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Winchester City 0 Barnstaple 3

on Sun 26 Mar

Winchester City's mathematical hopes of promotion were ended when they lost 3-0 to Barnstaple, although even if they had won Evesham's victory over Taunton which gave Hereford the title would have ended their hopes anyway.

 

Craig Davis appointed as Winchester boss until the end of the season in midweek named himself as substitute in a team which had two changes to the starting line-up from the team that played at Yate with Andy Jenkinson and Danny King replacing Sam Wilson and Danny Smith with the former dropping to the substitutes bench.  Olly Searle has left the club to join Horndean, but apart from that and Craig's arrival the playing personnel at the club remained unchanged.

 

Winchester made a poor start when in the 3rd minute a cross from the right by Craig Allen was deflected past his own goalkeeper by Jamie Ford.  Apart from an effort by Jack Jenkins that deceived Lewis Noice in the wind and hit the crossbar Winchester certainly had the better of the remainder of the first half, with Andy Jenkinson with a free kick and Craig Feeney forcing good saves from Steven Oliver in the visitors goal, Stuart Green and Craig Feeney having powerful shots just off target and Joe Briggs putting in a cross that no-one could get a touch to. 

 

At times though the Winchester play lacked confidence and they frustratingly gave away possession.  Barnstaple for their part held on their lead with determination with their full backs overlapping well at times.

 

Winchester started the second half brightly with Davis replacing Andy Jenkinson at the interval and Andy Ford hit the top of the crossbar and on another occasion Oliver was forced to tip the ball over his own crossbar, but Barnstaple began to get back in the game and look the side more likely to score again.  Liam Gregory with a free kick and Jack Jenkins came close, but with quarter of an hour to go a penalty was awarded when Lewis Noice was adjudged to have fouled Ryan Turner and Liam Gregory converted the resulting penalty.  

 

With a couple of minutes to play substitute Shaun Copp added a third in the 88th minute and although after that Craig Allen received a second yellow card by then the match was won and lost as a Barnstaple team in the lower half of the table, but in reasonable form and safe from the threat of relegation avenged a defeat at the hands of the Citizens earlier in the season.

 

On Saturday Winchester who are trying to raise money to carry out repairs to their burger bar are away to Paulton Rovers.