Fourth-placed London Edwardians are one point away from securing promotion from the South League to next season’s revamped England Hockey feeder league.
A second half goal by Jonathan Wilkes-Green earned a 1-0 win over Winchester, whose strong defensive display failed to be capped off by their front men not converting one of a handful of excellent chances.
Both sides had a number of chances throughout the first half at Kings’, but it was Edwardians who held the majority of possession.
Kent Langridge could not find willing takers as he flashed the ball across the goal in the early stages, while Winchester keeper Dave Jones made the first of a number of great saves away to his right at a penalty corner, one of a series of set-pieces the London side won in the middle of the first half.
Despite Edwardians dominance, the Winchester defensive unit, led by Craig Sims (pictured by Jon Player), was able to dilute the majority of the first half danger, along with fellow central defenders James Pauley and Micah Smithard.
At the other end chances fell to Ben Hibberd, who just fading to connect with a ball to the far post, and Rob Goodchild, who had raced the length of the field to join Hibberd and Todd Hutcheson in a breakaway, but was unable to make contact with the ball at the critical moment.
Buoyed by a sturdy first half performance, the second half could not have started worse for Winchester as, within a minute, Edwardians had their precious lead as another attack found its way through the defence and Jones was forced into a good save. Unfortunately for Jones, the rebound found Jonathan Wilkes-Green, who slid the ball over the goalkeeper.
Desperate to find a way back into the game, Winchester's discipline took a notch down and rarely played the rest of the half with a full compliment of players.
The home team had fewer chances in the final quarter of the game as a result, but Jones became extremely busy. A fantastic double save made in the death-throws of the game earned a pat of congratulations from the aggrieved striker.
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