Royalists bounce back from controversial loss
Windsor beat Tadley 2-0 after seeing red in defeat to Reading City
Windsor bounced back from Saturday's disappointing, and controversial, 2-1 defeat at Reading City, to beat Tadley Calleva 2-0 on Tuesday evening.
Boss Mark Cooper lambasted the standard of refereeing in Saturday's defeat to City, calling the officials ‘not fit for purpose’ after
Windsor defender Jake Hammond and striker Excellence Muhemba were both dismissed. The latter was shown a straight-red card meaning he’s now set to miss the remainder of the campaign.
The Royalists did find the net, through Danny Horscroft's beautifully taken volley, but they couldn't pick up a positive result their performance merited.
Windsor enjoyed a much more satisfying 90 minutes at Tadley on Tuesday where Luke Paris and Lindell Stewart scored the goals in a victory over one of the division's ‘most in-form sides’. They also picked up their third clean sheet in four matches in the process.
Tuesday's win lifts the Royalists to eighth in the Combined Counties Premier Division North with three matches to play, starting at home to St Panteleimon on Saturday. They’re a point behind Edgware Town having played a game more.
“Reading City away to start with on Saturday, it’s always a difficult place to go and it’s a pitch that is not conducive to playing football on,” said Cooper. “There was hardly any football being played at all and it was a very fast and furious game.
“I thought they started well and deservedly went into the lead. The only issue I have is how they went into the lead. It was the officials again and this one was not fit for purpose. Everyone in the ground could see their player was offside leading up to the goal.
“The referee then booked someone for an innocuous challenge and that set the tone really.
“He had to book every similar tackle after that. He ended up with a card count in double figures, including three red cards.
“We got back into the game with another welltaken Danny Horscroft goal, but we just couldn’t get the equaliser. The referee stopstarted the game all the time for innocuous yellow cards. We deserved a point in the end, but it was the offside goal which made the difference.
“We felt pretty aggrieved. The referee was atrocious while the linesman was equally as bad.
“Jake got a second yellow after the game for dissent. He shouldn’t have got himself sent off, but I understand his frustration.
“Ex kicked out and rightly got sent off. We’re going to miss him for the last three games of the season which is incredibly frustrating because he’s a big player for us.
“Jake will have a one match ban which starts on Saturday.”
On the Royalists’ win at Tadley Calleva, Cooper added: “It was a really good win because it's a tough place to go. Make no bones about it, aside from Hanworth Villa, Tadley are probably the most in-form side of the division.
“They play a lot of good football and have some good, technical players.
“But we had a better 90 minutes, defended resolutely, and scored some welltaken goals. Our first was superbly put away by Luke.
“Ex was also a real handful all night and in one of our breakaways, he managed to take on two players and make an easy finish for Lindell.
Cooper added: “We are at home to St Panteleimon on Saturday and we're looking to cement eighth place.
“We will be without Ex and Jake, of course, but we are confident, and we are on a good run of form.”