Winchester 5 Bristol Manor Farm 1
Winchester's determination to attract their younger element and their families and were rewarded with a best attendance of the season of 303 and those welcome additions to the home crowd certainly saw plenty to help them retain their interest in the team as four goals in the final 15 minutes enabled Winchester to complete a 5-1 win with four goals in the last 15 minutes against a team that went into the match third in the table. The way that some of the fans shook the hands of the players as they left the field was certainly a good sight to see.
Bristol Manor Farm recently signed Jake Gosling, a player who has played 12 times and scored 2 goals for the national team of Gibraltar as well as having almost 100 appearances to his name \at either League 2 or National League level. Their bench contained Kyle Tooze, Ben Bament and Stuart Tovey who have proved themselves very competent players at this level of football.
Winchester gave a starting berth to club legend who was making his first league appearance for the club since leaving the club at the end of the 2015/16 season where his goalscoring exploits won him several awards. He replaced Adam Grange in the starting line-up, while the other change from the previous Saturday saw pat Nolan replacing the injured Kieran Douglas to form a new central defensive partnership with Dan Walster, but the pair made some important blocks in a game played at a high tempo. With Oii Bailey, Craig Feeney and Liam Callaghan on the bench Winchester had certainly of replacement options up front, but their only other substitute was goalkeeper Ryan Pryce.
Early on Max Smith put a cross that no-one could get a touch to, while at the other end Gosling forced a save from Charlie Philpott with Michael Bryant's follow up header being just over. Winchester however took the lead in the 12th minute when following a great team move Ollie Balmer set up Ollie Griggs to open the scoring.
Ollie Balmnr had a shot deflected for a corner, but at the other end Michael Bryant had a shot well saved by Philpott. The match was played at a good tempo and Patrick Nolan usually a midfielder made some important interceptions and looked at home in his new role. There were also some good passing moves that utilised the whole pitch as Winchester ked 1=o0 at the interval.
Winchester started the second half brightly with Jamie Barron setting up Max Smith whose effort was saved. However Owen Howe cam close with a header to levelling the scores.
From a cross from Dan King Simba Mlambo was able to get a touch, but was not quite able to get his effort on target. However Bristol Manor Farm equalized in the 63rd minute when Josh Ford headed home a corner.
Seven minutes after the goal Bristol Manor Farm were reduced to 1o men when Jayden Neilsen was given a straight red card. Not many people saw exactly what happened in the incident that led to his dismissal, but the referee consulted with his assistant before issuing the red card.
Following the dismissal Kyle Tooze who had come on as a substitute came close to giving his side the lead, but his effort was just wide,
However Winchester took the lead when Jamie Barron set up Simba Mlambo who scored for the third successive home game. Warren Bentley then had a shot saved at the expense of a corner, before shortly afterwards being replaced by Oli Bailey. Philpott then made an excellent save to deny Howe, but it was Winchester who got the all important third goal when Mlambo set up Craig Feeney who was Winchester's first substitute when he replaced Ollie Balmer.
Max Smith provided a good finish to make it 4-1 and Feeney scored a fifth when he rounded the Bristol Manor Farm goalkeeper.
As a result Winchester leapfrog Bristol Manor Farm who have played two games more and move to the playoff positions,.
Winchester are next in action when they travel to Bideford on Saturday 20th November and they follow that up by playing Cirencester at home.