Winchester 3 Larkhall 1
Winchester achieved their first ever home win against Larkhall and completed the double over the team from the Bath area, but it was a notable victory achieved in adversity.
With Danny King and Rob Carr ruled out by injury Winchester's plans for the match were further disrupted by the fact that Simba Mlambo, Josh Harfield and Pat Cox felt ill on the day of the match, although Cox bravely opted to play. The situation though was compounded by the fact that many of the potential replacements were unavailable for one reason or another.
However Winchester's starting line-up showed only two changes from Saturday with Andy Jenkinson and Craig Davis both of whom played on Thursday coming in for Carr and Harfield.
Early on Larkhall who are currently in mid-table forced Ryan Pryce in the Winchester goal to save from Jacob Cox. However Winchester took the lesd in the 10th minute when an excellent run on the right hand side by Dan Williamson set up captain Jamie Barron to score.
Olly Bailey made a good run and set up Pat Cox whose effort was saved, while azt the other end Ryan Pryce was forced to save from Alex Lambert, but Larkhall drew level midway through the half when Matt Britton met Joe Thwaite's corner from the left with a glancing header.
Before half time both goalkeepers were called into action, but it remained 1-1 at the interval.
However early in the second half Olly Bailey broke clear and was bought down by goalkeeper Shaun Semmens who was shown a yellow card, although some people thought he was lucky to escape a red card. Jamie Barron however took a good penalty to restore Winchester's lead. After the goal Winchester came under a bit of pressure with Pryce saving from Lambert, but Winchester got the all important third when Jamie Barron set up Bailey who made no mistake.
With the two goal lead as a cushion Winchester replaced Pat Cox who showed great courage in playing when not 100% fit with I K Hill and although Larkhall kept pressing they never really looked like getting back in the game and Winchester completed a valuable win having failed to win any of their last three league games.
Winchester are away to Slimbridge on Wednesday and travel to Bishops Cleeve on Saturday and on the following Tuesday are at home to Alresford in the Hampshire Senior Cup.
A special mention must be made of the Larkhall contingent who despite their defeat stayed behind well after the game had finished, travelling in convoy and demonstrated what the spirit of non-league football is about.