Winchester 2 Paulton Rovers 3
Winchester suffered their first defeat of the season when they went down 3-2 to a Paulton Rovers team who recorded their second league win of the season.
Both Winchester and Paulton had F A Cup replays in midweek against teams 1 division higher than themselves to contend with, with Winchester winning through and Paulton exiting the competition.
With Oli Bailey injured Winchester replaced him with Brad Gale as the only change to the starting line-up from Tuesday. The home team though made a dream start with Tyrell Mitford scoring with a well executed lob from well outside the area in the 1st minute. At the other end an effort from Liam Monelle wss just wide, but Winchester came close to adding a second with Simba Mlambo shooting wide from a good position following a cross from Reece Rusher and Rusher forcing a good save from Paulton goalkeeper Mark Brown at the expense of a corner.
However Paulton drew level in the 24th minute when a corner was not cleared and Sam Hedges was able to score from close range. A minute later though Winchester were ahead again when Sam Hedges at the other end of the pitch deflected a Reece Rusher past his own goalkeeper.
Winchester's second lead of the game corner from Paulton captain was headed home by Joe Hiollard meaning four goals had been scored in the first half hour of the game.
Winchester had great chances to regain the lead before half time with Tyrell Mitford beating the offside trap, but having his shot saved by Brown and Mlamnbo also having a shot saved, and although bot teams had chances to score a third it was Winchester who had the better opportunities and one sensed that they might have to pay the price for this.
At half time Winchester bought on Matt Benham who had just rejoined he club having formerly been a Paulton player for the injured Connor Cocklin with Joe Cook reverting to centre back.
Winchester's passing was a mixture of clever played through balls to misplaced passes, but defensively they looked vulnerable at times. Liam Monelle stung Ryan Pryce's hands with his effort, Ben Withey also had a shit saved and Paulton almost scored from a goalmouth scramble. At the other end Joe Cook had an effort cleared off the line, while Mlambo heded over.
Paulton got the all important third goal in the 74th minute when a cross from the right was played into the path of Liam Monelle who made no mistake.
Paulton were reduced to 10 men when substitute Josh Morgan Williams was given a straight red for a challenge on Jamie Barron, but even with an extra man Winchester seldom tested Mark Brown in the Paulton goal.
Winchester turn their attention to Saturday's F A Cup tie at Merthyr, with their Hampshire Senior Cup with Hartley Wintney being put back to 2nd October, assuming that their F A Trophy tie with Slimbridge three days earlier is not drawn.