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Bishops Cleeve 1 Winchester 0

on Sun 26 Feb

Winchester's outside hopes of the playoffs became even more remote when they lost 1-0 to a Bishops Cleeve team who as a result completed the double against Winchester and moved them into 13th place, 4 places behind Winchester.  It was the Cheltenham based side's first home league win since November.  Evesham's surprise home defeat at the hands of Slimbridge means that Winchester are only 10 points off the playoff places with a game in hand.

 

With both Robbie Matthews and Adam Roberts suspended Winchester bought in Danny King returning from injury and new signing Lewis Hide into the defence with Olly Searle also starting.  Early on Craig Feeney was fouled and a free kick was awarded outside the box, but the decision was an interesting one as it appeared that Feeney was first fouled outside the box and later inside the box and the referee appeared to penalise Bishops Cleeve for the first offence after the second foul had been committed to Winchester's disadvantage.

 

Stuart Green then put in a cross that Howard Neighbour got on the end of, but his effort was wide,  Both Jamie Barron (Winchester) and Jacob Davidge (Bishops Cleeve) had powerfully struck free kicks that went wide with Davidge's effort being deflected for a corner.

 

Davidge then broke clear on the right, but his cross was intercepted by Olly Searle.  However Bishops Cleeve took the lead in the 34th minute when Olly Butler crossed for Joe Bates to score. 

 

Before half time Chris Pates and Stuart Green forced routine saves from the respective goalkeepers, while Feeney put in a cross that no-one could got on the end of.

 

The second half was a disappointment and manager Ian Saunders on his return to the dugout admitted that the overall performance was "disappointing".  The nearest we came to a further goal was when Joe Bates was clean through, but his shot was off target.  The home team certainly had more possession in key areas of the pitch and generally looked the team more likely to score.  For Winchester in the second half Andy Jenkinson had a cross intercepted and they forced two corners in quick succession towards the end with Neighbour heading over from Jenkinson's delivery for the second of these.  Winchester's substitutions also failed to change the game, without being a reflection on the players bought on.

 

Winchester have a chance to bounce back when they are at home to Bideford and on Saturday they entertain Taunton.  The following Tuesday they travel to Basingstoke in the Hampshire Senior Cup semi final.