Larkhall 0 Winchester 1
Winchester completed their second 1-0 win against Larkhall this season and moved into the playoff places having overtaken Evesham who have played two games more on goal difference. However Cinderford and Melksham who Winchester have yet to travel to are not far behind, although Winchester's results in recent weeks have been very good.
Larkhall are currently in mid-table, but Lewis Powell their striker is the highest goalscorer in the division apart from the Cirencester duo of Ben Whitehead and Alan Griffin. With Bath City away, no Premier Division football and with many groundhoppers keen to see their picturesque ground on the top of a hill there was a good crowd for the game.
For Winchester they were able to name the same starting line-up for the third successive match. The only change being on the substitutes bench with Rob Carr now available again replacing the injured Graham Williams.
Early on Lewis Powell and Joe Cook had off target efforts for their respective sides, while both Jamie Barron and Liam Gilbert forced saves from Shaun Semmens in the home goal.
The two number 6's both got in crucial blocks with Josh Harfield keeping out Harry Hope and Josh Jones denying Oli Bailey.
However with eight minutes remaining in the first half Winchester took the lead when Oli Bailey headed into the path of Liam Gilbeet whose effort was only blocked into the path of Jamie Barron who put the ball in the net thus giving Winchester a 1-0 lead at the interval.
Early in the second half Winchester forced a couple of corners, while at the other end on a bobbly pitch Ryan Pryce got a hand to a Hope cross but could not hold it, but both the goalkeeper and the Winchester defenders reacted quickly to ensure that any danger was immediately snuffed out.
Winchester though were defending well as a unite and getting important interceptions and apart from a couple of free kicks in dangerous positions which were also a feature of the game at the other pitch they were denying the opposition a sniff of goal and were holding on to the ball well and were looking at least equally likely to score the game's next goal.
Both teams made three substitutions with in Winchester's case Rob Carr, David Jerrard and Tyrell Mitford coming on for IK Hill, Simba Mlambo and Oli Bailey respectively although the substitutions were made at different stages of the second half. Rob Carr had a chance following a pass from Joe Cook, but his effort was off target.
Larkhall came closest to scoring when Ryan Pryce did well to come out of his goal and did just enough to deny substitute Alex Lambert who would have been clean through if it had not been for the intervention of the goalkeeper.
It was a good three points and those who attended were offered good hospitality by the home club.