Winchester 4 Salisbury 5
An entertaining Friday night fixture in front of a crowd of 823 saw Winchester for the third successive home match surrender a lead in the final eight minutes of a game and for the second of these games fail to get any points for their endeavours, on this occasion surrendering a three goal lead to eventually lose 5-4.
Winchester made two changes to their starting line-up from Saturday's game with Taunton with Pat Cox returning from injury and Josh Harfield replacing I K HIll and Rob Flooks both of whom were on the bench.
In this game between two cathedral cities, Winchester took the lead in the 4th minute when Joe Cook scored with a lob and made it 2-0 in the 25th minute when Jamie Barron followed up after Oli Bailey's initial shot was saved. Bailey who was a threat to the visitors throughout made a good run and slotted home the third. Also in the first half Charlie Searle in the Salisbury goal had to save a Josh Harfield header at the expense of a corner and also stop a powerful shot from Danny King. Dan Williamson was also overlapping to good effect for the home team, although his final delivery did not quite lead to anything.
Tom Whelan then had a shot for the visitors which was off target (one of their few efforts of the half), but Salisbury did pull a goal back at the end of the half when Stuart Green who captained Winchester last season and came on as substitute for Salisbury during the first half pulled a goal back just before the break with an effort into the top corner.
At half time the referee felt unwell and was unable to continue, although this situation was quickly resolved.
Salisbury started the second half brightly and good strikes by Lewis Benson and Green again enabled them to draw level within 11 minutes of the start of the half.
The next 23 minutes provided a lot of goalmouth action without any goals, with Salisbury having a penalty appeal turned down, two goals disallowed, while at the other end Williamson forced Searle to save at the expense of a corner and Pat Cox heading narrowly wide. However with 11 minutes to go Rob Carr set up Oli Bailey to score his second.
Pat Cox had a chance to make it 5-3, but Searle was able to save his effort and Salisbury made them pay when Benson who was always dangerous from set pieces scored his second direct from a free kick and Tom Whelan scored the winner when what appeared to be a cross flew into the net. Even after this Winchester had a couple of dangerous attacks, but in the end it was Salisbury who won this match which was a good advert for non-league football on a Friday night.
Winchester travel to Cinderford on Saturday.