Taunton 3 Winchester1
GOALKEEPER Lewis Noice provided the only plus point for Winchester City in yesterday's poor 3-1 defeat at Taunton Town.
Had it not been for the heroics of the former Eastleigh stopper, the Citizens - now 15th in the Southern One South & West - would have lost by more.
Taunton, buoyed by their midweek FA Cup triumph at Hemel Hempstead, dominated the first half but Noice saw to it that they didn’t break through until the 41st minute when Jordan Rogers fired in Shane White’s long cross.
Owen Irish doubled the Peacocks’ lead from ex-Winchester man Adam Kelly’s corner soon after half-time and, following more stubborn resistance by Noice, Alex Hoyle made it 3-0.
City’s only crumb of comfort was a late Howard Neighbour penalty.
“It’s the first time in a while I’ve been disappointed with them,” confessed City boss Ian Saunders.
“It was different before because the players didn’t know each other, but there are no excuses now.
“Lewis Noice was on top form and made eight or nine first-class saves. But for him, we would have been on the end of a heavier defeat.
“There were just shy of 400 very vocal fans there and I think that affected us a bit. We couldn’t get going.
“We didn’t pass the ball, we didn’t defend properly and we gave away possession too easily against a side who are on a high.
“We did nothing to stop Taunton’s confidence flowing.”
Winchester handed a debut to new frontline signing Danny Simmonds from Petersfield Town, but Saunders admitted: “I felt for him. It was always going to be a difficult game to come into and he didn’t get much service.”