First game back in the New Year was Old Windsor biggest game of the season up until now, at home to Maidenhead Town from the Thames Valley League in the semi-final of the Maidenhead and Norfolkian cup. It was the second time in as many years that Old Windsor had reached this stage, the previous year we lost 3-1 to Langley. For our opponents Maidenhead Town they had reached the semi-final of this competition the previous four seasons, so they came determined to make this the year they would make the final.
Old Windsor had a very strong squad to choose from with the management team having to disappoint a few of the lads, for those boys their chance to show what they can do will come later in the season. As for the starting line-up Harry was back in goal, the back four was Lex, Scouse, Shorty and Loz. The midfield was full of energy with Rory, Joe and James, and the front three were as strong as ever with Ben, Sean and Calvin getting the nod to start up top. That left the five subs as Brad, Mike, Anthony, Ric and Luke.
Old Windsor started the game on the front foot with Maidenhead unable to gain any sort of control of the ball and after 2 minutes OW hit the crossbar direct from a corner. This was a sign of things to come with OW really flying out of the blocks and Maidenhead not being able to play the football which they were trying.
After five minutes of pressure the goal came for Old Windsor when they gained possession in the midfield and got the ball out to the left wing where a brilliant cross by Ben to the far post was volleyed home by Sean to put Old Windsor into a deserved 1-0 lead.
OW kept the pressure on Maidenhead for the next 10 minutes or so, but didn’t really threaten the Maidenhead keeper who comfortably dealt with what was thrown at him, however the one shot that did look to have beaten him from Joe hit his own player (Ben) on the line to deny OW a two goal lead. Maidenhead then slowly started to get themselves into the game, playing some nice football, but failing to create any chances.
To be honest the rest of the first half was very scrappy with little to comment on up until just before half time when Maidenhead Town broke down the left had side where the winger found himself race through one on one with Harry in the Old Windsor goal. He hit the ball nicely towards the corner of the goal, but somehow Harry made a fingertip save which knocked the ball just wide of the post. A let of for OW and a reminder of what Maidenhead were capable of.
Half time 1-0 Old Windsor.
The second half started much the same as the majority of the first a scrappy cagey game which did not really suit either side, however Old Windsor were winning their individual battles all over the pitch, and with the pace they had up top causing Maidenhead problems it looked like another goal was coming.
The first real chance of the first half came on the hour mark where Joe saw his header from a set play saved onto the bar and the ball then fell to Shorty a couple of yards out who could only head the ball on target for the keeper to save.
Minutes later it was another headed chance for Shorty who headed well, but just got too much on it and saw his header graze the top of the bar. The pressure was mounting now and Old Windsor were starting to create some good opportunities.
This chances continued to come when Calvin broke down the right hand side and got himself through on goal at a tight angle. Before he could get his shot away he was tripped, but managed to stay on his feet. He pulled the ball back to the penalty spot where James was coming on to it. The Maidenhead defender dived in and caught James as he was about to shoot, unbelievably the ref decided no penalty and kept the game at only 1-0.
Old Windsor continued to push though and in the 75th minute got their reward when some lovely football down the right hand side ended up with a ball being played into the box which eventually found its way to Brad who controlled nicely before dispatching the ball into the bottom corner. 2-0 Old Windsor.
With that Old Windsor killed off the game nicely with Mike coming on a CB to deal with the threat caused by the Maidenhead striker who was very good in the air. Maidenhead did have a couple of strikes from range, but never really threatened the OW goal.
A good battling display from the boys sees us reach our first final in 9 years where we will face Singh Sabha who beat Delaford in the other semi-final. It should be a good game with the two sides drawing 1-1 earlier in the season.
Next week sees another tough game as we travel to Crowthorne looking to progress in the league cup. Hopefully we will have a strong squad like this week.