Winchester City co-manager Danny Robinson hailed his side’s excellent team spirit as they prepare to welcome their second Conference South opponents in a week to the Denplan City Ground when they face Basingstoke Town tonight (7.45pm) in a pre-season friendly.
Tim Cole and Robinson took charge of their first match at City on Saturday as their team were well beaten, 5-1, by Sutton United, who play three tiers higher.
Winch opened the scoring through Mike McEnery, who is one of the players that moved from Alresford to join his former managers at the Denplan.
Leading through McEnery’s strike at half-time, City conceded five goals after the restart. Robinson, though, was pleased with what he saw, considering the side are still learning to gel together.
“It was brilliant, we more than matched them for an hour of the game,” he said.
“They already have very good team spirit, that’s really pleasing to see and counts for a lot.
“Obviously playing a group of professionals meant their fitness shone through in the end.
“There were many positives to take from the match and we learnt a lot.
“It was our very first game in charge.”
Winch now prepare to take on Jason Bristow’s Dragons tonight.
Robinson and Cole plan to make a few changes to their starting XI for the game and could see centre back Leigh Mills return after injury.
“We won’t be making wholesale changes but will be making a few,” Robinson said.
“Playing these two friendlies is a really good opportunity to play teams of Conference standard.”
Ex-Salisbury City and Eastleigh striker Marvin Williams came off the bench to score twice for Sutton, who are managed by former Spitfires manager Paul Doswell.
Williams was also brought down by City keeper Jason Collins for a penalty which Matt Lockwood converted for Sutton’s fifth goal.
Jessy Reindorf and Craig Dundas scored the others.
Winchester follow up tonight’s game with further pre-season matches against Bashley this Friday, Fleet Town (July 15) and Thatcham Town (July 19).