Winchester 0 Evesham United 1
Winchester lost their 100% league record when they lost 1-0 to a strong and resilient Evesham team who had not previously won in the league, but had won ties in both the F A Cup and F A Trophy. This is the seventh season that Winchester and Evesham have been in the same division and in each of the previous six Evesham have won one of the two league games between the clubs without completing the double. Winchester will be hoping that after the return fixture between the clubs the latter record will remain intact.
Both Winchester and Evesham had the previous Saturday gone out of the F A Cup to a former National League club with Evesham losing out to Tamworth..
Prior to the game a minute's silence was observed in memory of club stalwarts Ray Broad and Alan Austin who passed away and this was impeccably observed.
Evesham bought their usual enthusiastic following who turned out in good numbers and helped swell the crowd to an impressive 244. Earlier in the year they appointed Neil Hunt who has strong connections to the Evesham area as manager.
Winchester were without the midfield duo of Dan Bradshaw and Max Smith with Simba Mlambo who was making his first appearance of the season and Ollie Griggs scorer of the winner at AFC Totton coming in to the starting line-up with Liam Callaghan appearing on the bench for the first time this season.
Early on Mlambo shoots over for Winchester, while Rob Carr and Ollie Balmer combine to set up Jamie Barron whose effort was saved. However Winchester came closer to scoring when good play by Carr provided an opportunity for Tyrell Mitford whose effort hit the top of the cross bar.
However Winchester fell behind in the 21st minute when Kieran Douglas who has been a rock at the back for Winchester this season uncharacteristically miskicked and prevented Josh Hunt with an opportunity to score from close range which he took.
Before half time Jamie Barron had an effort saved by Lewis Clayton in the Evesham goal, but the visitors were generally a hard team to break down and also at times looked dangerous going forward. Winchester though trailed 1-0 at the interval and during the course of the half had replaced Rob Flooks with Josh Davies.
Winchester though started the second half brightly and it required a goal line clearance by Evesham captain Matt Williams to keep out Rob Carr. However generally speaking the second half was more end to end with Winchester applying a lot of pressure and Evesham looking dangerous on the break. During the course of the second half Winchester bought on Graeme Purdy and he gave them a greater aerial presence especially at set pieces. At the other end Jamie Lucas was virtually clean through, but he found it difficult to control the ball and the Winchester defenders were able to clear the danger.
Both goalkeepers made good saves with Philpott doing well to keep out Calvin Dinsley and Lewis Clayton in the visitors goal saving well from Balmer. Philpott made another important save, but Winchester were creating a lot of attacking movements without being able to score the decisive goal against a determined Evesham team.
Purdy, Kieran Douglas and Josh Davies all had headers that were off target during Winchester's spell of pressure and right at the death Philpott went up for a set piece, but in the end it was Evesham who took the three points. Kieran Douglas displayed one bit of skill during the second half when he controlled the ball superbly, held off a couple of challenges before putting a good ball forward.