Winchester overcame the disappointment of missing an early penalty stroke and twice fell behind before coming back to beat South League Premier Division 1 rivals Oxford University 4-2 at Iffley Road.
Ben Hibberd saw his stroke saved by the Dark Blues goalkeeper and Todd Hutcheson missed a one-on-one before Benjamin Hemsi fired Oxford ahead.
Hutcheson’s timely deflection from a penalty corner levelled matters before a superb piece of individual skill at the top of the circle by Alex Copestake restored the student lead.
The pattern of the game continued with OU having good spells of possession but lacking a real cutting edge.
However, they left themselves exposed to the searing pace of Hutcheson (above left) and the creativity of skipper Kieran Malloy coming in off the right flank.
Attempts to penetrate the top of the Winchester circle were frequently intercepted by Micah Smithard and Jack Culmer setting up dangerous counter attacks.
One such attack lead to a penalty corner and a clinical move saw Kent Langridge equalise (2-2) with a deflection at the near post.
A period of ill discipline saw Oxford reduced to nine 9 men and the resultant swing in possession allowed Winchester to settle and conserve energy for the final 10 minutes, despite going down to 10 themselves.
Once back to full strength OU won a couple of penalty corners which were well defended by Winchester, who made the most of their counter-attacking opportunities and took a 3-2 lead through Hutcheson after good hold up play by Hibberd.
OU withdrew their goalkeeper in favour of a kicking back, but tactically lost their way and in the final minutes conceded a fourth goal to Hibberd.
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