EX-EASTLEIGH young gun Sam Wilson scored on his Winchester City debut at Brockenhurst on Saturday.
But the afternoon belonged to Brock wideman Mark Barker who plundered a hat-trick – including two from the penalty spot – in the Badgers’ 3-2 Sydenhams Premier win.
Former Fulham trialist Wilson levelled the scores after Barker had put Brock one up by latching onto Brad Magookin’s through ball and lobbing’ City keeper Ross Casey.
Barker then struck twice from the spot – first after handball and then for a foul on Will Tickle – to put Brock in the driving seat before substitute Ryan Holloway bagged City’s late consolation.
“It was good performance by us and we got what we deserved,” said Badgers boss Pat McManus, who managed Winchester’s reserves last season.
“Our training last Wednesday was based on how we would unlock the Winchester defence and we decided to be a bit more direct to exploit the weaknesses we’d identified.
“Winchester like to play three at the back and push their wing-backs on and one ball over the top was beating them all the time.
“Millsy (Leigh Mills) had a torrid time against Mark Barker.
“The scoreline 3-2 sounds close, but it could have been more.
“Their manager Neil Hards was very gracious and said we thoroughly deserved to win – and we did. People will say Winchester had an off-day, but you’ve got to make them have that off-day and we were sharper than them.”
Welcoming new signing Wilson into the fold, Winchester’s director of football Dave Malone said: “Sam is a young striker with a bright future ahead of him.
“With first team chances very limited at Eastleigh, Sam has joined us in the hope of regular football and an opportunity to demonstrate his undoubted talent.
“With the recent signing of Taz Roberts, along with Chris Flood and Daryl Phillips, we now have a potentially formidable strike force. Let’s hope we can show that in the remaining games of the season.”
Winchester tonight travel to reigning champions Blackfield & Langley, while 12th-placed Brock entertain Moneyfields tomorrow (Wednesday).