Winchester 3 Mangotsfield 0
Playing their first Saturday home match of the season Winchester achieved only their second win in eight games against Mangotsfield.
With the M3 closed for much of the morning there was at one stage a doubt as to whether the match would be played at all due to access issues, but fortunately Mangotsfield's route to the ground was relatively unaffected.
Mangotsfield who were playing in the Southern League Premier Division less than 10 years ago have had a difficult start to the season and recently appointed former Larkhall boss Wayne Thorne as manager. Their most experienced player former Bristol Rovers captain Lewis Hogg has recently left the club.
Winchester made six changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday's Hampshire Senior Cup victory against East Cowes Vics with Ryan Price, Dan Williamson, Adam Tomasso, Josh Harfield, Jamie Barron and Robbie Carr coming into the side.
Winchester made a great start when in the 3rd minute a free kick from Jamie Barron was flicked on by Josh Harfield for Pat Cox to score his fifth goal in four days. Winchester so nearly had another when Mangotsfield goalkeeper Thom Jonkerman
tipped a header from Josh Harfield on to the crossbar and there followed an almighty goalmouth scramble which ended with Robbie Flooks hitting a powerful shot just off target.
Mangotsfield came close when James Batchelor almost got a decisive touch to a cross from the left. However Winchester were having the better of the first half and Oli Bailey had a diving header saved. Their task was made easier when Josh Jones received a second yellow card at the end of the first half.
The second half started with the referee unable to continue, but fortunately a replacement official was on hand to ensure the match could proceed. With a man advantage Winchester were very much on top with Jonkerman making saves from Flooks, Carr, Bailey and Cox to keep his side in the game. Mangotsfield did at times look dangerous on the break and while they were only one goal behind there was always a danger they could draw level, especially when with four minutes to go they were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position, but fortunately the shot from Richard Hobbs was off target.
However Winchester made the game safe when Robbie Carr slotted home in the 88th minute, and a minute later Oli Bailey made it 3-0 when he held off a challenge to put the ball away with his goal being celebrated with joy by his band of family and friends some of whom had travelled from Harlow in Essex to see him play.
Winchester are away to Didcot on Tuesday and away to Barnstaple on Saturday.
The club is organising a Race Night on Saturday 14th October after the home game with Bristol Manor Farm and a video of the Mangotsfield game is now available for viewing on the fans forum.