BOTH manager Craig Davis and goalscorer Jordan Rose hailed the hard work Winchester players had done in training in the three weeks without a game as they showed no lack of match fitness in defeating Poole Town 4-0, with three postponements contributing to the lack of activity since winning at Harrow Borough three weeks ago.

It was Winchester's first Saturday home league victory of the season and not since Hayes and Yeading were defeated on April 8, 2023 (343 days previously) had Winchester won a Saturday fixture on home soil. 

Prior to Saturday, Winchester had only obtained two points from seven home games in Saturday fixtures and on the day after Comic Relief there was certainly relief in the Winchester camp that they were able to get points on the board after the enforced break and a few smiles on their faces at the end of the game.

Poole were just below Winchester in the table, but the previous season only lost the playoff semi-final to the eventually promoted Truro City on a penalty shoot-out and were strongly fancied to do well this season,  However, long-serving manager Tommy Killick left the club early in the season, and his replacement Matt Tubbs recently re4signed after an indifferent series of results and put James Ellis in temporary charge until the rest of the season.

Poole were without forward Toby Holmes who was suspended, but up front, Poole still had Wes Fogden a player with 97 football league appearances to his name and Jake Scrimshaw a player who scored for Eastleigh in the National League last season in their forward line and they had other experienced players in their ranks.

Winchester made one change to the starting line-up from the Harrow game with Ollie Griggs replacing captain Jamie Barron who dropped to the bench, with Danny King assuming the captaincy.

Early on Jordan Chiedozie a player who played briefly in the football league and is the son of John Chiedozie a Nigerian international who made over 50 first-team appearances for Tottenham Hotspur tested Winchester goalkeeper Luke Cairney who in fact joined the club from Poole earlier in the season, with a free kick,  However Winchester began to get on top with Max Smith and Josh McCormick looking threatening on the right flank and they forced successive corners and Smith came close to giving Winchester the leads with one effort.  The deadlock was broken in the 21st minute when McCormick scored with a low shot.  Winchester looked the more likely team to score the game's next goal and it arrived in the 34th minute when Jordan Rose put the ball away following Ollie Balmer's corner,

Winchester went into halftime two goals to the good but knew that if the visitors were to get a goal back the game would take on a different complexion and early in the second half Cairney made another good save from Chiedozie.

However, it became 3-0 in the 54th minute when Balmer took advantage of hesitancy in the Poole defence to score from close range. After that goal, the result of the game was never in doubt. Trevor Caborn had a shot saved, while Simba Mlambo who had come on as a substitute shot wide. Winchester though had an excellent chance to score a fourth when they were awarded a penalty, with Poole's Declan Rose receiving a second yellow card as a result of this,  however, Sam Ashton who was the first of the three substitutes used by Winchester who also bought Mlambo and Barron also coming on.

Although Cairney had to make a further save from a free kick to keep Poole out, Winchester were looking comfortable and in added-on time Ashton atoned for his team's penalty kick by scoring his team's fourth goal.

After travelling to play Plymouth Parkway on Thursday, Winchester are away to Hendon on Saturday and away to Tiverton on the following Tuesday.