Winchester 1 Taunton 1
The last four games between the county town of Hampshire and the county town of Somerset had all seen Taunton victories, but Winchester ended this sequence of results in a hard fought draw (In the non-league paper I mentioned that this was Winchester's first point in five games against Taunton, but unfortunately the against Taunton was omitted, even if it should be acknowledged that the paper were working hard with limited staff).
On Tuesday Winchester obtained their first home league draw of the season. Now they have obtained two in four days (like buses?. Winchester made two changes to the starting line-up with Howard Neighbour returning from injury and Olly Searle also starting. Leigh Mills did not feature and Adam Roberts was on the bench.
Taunton went into this match in third position, being the leading scorers in the division and having won their last seven league games scoring 25 goals in the process. They also won through three rounds of the F A Trophy and reached the first round proper of the F A Cup where they forced a replay with National League club Barrow.
With wet and windy conditions being a feature of the game things took a while to settle down. Both goalkeepers had to rush out of the areas to intercept opposing attacks, but Owen Irish headed just wide following a corner and Craig Veal hit the side netting and the visitors had an effort cleared off the line.
Generally Winchester were defending well with Lewis Hyde looking particularly solid, and they came more into the game as the half progressed. Stuart Green set up Howard Neighbour whose swerving shot was just off target. Four minutes later Joe Briggs set up Craig Feeney who scored with a well executed shot.
Winchester went into the interval 1-0 ahead, but with the wind advantage Taunton started the second half strongly, although right at the start of the half Green set up Neighbour who shot wide. A goalmouth scramble following a corner so nearly produced a leveller, but the Winchester defence somehow kept them out with Lewis Noice making a good save in the process.
Taunton were on top at this stage, but having broken up more than one dangerous attack Winchester would be disappointed to concede in the 55th minute when Craig Veal's cross eluded everyone.
Matt Wright headed wide and Winchester still had to defend well with Taunton getting several balls into the box, but they came into the game more as the half progressed. Winchester had the best chance to win the game when Lloyd Irish in the Taunton goal was unable to hold on to Jamie Barron's shot, with Craig Feeney following up shooting over.
Overall a draw was probably a fair result, but with Evesham winning Winchester are now 11 points outside the playoff zone with only 9 games remaining.
On Friday a quiz night was held at the club.
After Tuesday's Hampshire Senior Cup game at Basingstoke, Winchester are at home to Swindon Supermarine on Saturday and away to Salisbury on the following Tuesday.