Winchester 5 Shortwood 1
When Winchester beat Shortwood 4-2 on the opening day of the season Pat Cox scored a hat-trick and Oli Bailey scored the other goal. Both players matched their goalscoring exploits in this game with Jamie Barron scoring a fifth goal as Winchester completed their first double of the season.
Having not played a league game for three games and not played any sort of competitive fixture for more than two weeks Winchester had virtually a full squad to select from against a team that had improved after a slow start having lost of a lot of players from the previous season, and they had recently beaten Swindon Supermarine and drawn with Bristol Manor Farm and Bideford. The Shortwood Assistant Manager is Chris Burns who made 181 football league appearances. 90 of them for Portsmouth.
Winchester made three changes to the starting line-up from their victory against Evesham, with Liam Gilbert, Dan Williamson and Rob Carr coming in for Adam Tomasso, Simba Mlambo and Andy Jenkinson with Tomasso and Mlambo on the bench and Williamson playing in an unfamiliar role of the right side of midfield.
Early on Liam Gilbert forced a couple of routine saves from George Burton. At the other end Shortwood captain Liam Meredith had a chance for Shortwood, but his effort was off target.
Winchester captain Jamie Barron had a free kick well saved by George Burton in the Shortwood goal. Another Barron free kick led to Winchester having a goal disallowed, while Winchester full back Dan King limped off to be replaced by Adam Tomasso.
Pat Cox and Joe White also had chances for their respective teams, the latter as a result of a long throw from Jordan Morris.
Winchester did however take the lead in the 39th minute when Barron's free kicks finally paid dividends when he scored directly from one. Shortly before half time it was 2-0 when Barron set up Cox to score his first.
Both teams had attacks early in the second half which resulted in half chances being created, but Shortwood did a goal back in the 55th minute when Joe White scored with his shot wrong footing Winchester goalkeeper Ryan Pryce.
Shortwood then began to look menacing for a spell as they threatened an equalizer, but their task was made harder when Alex Kibble received a second yellow card.
With the extra man Winchester forced several corners, but they got the all important third goal in the 76th minute when Pat Cox crossed for Oli Bailey to score the third with a spectacular finish, which represented the goal of the game.
With their two goal lead restored Winchester were looking comfortable and soon afterwards Josh Harfield set up Pat Cox for his second.
Winchester bought on Simba Mlambo and I K Hill and Hill helped set up Cox for his hat-trick and he has scored six times against Shortwood this season, with two hat-tricks to his name.
Winchester are away to Wimborne on Boxing Day and at home to AFC Totton on New Year's Day. For the AFC Totton game any Eastleigh, Portsmouth, AFC Bournemouth or Southampton season ticket holder can gain entry for £5 as can anyone attending the Winchester v Shortwood game providing that in each case the necessary tickets can be shown.
A Happy Christmas and New Year to everyone.