Winchester 3 Willand Rovers 0
Winchester returned to winning ways with a 3-0 triumph against an in form Willand Rovers who are newly promoted from the Toolstation Western League and who possess in Dean Stamp and Craig Veal a couple of strikers who have done well against Winchester in the past while playing for other clubs, although this is believed to be the first meeting between Winchester City and Willand Rovers.
Winchester made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday's game at Frome with Ollie Balmer coming in for I K Hill and they were able to name a strong bench containing I K Hill, Oli Bailey, Dan Williamson, Liam Gilbert and substitute goalkeeper Harry Birchnall. Willand were not at full strength, and were only able to name three substitutes, but they contained the nucleus of the team that had helped them move up the table in recent weeks. They enjoy a good travelling support and often run a full 52 seat coach for away games, but for this match perhaps with Christmas in close proximity they were unable to do so although they did have a sizeable travelling contingent at Winchester,
Wet conditions did not make good football easy, but with the first meaningful attack of the game when in the 16th minute a cross from the left was blocked into the path of Jamie Barron who scored with an effort that Willand's goalkeeper got his hands to, but was unable to prevent entering the net.
Barron who was instrumental in much of Winchester's attacking play had another shot saved by Mike Searle in the Willand goal and Keith Emmerson shot wide. Pacey winger Ben Bickle was showing he could be a threat, but Winchester defended well and restricted Willand well. Right at the end of the first half Willand were awarded a free kick which led to Joe Hayward clearing off the line, although Willand thought that the ball might have crossed the line and that they could have had a penalty for hand ball.
Willand started the second half brightly, but Winchester began to get on top and Rob Carr had an effort blocked at the expense of a corner and Jamie Barron again came close. Winchester did however make it 2-0 when Rob Carr and Jamie Barron combined. In the 73rd minute a penalty was awarded for a push and this was converted by Jamie Barron who completed his hat-trick and at the same time Willand's Joe Curtis received a second yellow card. After this it was comfortable for Winchester although to their credit Willand never gave up.