A tough assignment awaited relegation-fighting Winchester at Kings' as they faced top three side Hampstead and Westminster - but the bottom/top South Premier Division affair almost yielded unexpected points as they scrapped every inch of the 70 minutes.
Not wishing to relive the opening minutes of the disappointing Trojans encounter the previous week in which they conceded four goals in seventeen minutes, Winchester started at a much higher level of intensity.
Their attacking press did expose some holes further behind them and coach/keeper George Harris had his busiest period making some excellent saves, whilst Harry Trussler cleared a ball off the line at a penalty corner and Hampstead hit the inside of the post a few minutes later.
At the other end, Winchester's attacks were fairly frequent, often finding ways through down the right flank mainly through Kent Langridge, but, with the exception of one gilt edged chance in front of unattended goal, they did not test the keeper.
They did have one goal struck off as Mark Maunsell brilliantly diverted a hard-driven pass into the "D", but it was deemed to be dangerously high.
The visitors started stronger after the break, technically more able than Winchester, they played some impressive passing hockey and threatened regularly, with sweeper James Pauley [pictured] anticipating calmly and breaking down many attempts.
Hampstead then broke the deadlock half way through the second period with a rapid counter attack. With Winchester very close to a breakthrough at one end, the ball was nestling in the goal the other end in no more than five seconds, fantastically converted by James Harrison from a narrow angle.
Winchester, who face a relegation six-pointer at Milton Keynes on Saturday, pushed hard now but had to endure a number of suspensions as their passion to find a way back in the game often bubbled over.
They were also now finding out how good the visitor's goalkeeper was and discovered a real talent as he made half a dozen excellent stops. Harris too was also at his best with two further outstanding saves. Striker Todd Hutcheson was also danger, creating two moments of real hope with great runs, but the final conversion was missing.
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