The previous two league matches at Winchester 's ground between Winchester and Salisbury since Salisbury were formed as an effectively new club in 2015 following the demise of the former Salisbury City club had produced a total of 15 goals, but this Boxing Day clash was decided by a single goal early in the second half.

Salisbury who recently replaced Steve Claridge with Brian Dutton as manager went into this match just off the playoff positions, writes  Malcolm Clarke.

The match was given added spice by the fact that Winchester's Warren Bentley is a former Salisbury player, while on the other side of the coin Salisbury central defender Sam Roberts played for Winchester during the 2018/19 season.  In addition Winchester manager Craig Davis was a record signing for the old Salisbury City club and helped them reach the National League South by successive promotions.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Photo: Gary Marsh

Winchester were playing their first competitive first team fixture for 23 days and their first home match for a month, and four changes to the starting line-up from the last fixture.  Ollie Griggs, Warren Bentley and Archie Willcox who were all on the substitutes bench in that game started on this occasion, while new signing Lerone Plummer was also bought into the side.  Simba Mlambo, I K Hill and Luke King all of whom started the match against Hayes and Yeading did not feature, while Silvano Obeng who was on the substitutes bench in that game has now left the club and joined AFC Totton.

Winchester made a bright start and early in proceedings Henry Brooks forced Gerard Benfield to save at the expense of a corner.  Max Smith also had another effort deflected for a corner, but Salisbury came more into the game as the half progressed.  They had a couple of free kicks in dangerous positions both of which were taken by Brandon Goodship, one of which saw Sam Roberts be just off target with a header and the other seeing Goodship himself shoot over.  Both Goodship and Devon Arnold forced routine saves from Charlie Phillpott, but Philpott's best save was right at the end of the half when he made a good save from Goodship, and the follow up effort going just wide.

Salisbury start the second half well and with another Goodship free kick leads to a corner which leads to Calvin Brooks scoring the opening goal from close range.  Initially Salisbury looked comfortable with their lead and it required a goal line clearance to deny them a second.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Photo: Gary Marsh

Winchester had made all three substitutions by the mid point of the first half with Dan Jones, Claudio Herbert and Josh Bertie respectively replacing Lerone Plummer, Jamie Barron and Callum Baughan and the home team certainly finished the game strongly and were unlucky not to find the equalizer.  Henry Brooks forced another good save from Benfield, Sam Roberts  under pressure almost heads the ball past his own goalkeeper with the ball going just behind for a corner and Josh Bertie shooting over when well placed.  Winchester enjoyed a lot of possession and forced several corner with Charlie Philpott going up for the last of these and there is no doubt that although Salisbury always looked dangerous on the break, that Winchester had the better of the game's closing stages.

Winchester are next in action on January 2nd when they travel to Gosport Borough and on the following Saturday are away to Metropolitan Police.