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Windsor 0 v Hartley Wintney 2

Post by KOB - 15-10-2016, 19:51

I'm sure very few will disagree with me when I say that - despite the win - it was one of our more lacklustre performances, especially in the first half, and at first I couldn't quite understand why we had three fullbacks on the bench and three centre-backs on the pitch (four if you count Shane who was playing up front with Sam in Ross's absence), and we were very narrow and allowing Windsor acres of space on the flanks. But eventually I think I got it. By the end of the half, having seen all the space we were happy to give their wingers out wide, especially on our right, and yet they'd done precious little with that space, it dawned on me that Dan and Millers had simply done their homework on Windsor and decided they were more of a threat coming down the middle, and didn't have pace out wide, and that if they did get a few crosses in, we had the players to deal with it. If that was the plan, it worked to perfection.

Defensively we were strong, with Liam Eagle partnered with Julian Sills in the centre, Steve Noakes on the right and Louie Paget on the left. We needed to be, most notably in the opening spell of the second half when Windsor came at us, and the cover they gave Jake was good enough that I don't remember keeper Maddock having to make one 'difficult' save. But across the midfield especially, it was a day when our focus seemed to be elsewhere at times. We are more than capable of passing teams to death by keeping it simple, but we didn't seem to want to do that until late in the game when we kept the ball, knocked it around and created several more chances.

But when all's said and done, how can us lot complain too much when the boys go to Windsor, keep a clean sheet and create plenty of chances denied only by a very good performance by the Windsor keeper and the occasional hint of 'left boot on right foot' syndrome?

But the first half was frustrating. We looked a little off the pace mentally, even though we started on the front foot and took the game to them. We were the better side but there was something missing, and it wasn't just Cookie. But with Sam up front we always had that outlet and someone that could torment a robust-looking but not especially mobile centre-back pairing.

The opening goal was a complete gift, though I looked away thinking there was nothing on and missed exactly what happened, but it seems their centre-back somehow ended up playing it across his box and Sam Argent is there to coolly slot it passed the keeper after a big shout that he'd handled it. Sam pointed to his chest and I was in no position to doubt him or the ref, but the goal was gift-wrapped with a huge red and green bow! We went in 1 up when 0-0 would have been fair enough.

We rode our luck in the opening stages of the second-half. Yes we defended well and Jake had little to do other than get his body behind a couple of shots, comfortable saves, but Windsor were not, let's say, hot prospects in front of goal and better forwards might have done us. Just as I was beginning to think an equaliser was inevitable, what happens... Steve Noakes receives the ball wide right around the half way line, neat ball to Dean Stow, through to Shane Hollamby edge of the box, nice touches taking him left and passed the defender before he picked his spot and finished well. A lovely goal somewhat against the run of play, but after that we began to catch them on the break and could have added more, which would have been harsh on the hosts. Their keeper did very well.

We were the better team but struggled to show just how much better today. And yet... we go 6 points clear at the top. The boys did the job again. But if we play like that on Tuesday night against Bedfont Sports - who must be feeling like kings after their win at Westfield - we'd get a nasty reminder of what happened the last time we played a side from Bedfont... Better focus will be needed Tuesday night. But for now, well done boys.
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