Basingstoke 1 Winchester City 1
Winchester drew 1-1 with Basingstoke who groundshare with them. It was Basingstoke's home match and attracted a crowd of 366.
Basingstoke had lost their first three games of the season having been relegated last season. They are however a former National League South club and apart from Salisbury who had to reform prior to joining this league are the first club to play Winchester in a league game to have previously played at that level.
The Basingstoke team contained former Winchester winger Reece Rusher and striker Ben Wright whose goals played a major part in Eastleigh's promotion to the National League in 2013/14. Winchester made two changes to the starting line-up from Friday with Max Smith who was making his first start and Joe Hayward coming in for I K Hill and Oli Bailey both of whom were on the substitutes bench. Bailey had picked up an injury on Friday and did not come off the bench during the game. With also the fact that neither Simba Mlambo or Rob Carr was again available it meabt that Keith Emmerson played in a forward role.
Early on Winchester's Jamie Barron had a routine shot saved, while at the other end a powerful shot from Claudio Herbert was just off target. A block by Rob Flooks and at the other end Ollie Griggs set up Jamie Barron who shot narrowly wide. Dean Stow also However Ollie Balmer had a golden chancer to give Winchester the lead, but having done the hard bit by rounding the goalkeeper his shot hit the cross bar. Basingstoke however made them pay soon afterwards when after a good run he put the ball away. Winchester however soon drew level with skipper Jamie Barron scoring his second goal in consecutive games, scoring from just outside the penalty area.
Basingstoke came so close to scoring a second with many people wondering how the ball stayed out when Ben Wright who has shown in the past that he is good with free kicks forced Ryan Pryce to make a good save from one of these, but somehow two follow up efforts also stayed out with Ryan Pryce making a further good save.
In the second half a Basingstoke player headed just wide from a Rusher cross and Rusher himself forced a save from Ryan Pryce, while at the end Kieran Douglas had a header saved,
However in the latter stages of the second half both teams had good chancers to win it. For Basingstoke Ben Cook was clean through but his powerfully struck shot was straight at Ryan Pryce. Cook also forced Pryce to save at the expense of a corner and substitute Michael Davis had an effort blocked. At the other end Max Smith hit the crossbar, Emmerson forced a save from Chris Rackley in the Basingstoke goal, although Winchester's best chances fell to Barron, Balmer and substitute I K Hill. However the half remained goalless thus making it three draws out of four for Winchester and a first point for Basingstoke who with a good supporter base will no doubt improve as the season progresses and their contingent regarded the performance on their disappointing F A Cup exit on Saturday.