Winchester 1 AFC Totton 1
Winchester's first match of 2018 saw them draw 1-1 with local rivals AFC Totton between two teams closely matched in terms of points. However they will be disappointed that they could not make more of a game in which the opponents had two players sent off.
Their starting line-up was unchanged from Boxing Day's game with Wimborne, but the early stages of the game was mostly scrappy ion the early stages.
Liam Gilbert put in a cross that no-one could get a decisive touch to, while a powerful shot from Rob Carr went wide, and Olly Bailey had a shot deflected for a corner.
However the visitors were reduced to 10 men when their captain Dave Allen was booked for a foul and received a second yellow card for something he said in the aftermath of it.
However despite this AFC Totton had a great chance to take the lead at the end of the half when Tony Lee headed over from Charlie Gumsom's free kick.
It was Winchester though who took the lead three minutes into the second half when Olly Bailey probably the smallest man on the pitch met a cross from the right from Dan Williamson with a diving header.
The visitors though kept battling and Ryan Pryce in the home goal had to deal with a cross from Ian Oliver. The visitors though did draw level when Ryan Pryce could not hold on to an effort from Ally Whittingham, son of Guy. In his efforts to get the ball to stop Whittingham's follow-up he was adjudged to have fouled the AFC Totton player and Whittingham himself converted the resulting penalty.
Craig Feeney then forced Pryce to make a further save, while at the other end Olly Bailey came close to regaining Winchester's lead.
With 26 minutes left though the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Ian Oliver fouled Joe Hayward and the challenge resulted in the experienced full back also receiving a red card. That left the visitors without their two most experienced players and presented a challenge for their young team to keep the homed team at bay.
However although Murphy in the AFC Totton goal did well to tip an effort from Liam Gilbert over the bar and make a routine save from Andy Jenkinson they were able to hold out for a 1-1 draw. The visitors certainly defended with great determination during the final 25 minutes of play, but Winchester will be disappointed that they could mot make more of their two men advantage.