Winchester City 0 Sholing 1
Winchester suffered their first home league defeat since September as they went down 1-0 to local rivals Sholing who they had previously this season beaten in both the league and league cup. Sholing are currently in the lower half of table, but their results have improved in recent weeks and have signed former Winchester captain Stuart Green. This was their 40th game of the season and they still have 18 league games still play. In midweek they had beaten an in form Melksham team in the league and progressed in the Southampton Senior Cup with victory against Hamble Club.
Winchester made two changes to the starting line-up from the previous Saturday with captain Jamie Barron returning and Ollie Griggs also coming in with Simba Mlambo dropping to the bench and Luke King not featuring,
In conditions that were affected by the wind throughout Winchester made a reasonably bright start with Jamie Barron coming close with a free kick and Keith Emmerson also having an effort that was off target. Oli Bailey just failed to get a decisive touch following a ball from Jamie Barron. However Sholing began to come more into the game with Dan Mason shooting wide and a crucial block by a Winchester defender denying them. They also had what they thought was a good claim for a penalty turned down, but they took the lead in the 34th minute when Jake Hoole converted a cross from Brad Targett. Sholing were able to go into half time 1-0 ahead without Winchester threatening their goal during the remainder of the first half.
Brad Targett hit the post for the visitors, and Ryan Pryce making a block to deny Stuart Green. Winchester though struggled to get anything going up front with the experienced Byron Mason alongside Owen Roundell an effective centre back pairing and the threat of the influential Jamie Barron in midfield being well cut out Winchester were struggling to create openings even though they bought Sinba Mlambo, Liam Gilbert and Joe Hayward coming on as substitutes for Ollie Balmer, Ollie Griggs and Danny King respectively, Towards the end Pryce made a good save from a header from Green and in the last minute of normal time following a cross from Dan Williamson Rob Carr forced a save from Ryan Gosney, but it has said that Winchester never looked like scoring after falling behind.
There was no doubt that overall Sholing deserved their win and the wily Dave Diaper the Sholing manager who is into his third decade at the club got his tactics right for the game. Sholing captain Byron Mason was making his 600th appearance for the club, and he was playing alongside his brother Dan and between them the three Mason brothers who also include Barry have made over 1500 appearances for the club between them and not many footballing brothers can match that.