Winchester share the South Premier League top spot with Old Cranleighans after cruising to a 3-0 win over Milton Keynes in the pouring Kings’ School rain.
First half goals by Ben Hibberd and Kent Langridge (left), and a late third by Micah Smithart enabled Winchester to build on the opening 5-2 victory at Indian Gymkhana.
“MK set their stall out to defend deep and try to break on us from the first whistle,” reflected Winchester coach George Harris.
“We created a few good chances in the first half to lead 2-0 at the break. Rather than come out and have a go, MK showed little intent in the second half and as such we struggled to create more than a handful of chances.
“We got the third in the last minute.
“Afterwards there was some frustration that we hadn’t opened them up more which I’m happy to hear from the team.
“I was particularly pleased with how we pressed our own turnovers to snuff out any threat from them.
“Despite missing Craig Simms (who sustained a head injury against Gymkhana) our full-back pairing of James Pawley and Alex Egerton-King were extremely dominant with and without the ball.”
* Winchester II left North East Hampshire a little grieved at a 2-1 scoreline in Aldershot & Farnham’s favour did them little justice in Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 2 match sprinkled liberally with scoring opportunities for both sides.
Two early goal attempts from Greg Cox and an Adam Major penalty corner drag flick that skimmed the bar, coupled with some important Ally Birch saves at the Winchester end, failed to break the deadlock in the first half.
They seemed to have taken a grip of the game ten minutes into the second period when James Baxter sent a driven pass from the left channel that Stuart Swift deflected home. But Aldershot responded quickly, picking up on a misplaced pass and firing past Birch.
Winchester had the bulk of attacking momentum but hockey legend Ian Jennings' coaching tactics kept Aldershot and Farnham's threat real and one sortie with ten minutes remaining led to a goalmouth incident that took the umpires five minutes to unpick, but a match winning penalty stroke was the result.
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