Winchester seconds nearly pulled off an unlikely result against Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 2 leaders London Edwardians, eventually losing 3-2.
Indeed they opened the scoring in the first five minutes when Stuart Swift slid in to deflect home Adam Major's cross after a surging solo run.
Edwardians then slipped comfortably into their accustomed mode of sharp inter-passing and rapid off the ball movement to dominate the rest of the first half, scoring twice in the process, the first a knock in from close range after a right sided attack and the second when a solo runner was allowed to advance unchallenged into the "D". Winchester still had the odd moment, Greg Cox crashing his drag flick against the post, but they also showed some counter-attacking success against a slightly suspect Edwardians defence.
Buoyed by limiting the home team to a one goal difference, Winchester felt they could find a way back into the game and the second half proved to be completely different to the first.
Despite a raft of substitutes against Winchester's one, Edwardians seems to tire and it was Winchester who became the aggressors for the last thirty minutes with Ed Player, Cox and Craig Jeffrey now bossing midfield.
Unfortunately, within a few minutes of the restart, Winchester conceded a sloppy goal which made their recovery gradient higher, but they then set up a series of chances to secure some sort of result.
With plenty of time remaining, Craig Jeffrey forced his way along the byeline from the left and sent a ball past the stranded keeper.
The Edwardian's keeper, a spectator for much of the first half, was called upon a number of times, including a full stretch stick save from Cox to his right.
Winchester's keeper, Callum Johnstone, also had to make one important save near the end to keep Winchester alive, but they fell just short of the point they probably deserved.
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