CAPTAIN Fantastic Jamie Barron scored both goals to secure what manager Craig Davis described as Winchester City’s “most important three points of the season.”

The Citizens showed they meant business in the push for the Evo-Stik South West play-offs, seeing off in-form rivals Didcot Town 2-0 at the Simplyhealth City Ground to go fourth in the table.

Barron’s brace showed two key characteristics of his game.

First there was the audacious – a quite stunning strike from just inside his own half that sailed over keeper Leigh Bedwell with three second-half minutes gone.

Then came the calmness under pressure as he waited patiently to double City’s tally from the penalty spot after Oli Bailey had been brought down.

Following lengthy deliberation by the referee, the Didcot offender, Stuart Cattell, was sent off.

All the while Barron was left waiting but, when his time came, he produced yet another precision finish from 12 yards.

Discussing Barron’s opener, player/boss Davis said: “Jamie’s got that in his locker. He’s a really good technical player and he’s been excellent for us this year.

“He’s led from the front with his goals and quality of play. From the moment I walked in the door here, he liked what we were trying to do.

“I’m really pleased that on a big day like this he’s scored a fantastic goal.

"It was the sort of strike that would be shown over and over again on Match Of The Day and people would be raving about it. He deserves to be our hero.

“I don’t know why the referee took so long dealing with the sending-off. It put pressure on Jamie, but he slotted it away after a long wait and that wasn’t easy either because the goalmouth was very boggy.”

With injuries taking their toll, City introduced three new players to their squad.

Following Thursday’s announcement that ex-Camberley Town midfielder Joe Sowden had climbed aboard, Davis secured the signings of central defender Adam Brice from Gosport Borough and Danny Cox – a former Winchester, AFC Totton and Sholing player – from Hamble Club.

While Sowden and Cox came off the bench late in the game, Brice was handed a start alongside Davis at the back.

Unfortunately, though, his afternoon was cut short when he too was sent off on the hour for a second bookable offence.

That was the signal for Didcot to raise their game, but City coped well under pressure, setting themselves up nicely for Saturday’s big assignment away at third-placed Bristol Manor Farm.

*Winchester City have been drawn at home to Blackfield & Langley in the semi-finals of the BSA Regal-sponsored Hampshire FA Senior Cup.

The other tie is between last season’s beaten finalists, AFC Bournemouth’s under-21s, and Havant & Waterlooville. Both games are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 6.

Reacting to the draw, Davis said: “We fancy ourselves against anyone at home. However, Blackfield & Langley are a good side, going well in the Wessex League.

“But I think Havant & Waterlooville was probably the hardest draw, so it’s good to avoid that.”

*AFC Totton’s scheduled Evo-Stik South West trip to North Leigh was postponed as was Salisbury’s game at Swindon Supermarine.