Winchester 2 Cinderford 2
For the fourth time in five matches between Winchester and Cinderford the match finished all square, with three two all draws out of four.
Cinderford are just below the playoff zone and just above Winchester in the table and bought a good band of supporters to the game which attracted a crowd of 194.
Danny King pulled up injured in the warm up having been originally named in the side which meant that Rob Carr came in, with Jake Rawkins moved to full back to accommodate this switch in an otherwise unchanged starting line-op from New Year's Day.
Early on Simba Mlambo made a good run, but his effort was wide and Winchester had other promising attacks, but probably the nearest we came to seeing a goal in the first 25 minutes of the game was when Josh Hunt's powerful header was just off target.
Captain Jamie Barron had an effort that Cinderford goalkeeper Alex Harris did well to tip over the bar for a corner in the 26th minute, but from the resulting corner Josh Harfield headed home to give his side the lead.
Dean MacDonald then had an effort blocked and in the follow up Josh Hunt hit the post. Tyrell Mitford then had a great chance to make it 2-0, but he took a bit too long and the visiting defence were able to get in a crucial block.
Ryan Pryce then did well to palm away a Dean MacGonald free kick early in the second half, but Winchester scored a second thanks to an excellently struck volley from just outside the area from Josh Harfield who scored his second goal of the game in the 57th minute. Winchester's two goal lead only lasted a minute as Dan MacDonald's free kick went directly in although there were bodies in the box looking to get a touch.
With their confidence boosted by this goal Cinderford who were a strong and powerful side had their tails up and Ryan Pryce had to save a powerful header from Josh Hunt and the pressure told when substitute James Harding who had only been on the pitch for a short while levelled the scores.
Cinderford looked the more likely team to score again, but Winchester defended doggedly and got in some crucial blocks and were also able to create chances of their own. Winchester also introduced Brett Cunningham, Oli Bailey and I K Hill as substitutes during the second half. Cinderford hit the top of the cross bar, forced Pryce to make a crucial save from a MacDonald free kick and an effort that went fractionally wide. At the other end Rob Carr's effort was blocked, Joe Cook shot over and another Josh Harfield header was deflected for a corner.
Although Cinderford shaded it, both teams played with great commitment and it can be very much argued that Winchester deserved a share of the spoils in a match in which several minutes of added on time was played at the end.
Winchester Reserves were beaten 3-2 by Hamble Reserves with Billy Connor scoring both of their goals and earlier in the week they beat Salisbury 4-3 with goals from I K Hill, Ant Croucher, Oli Bailey and Tom Allen having at one stage held a 4-0 lead.
Winchester are away to Thatcham on Saturday and are at home to Bashley in the Southampton Senior Cup on Tuesday week.