Winchester 7 Barnstaple 1
Winchester obtained their second league win in a row and made it 20 goals in their last three games against Barnstaple and for Winchester manager Craig Davis the 3-0 home defeat he suffered on his first match as Winchester manager seem a distant memory.
Barnstaple have yet to get a p;pint in the league, but they eliminated local rivals Bideford kin the F A Cup.
Winchester made one change from the starting line-up from the win at Slimbridge with Joe Hayward replacing Rob Flooks who was sent off in that game, but the bench certainly had an attacking look with none of the players on it being primarily defensive players.
Barnstaple had the first shot of the game when a powerful shot by Jacob Evans was just over and Barnstaple posted an early warning to Winchester that they were not afraid to shoot from distance. However the pace of Oli Bailey up front was always a threat to Barnstaple although he was not quite able to create anything more than half chances. When Winchester scored in the 18th minute it was through the unlikely source of full back Danny King whose shot appeared to be deflected past Barnstaple goalkeeper Adan Seahouse-Evans However any hope that this would make things comfortable for Winchester were ended when a penalty was awarded for a push on Tyler Yendle and the spot kick was converted by Saddam Bello. Bello had also scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot in the last encounter between the two clubs.
The remainder of the first half was even with both teams having chances with Ollie Balmer coming close twice for Winchester, while Harry Birchnall was on a couple of occasions forced to save shots from distance, one time at the expense of a corner and Kieran Douglas also made an important block to keep out the visitors.
In the second half a Barnstaple defensive mistake almost set up Oli Bailey, but Bailey's who earlier in the week had attracted a huge internet following through his attempts at singing Elton John's hit single Rocket Man did score in the 59th minute and he did so again two minutes later when he headed home a corner.
This goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Barnstaple and it was no surprise when in the 68th minute Craig Feeney who had certainly added more attacking options scored their fourth with an effort into the bottom corner.
With the game seemingly won Winchester were able to rest Oli Bailey, Jamie Barron and Ollie Balmer, and bring on Simba Mlambo, Greg Peel and Adam Grange and these changes which were made at different times did not disrupt Winchester's rhythm and they almost scored again when Peel and Feeney combined.
They did make kit 5-1 in the 87th minute when Mlambo set up Ollie Griggs and two further goals came when Max Smith scored with a great header from Danny King's cross and great persistence by Craig Feeney sets up a simple chance for Simba Mlambo.
This completed a good afternoon's work for Winchester although for 59 minutes of the game the result was very much kin doubt.
After their Trip to AFC Totton on Tuesday Winchester have no game on Saturday as their originally scheduled opponents Frome Town are in F A Cup action. The following Wednesday Winchester are away to Havant and Waterlooville in the Hampshire Senior Cup.