THERE was no shame in Winchester City losing 3-1 to a team sitting third in the Sydenhams Premier Division.

What disappointed co-City bosses Matt and Stuart Hussey was that they were outfought rather than outclassed by a rapidly emerging Bournemouth Poppies side at the Denplan City Ground.

Two second-half goals by substitute Rico Wilson stretched the Poppies’ unbeaten league run to 13 games, keeping the pressure on league leaders Bemerton and reigning champions Poole at the top.

But, asked if they viewed Poppies as potential championship material, the Husseys agreed: “For team spirit and workrate, yes, but technically, no.”

Hard work has been a feature of Winchester’s game since the Husseys succeeded Shaun Brooks at the Hillier Way helm.

But they were outdone in that department in the second half on Saturday after deservedly going in 1-1 at the break.

Having fallen behind to a slightly fortuitous Poppies goal in the 25th minute, City pulled themselves back on terms on the stroke of half-time with a predatory finish from top scorer Danny Cox.

But Bournemouth, who had struck the bar shortly before that equaliser, upped their game after the break.

Full story in this week's Hampshire Chronicle