Winchester were off to a bad start against league leaders, Guildford, conceding an open play goal within the first minute.

This became 2-0 fairly quickly as the visitors displayed their outstanding close technical skills in the "D" to deceive Winchester's hard-working defence.

Now, as throughout the game, Winchester were not daunted by the quality of their opponents which contained players with international caps and asked them a number questions in defence with a good share of possession in Guildford's half.

Skipper Kieran Molloy set the tone with a high energy performance, raising those around him to not allow Guildford to settle on the ball. Much of the danger to the visitors came through Winchester's right flank with 15-year-old Joe Jenkinson emerging as a real prospect from right back.

After Winchester's first real goal attempt, well saved at the post by the Guildford keeper, the visitors went 3-0 up with yet another clever piece of skill under pressure, a well-directed reverse deflection to set the scorer up.

Moments later, they thought they had gone 4-0 up, as a ball bounced off the post at a penalty corner and was scrambled home by a phalanx of alert Guildford players but was disallowed for an infringement.

Their fourth did come just before the break as a Guildford midfielder was quickest to the ball in the "D" as Winchester tried to clear their lines and passed the ball into the corner of the net.

Things improved for the home team after the break, although not straight away with Guildford adding a fifth direct from a penalty corner and then a sixth from open play as Winchester's clearance was misdirected straight into the heart of the Guildford defensive unit who made no mistake with the finish. Thereafter Winchester then had two great opportunities to narrow the goal gap, firstly Ben Hibberd was thwarted at close range by a great save and Todd Clark just failed to touch the ball-in, again at close range.

Guildford had a further goal ruled out, but For the last 30 minutes of the game, Winchester gave a good, competitive account of themselves and played some of their best hockey of the season, with possession being maintained at a much-improved level.

It also gave the significant under 18 element of the squad an excellent hockey experience, one in which they stepped up to the mark.

Incidentally, Guildford are coached by Beckie Middleton, wife of England's record cap holder Barry Middleton who was present as a spectator.

Matches and training are now suspended until December 4.