There was an early promising move for Banbury when in the 2nd minute an in-swinging free-kick on the right taken by Darius Browne saw Andy Gunn get to the ball first at the six yard line but he directed his header wide.
There was little between the sides in the next 20 minutes but neither side managed to create a clear chance. However, on 25 minutes it would be Banbury who would make the all-important breakthrough when Zac McEachran threw the ball to Callum White for a Banbury throw in and then caught the Winchester defence napping by running through and collecting the White quick throw, taking the ball to the edge of the visitor's penalty area. He then passed it through to Felipe Barcelos down the right who slotted the ball home from six yards as Brendan Norris in the WInchester goal came out to narrow the angle.
The goal lifted Banbury and they were the better side for the remainder of the half and in the 42nd minute, after a period of pressure on the visitors, they would double their lead. Darius Browne took the ball in from the right before passing low from the edge of the penalty area across the six yard box where it was met by Ricky Johnson at the far post who knocked it home from close range.
Winchester had the better of the opening ten minutes of the second half but didn't overly trouble the Banbury defence and it was Banbury who would have the first real good chance of the half when in the 55th minute Browne put Barcelos through on goal but with just the goalkeeper to beat the United striker saw his shot from ten yards out saved by the legs of Norris as the custodian came out to narrow the angle.
A minute later and a good move down the right involving McEachran and White saw the latter's shot from the edge of the penalty area well held by Norris. Then just 30 seconds later Winchester went close when a low cross from the left bye-line by Jamie Barron found Warren Bentley at the near post but the Winchester striker failed to connect properly with his shot and Michael Hopkins was on hand to kick the ball away from just in front of the goal line.
The chances though kept coming for United as almost immediately a Johnson lofted ball set Barcelos through on goal in another one-on-one with Norris. This time the Brazilian tried to take the ball around the goalkeeper at the six yard line but was denied with Danny King then getting back to hack the ball away and though this only went as far as Duran Martin on the penalty spot he too failed to convert the chance as he knocked the ball over the custodian but just wide. Seconds later a cross from the right by Callum White saw Browne with a good chance at the near post but he didn't get enough on his header and the ball went wide of the far post.
In the 65th minute Johnson set Browne away down the right touchline who then cut inside before unleashing a ferocious shot from the edge of the penalty area which Norris did well to get behind at the near post and push away. Two minutes later a free kick from McEachran wide on the left was only partially cleared and when the ball came back into the centre there was a scramble around the six yard box which ended with substitute Leam Howards, who had only been on the field for 20 seconds, seeing his shot blocked on the line by Jake Newton and then hacked clear.
However, after a period of pressure on Banbury, Winchester pulled a goal back in the 79th minute and United supporters began to wonder if the missed opportunities earlier in the half might come back to haunt them. The goal came when a free kick taken by Zac Glasspool was swung in from just outside the penalty area on the right and Warren Bentley jumped well to back-head the ball into the far top corner of the net from six yards.
Four minutes later and Winchester went so close to equalising when Glasspool's shot/cross from the right bye-line was knocked away by Harding but only as far as Jamie Thoroughgood at the far post but with the ball slightly behind him and with the ball coming to him at pace he managed to flick the ball over the bar from just five yards out.
It was a nervy final ten minutes for United to play out after this but there were not really anymore scares and they could even have made the scoreline more emphatic when in the first minute of stoppage time Johnson burst through down the left before crossing into the path of George Nash coming in at the far post but stretching he put the ball well over the bar from the edge of the six yard box.
So in front of a bumper crowd of 589, it was a fully deserved victory for United which moves them to the top of the table
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Callum White, Michael Hopkins, Duran Martin, Jack Westbrook, Andy Gunn, Zac McEachran (Ollie Stanbridge 84), George Nash, Ricky Johnson, Felipe Barcelos (Leam Howards 67), Darius Browne (Charlie Wise 84). Subs (not used): Miles Welch-Hayes, Jacob Blackstock.
Winchester City: Brendan Norris, Jake Newton, Danny King, Jamie Barron, Leigh Mills, Jamie Thoroughgood, Adam Roberts, Micky Hubbard, Zac Glasspool, Warren Bentley, Matt Benham (Craig Feeney 59). Subs (not used): Adam Tomasso, Harrison Fey.
Updated 19:25 - 29 Feb 2016 by David Shadbolt