WINCHESTER City must get past the formidable obstacle of league leaders Yate Town at Hillier Way on Saturday (3pm) if they are to register their first win in eight Evo-Stik Division One South games.

The 14th-placed Citizens made a superb start to the season with three straight victories over Mangotsfield, Thatcham and Moneyfields – but haven’t won a league game since.

They had hoped to get back to winning ways at bottom-of-the-table Fleet Town last Saturday, but that game fell foul of the wet weather.

Last night they opened their Simplyhealth City Ground doors to an Evesham United side who were themselves on a poor run of six league games without a win.

But The Robins, who were among the pre-season title favourites, chose that of all evenings to get their mojo back as they sentenced City to a 2-1 home defeat.

Kye Simpson opened the scoring with a near-post finish on 39 minutes and Winchester found themselves two down to a Joe Tumelty penalty six minutes after the break.

City’s Josh Harfield hit the post with a header on 68 minutes and they finally pulled one back at the death when sub Jake Rawkins delivered for Rob Carr to net a looping header.

“We’re having a bit of a rough time at the moment and we certainly have work to do to get back to where we were a few weeks ago,” said Winchester manager Craig Davis.

“But this is a tight league and we’re not a million miles away from where we need to be. Everyone’s got to keep pushing and I’m sure we’ll turn the corner.

“Evesham are a good side who have spent a lot of money.

“They probably just edged it last night but, in all honesty, it wasn’t much of a game.

“We’ve now got to play the league leaders Yate which is not the worst thing in the world.

“There’s a bit of pressure on them after they lost to (second-to-bottom) Barnstaple.  I don’t think there’s a lot to choose between the top and bottom in this league.”

City have welcomed young midfielder/striker IK Hill back to the ranks from Alresford Town, but have had little joy recruiting other new faces.

“We’re still on the lookout, but financially we can’t get anywhere near what players want financially,” said Davis.

“We’re on a tight budget and we can’t budge on what we pay people.

“We’re not going to overpay people when we’re not paying the same to the other players. It’s not right.”