winchester are away to Mangotsfield and on Saturday are at home to Evesham.