Melksham 1 Winchester City 2
Tyrell Mitford scored one and made one as Winchester started the league season with a 2-1 win at Melksham. It was their third successive win against the Wiltshire club and the match attracted a sizeable crowd of 390 with Melksham having one of the best stadiums in the division.
On the playing side of things Melksham last season recovered from a slow start and at the time the season finished were in the running for a playoff place having won half of their 28 league games. In the close season they signed experienced strikers in Brazilian Felipe Barcelos who has previously played for Oxford City, Didcot and Thatcham, and Alan Griffin who in previous seasons formed an excellent front line partnership with Ben Whitehead at Cirencester. However Griffin was left on the bench as was fellow striker Jack Ball who performed well for the club last season.
Winchester started with the same outfield players in the starting line up as the previous Saturday with Charlie Philpott coming in for Ryan Pryce in goal.
Early on Ollie Balmer had a free kick saved at the expense of a corner and Josh McCormick playing at full back who was overlapping with good effect and combining well with his forwards had a couple of efforts that went over the bar. However an important incident in the first half was the sending off of Barcelos for an elbow on Rob Flooks.
However during the first half neither goalkeeper had more than routine saves to make .until right at the end of the half when Tyrell Mitford made space and scored with a low shot.
Despite being a goal behind and a man down at the interval Melksham showed great spirit at the start of the second half and 10 minutes into the half they drew level when Ryan Bole played a free kick taken on the right hand side into the box and Phil Ormrod got a decisive touch.
After this Winchester had slightly more attacks than Melksham, but with defenders making crucial blocks any chances created were no more than half chances. However Winchester got the all important second goal in the 78th minute when Mitford put Jamie Barron clear and the Winchester captain made no mistake. Shortly before the goal Reece Rusher and Jack Wilson had come on as substitutes to replace Max Smith and Rob Carr.
Ollie Balmer had a great chance when he was clean through, but he was denied by a good save from Jamie Bartlett. Right at the end of the half Melksham came close following a corner which Bartlett went up for, but it was a great three points for Winchester who had a very good travelling support for the game.