The second half of Winchester’s season has begun in the same manner as the first with back-to-back South Premier League Division 2 victories over Indian Gymkhana and Milton Keynes.
Now player/coach George Harris must avoid a repetition of autumn 2018 when Winchester lost eight of their next nine matches, plunging them on to the lip of the drop zone.
Matches between Winchester and the Dons are seldom dull – 36 shots having thudded into the back boards in the past four meetings between the pair.
Winchester are 23-13 ‘ahead’ on account of a Todd Hutchinson inspired 5-3 win, which came on the back of a four-goal 15-minute second half salvo.
It was Hutchinson who broke the deadlock 20 minutes in from a well worked goal. Craig Jeffery pinched the ball, went round a defender, and squared the ball to Hutchinson who calmly slotted the ball home.
Milton Keynes then took charge and stretched Winchester with frequent aerials. They were rewarded with their good play when they won a short corner that Liam Foster dispatched past George Harris.
The closing five minutes of the first half saw Winchester overcome an assault of short corners from Milton Keynes which were brilliantly defended by Alex Everton King.
Winchester came out in the second half with contrasting tactics deployed by player/coach George Harris.
His half court press tactics proved successful as Winchester capitalised in a 15 minute spell that saw four goals fly into the Milton Keynes net – two goals from Micah Smithard, pictured, one from Kent Langridge and a penalty stoke from Ben Hibberd.
Winchester will be disappointed to concede a further two goals to Foster and James Palmer but eventually sealed the three points in a comfortable manner. They host Tunbridge Wells at Kings on Saturday, 2pm.
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