Winchester 2 Bideford 3
Winchester were defeated for the first time ever by Bideford having obtained one win and one draw both in the two league games between the clubs and the two legged F A Vase semi final in 2003/04.
Winchester made one change to the starting line-up from Tuesday's game with Swindon Supermarine, with fit again Liam Gilbert replacing player manager Craig Davis. Simba Mlambo also returning from injury was on the substitutes bench,
Early on Andy Jenkinson shot wide for the home team, while at the other end Ben Seymour created a chance for Ben Seymour, but thankfully for Winchester his effort was off target.
Craig Duff then forced a good save from Winchester goalkeeper Ryan Pryce, while at the other end it was the turn of Liam Gilbert to test the opposing goalkeeper.
Ben Seymour gave Bideford the lead in the 32nd minute with a low shot into the opposite corner. However Winchester drew level eight minutes later when good work on the right flank forced Ian Sampson to put past his own goalkeeper. The goal was initially credited to Oli Bailey, but it became clear that it was the visiting defender who had put the ball in.
Winchester's pleasure of going into the interval on level terms quickly evaporated at the start of the second half when in the opening minute Craig Duff was put through and he made no mistake. Initially Winchester struggled after going behind for the second time, but they then had a good spell of pressure with Rob Carr twice going close and a couple of near misses, although the Bideford forwards were always dangerous.
Winchester had a great chance to level when Carr was fouled in the box, but Steve Oliver in the home goal made a good save from Jamie Barron's penalty kick.
Winchester however did draw level with 11 minutes to go when Olly Bailey's pace took him clear of the visiting defence. He took stock of the situation before slotting home. However disappointingly Winchester once again conceded soon after drawing level and it was Duff who scored it taking advantage of hesitancy in the home defence.
In the eight minutes of normal time that remained Winchester were unable to draw level a third time. With both teams having spells where they shaded the game, there will be differences of opinion as to what was the fairest result, but Bideford are good side who recently recruited former Weston Super Mare and Dorchester boss Craig Laird to work alongside long serving manager Sean Joyce.
Winchester are away to North Leigh on Tuesday, at home to Evesham on Saturday and at home to Basingstoke in the Hampshire Senior Cup on the following Tuesday.