Some you Wind, some you lose
The first team went down to a hugely disappointing defeat at Windsor on Saturday when the lads never really got going in the encounter.
Darren Salmon was dealt a blow before the game, when goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw broke down in the warm up, and had to be replaced by Ollie Ellaway. Liam Holden was forced into an emergency forward role, with Michael Campbell, Josh Greenleaf (both injured) and Danny Fernandez (working) all unavailable.
Windsor started brightly, and in the opening exchanges the lively Nadir Swafi looked to be getting some joy down the left hand side, but after neat approach play his final delivery was poor, and no danger to our goal. The first real chance of the game also fell to Swafi but his shot was screwed well wide, and at the other end Holden almost broke clear of the Windsor backline, but was well challenged by Andrew Ingram.
11 fired a low shot through on crowd on 12 minutes which Ellaway dealt with comfortably, before Windsor took the lead on 14 minutes. A corner was only half cleared to the edge of the area, Ashley Smith's shot hit the crossbar with George Gould reacting quickest to head home. We responded positively and two minutes later Owen Davies headed a free kick wide of the left hand post.
We should have been level minutes later, when the influential Adam Allen split the defence with a ball to Holden, he calmly lobbed the keeper but the ball agonisingly floated just over the crossbar.
Holden then saw a shot saved by Hugo Sobte low to his left and Jay Jones had flicked on an Ellaway clearance, as we enjoyed our best spell of the first half.
Windsor almost increased their lead on 22 minutes, when a ball over the top found Keiran Knight and his effort just cleared the crossbar. Two minutes later and Emanuel Goganos fired over the crossbar after we had repeatedly given possession back to Windsor.
Holden curled a free kick over the bar on 29 minutes, and the game lulled into a fairly dull period, with neither side able to find that opening for either an equaliser or a second goal. Holden went into the book for kicking the ball away on 40 minutes, and on the stroke of half time a low Jordan Johnson-Palmer cross was well gathered by Sobte, as it was heading towards Allen.
Windsor opened brightly in the second half, but we were defending better, and they were unable to force an error. Darren Salmon made his first change on 51 minutes, with in-form Matty Auletta replacing Jay Jones. Windsor continued to hold the upper hand and we were greatful to some good work by Ellaway, Davies and Jeff Addo-Dankwa to keep them at bay.
We made another change just before the hour with Keano Robinson replacing the off colour Sam Blowers. We had a decent chance to level things up on the hour, firstly a quick break by Allen and Johnson-Palmer ended with good work by Hayden Clark, turning the ball behind for a corner. From the Holden delivery, Robinson thumped a powerful header over the crossbar.
We were reduced to ten men on 64 minutes, when Allen saw red for retaliation after a poor challenge by Windsors Gould, who also went into the book. We took a few minutes to adjust to the numerical disadvantage, and Davies and Addo-Dankwa needed to be on their toes to prevent Windsor from increasing their lead.
Scores should have been level on 75 minutes, when the two substitutes linked up with Auletta finding Robinson, his dinked ball to the back post found Anson Cousins, eight yards out, but he put his right footed volley well wide of the left hand post.
We were throwing more bodies forward in an attempt to force an equaliser, and this was obviously leaving us more open at the back. On 77 minutes Knight broke free of our backline, but although his effort beat Ellaway it hit the post and Davies hooked clear.
Aaron Bogle found himself in the book for a poor challenge on 80 minutes, and we missed a glorious chance a minute later when Holden found Auletta, who in turn found Robinson, but keeper Sobte was out quickly to make the save.
Salmon made his final change on 82 minutes, and it was a welcome site for SCR supporters as Charlie Emery made his long awaited return after four months out injured, replacing Bogle, and his first effort went just over the bar. Addo-Dankwa then went close with a header as he challenge Windsor's Sobte.
Swafi went close to making it 2-0 as he broke quickly but his shot was well blocked by Davies and in injury time it had to be 2-0, but Dunbar fired wide when left with an open goal.
It was the last chance for either side, and we slumped to a disappointing defeat.
Having said that, our form has been good of late so we were due a blip.