Winchester 0 Moneyfields 3
Winchester's early kick off with Moneyfields on Boxing Day saw them lose 3-0 to the Portsmouth based club despite having a large amount of the play. Winchester had in August won at Moneyfields which was probably Winchester's best league performance of the season and the last time that Moneyfields lost in the league as they have moved into a playoff place.
Originally I thought that I was going to miss the majority of the game due to the early kick off and my Christmas arrangements, but I thank my sister's family for their full cooperation in ensuring that this was not the case.
This was Dave Malone's last game as Director of football as he stands down at the end of 2018 and will not be present at Saturday's home game against Mangotsfield.
With Rob Carr ill and Rob Flooks still unfit Winchester made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday's trip to Bristol Manor Farm with Oli Bailey replacing Carr. Moneyfields's team included former Winchester forward Joe Briggs and former Eastleigh defender Brett Poate who was part of the Gosport team that reached the F A Trophy final five years ago.
Winchester started the game brightly with Tyrell Mitford forcing Steve Mowthorpe to make an excellent save at the expense of a corner and Oli Bailey being put through, but shooting narrowly wide and captain Jamie Barron having a couple of efforts narrowly off target and Bailey forcing another save from Mowthorpe. Although Lloyd Rowlatt had an effort blocked Winchester were very much in the ascendancy until the 31st minute Joe Briggs scored with a left foot shot into the opposite corner.
Winchester's Tyrell Mitford shot over, but in the final minute of the half Moneyfields scored again when Steve Hutchings got on the end of a long range free kick from Curtis da Costa. Before half time only a goal line clearance kept out the visitors who claimed that the ball had crossed the line.
Winchester tried hard to get back in the game in the second half without creating any clear cut chances and in the 64th minute a defensive mix up presented them with a third goal scored by Rowlatt with the ball just trickling over the line. Shortly afterwards Simba Mlambo had a deflected shot saved, but during the remainder of the half Winchester bought on all three substitutes they failed to seriously test Mowthorpe as they paid the penalty for failing to take their early chances.