Highworth 2 Winchester City 1
For the Fourth successive season Winchester exited the F A Trophy at the first hurdle with all of #the losses coming at the hands of teams that have won the championship of the Hellenic League this century and been promoted to the Southern League. For Highworth whose 2-1 win was their first success against Winchester in five attempts it enabled them to become one of eight teams from the Southern League South Division to progress to the next round, and in their third season as a Southern League club their first ever win in the competition.
In truth it was a game of two halves with Winchester 2-0 down at the break very much in the ascendancy in the game's second period, but having pulled a goal back early in the half could not quite get the equalizing goal. However it was perhaps significant that Highworth named their goalkeeper Connor Johns as their man of the match.
Winchester made four changes from the previous week. Goalkeeper Charlie Philpott is on loan from Eastleigh who did not want him cup-tied, which meant that Ryan Pryce a regular for the previous three seasons was in goal. Josh Davies came in at centre back with Kieran Douglas on the bench, while Max Smith replaced Simba Mlambo. Danny King's one match suspension meant that Dan Williamson came in at right back with Josh McCormick reverting to left back.
Although no individual played particularly badly the three changes to the back four meant that in the game's first period Winchester's defence as a unit had difficulty in coping with Ashley Edenborough in the first period and in the game's first half hour with the Highworth striker having one shot saved, hit the side netting once, on another occasion forced Ryan Pryce to rush from his goal to head clear and he looked lively throughout. At the other end both Ollie Balmer and Max Smith both forced Johns to save at the expense of a corner with the save from Balmer being a particularly good one.
However goals in he 38th and 41st minutes enabled Highworth to go into the interval with a 2-0 lead. Firstly a ball from Sean Wood enabled Edenborough to have a shot that Ryan Pryce could only parry into the path of Callum Parsons who was able to score at close range and then Wood set up Edenborough who scored with a great strike.
Winchester bought on Liam Callaghan for Ollie Griggs at the interval and they started the second half well forcing several corners and when Rob Flooks headed home a cross from Jamie Barron in the 50th minute they were very much back in the game. However despite dominating virtually all of the remainder of the game they could no get the all important second goal. They had a shot deflected on to a post, saw Johns make a particularly good save from Callaghan after good work from Tyrell Mitford had created the chance.and save an effort from Balmer at the expense of a corner.
Reece Rusher and Joe Hayward came on in the latter stages of the second half and the former came close to scoring as Winchester had wave after wave of attacks with Highworth having the only occasional breakaway.