WINNING the Hampshire FA Senior Cup isn’t top of Winchester City's priority list.

But boss Craig Davis was the first to admit that dumping out holders Basingstoke Town on Tuesday would put an extra glide in their stride for Saturday's Evo-Stik South West assignment at Slimbridge.

“I’m not that bothered about the Hampshire Cup in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a momentum builder,” he said.

“And the fact we did it without Josh Harfield, Oli Bailey, Rob Carr, Adam Tomasso, and Andy Jenkinson, and had Dan Williamson on the bench, makes it even more special. Arguably we were without four or five of our best players.”

Having gone 2-0 down, City hit back through Liam Gilbert and Rob Flooks before Joe Cook seemingly won it on 88 minutes.

But Basingstoke made it 3-3 with a stoppage-time header from a corner, taking a thrilling tie to a penalty shootout, which the Citizens won 5-4.

“We went two down in what was quite a tight game but, from then on, we annihilated them. The stats were ridiculous with the number of shots and crosses we had.

"It was a fantastic performance from us, particularly given the players we rested. The spirit is absolutely first class,” smiled Davis.

With striker Oli Bailey nursing a hamstring twinge, City again took the opportunity to blood 16-year-old bright spark Ben Sunley.

A prolific scorer in the youth and reserve teams, Sunley is a Peter Symonds College student from Chandler’s Ford.

“It was another physical test for Ben against two experienced Southern League centre-halves and he will have learned from it,” said the boss. "It's very pleasing for Ben and his development."

The third-placed Citizens have a good opportunity to keep that momentum going against 16th-placed Slimbridge, who have lost seven of their nine home league games.

“They did well at the start of the season, but they’ve dropped off a bit,” said Davis. “They lost 8-1 to Wimborne recently, but I think they had four players suspended that day.

“We’ve been to see them and they’re a very hard-working side.

“I believe we’ve got more quality than them, but we have to match their workrate.”

Sixteen-goal top scorer Bailey is City’s only injury worry.