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  • Writer's pictureRob Stevens

'Magic man' Kingsley Etefia helps Iver Heath to a draw at Old Windsor in enthralling curtain-raiser

PICTURE: Iver Heath recovered from falling behind four times to secure a point in an enthralling 4-4 draw at Old Windsor as the new season got under way on Saturday.

Old Windsor and Iver Heath produced an enthralling encounter that could have been mistaken for an end-of-season Cup final as the new East Berkshire League campaign got under way on Saturday.

The Os missed out on winning the Premier Division title by a single point last season and have a new first team manager this year, Luke Wade replacing the departing Darren Wareham.

Wade must have been wondering what more his side could have done to start the new season with a win, taking the lead on four occasions only to be pegged back by a resilient and courages Iver outfit.

Iver finished in fourth position last season and boss, Darren Partington has aims to finish in the top three this year. And his side will be a real threat to the title challengers with real pace and clinical finishing in attack.

Partington said: “I was thoroughly impressed with both sides. Both put in a great work rate and some great football was played out there. You could see that the desire to win was thier from both teams. For the first game in the season, it looked like it was a Cup final out there, both teams want to win.

“I am happy to take a point. I am not sure that Old Windsor will be, being at home, but I am more than happy with a point.

“I have great belief in the boys that they will always play to the end of the 90 minutes. It’s a testament to the boys that I believe in. A couple of substitutions helped change the game, one of which, young Frank, got the equaliser.

“It just seems that we were conceding the same silly goals.”

VIDEO: Louis Magss scores from the penalty spot to give Old Windsor an early lead in the 4-4 draw with Iver Heath at the Old Windsor Recreation Ground on Saturday.

The Iver boss added: “We lucky enough to have some good quality and experience up front with Liam Connor, he’s a goal scorer and will always give you 100 per-cent.

“We’ve got a new player on the wing in Kingsley Etefia. We call him the magic man because he makes things happen. He commits players and frees up space for others. Things are looking forward.

“If I’m honest, I’m going to come away from here not very happy about it because three of the goals that we conceded were carbon copies, they were long throws or set pieces. We will have to learn from that.

“We will take a point ,100 per-cent, after being behind four times. Old Windsor had a couple of chances where they could have nicked it and we had one right at the end so, all in all, we are going to go away, wipe our mouths, and take a point.”

Partington also commented: “We was lucky last season really because the players came back with a great mindset after Christmas and we managed to put on a good run of wins. We managed to finish fourth when, in my eyes, we were in a relegation battle, so our aim this season is to break the top three.”

Old Windsor were gifted the chance to take the lead inside the opening 15 minutes when Iver defender Harry Spraggon had the ball pinched off his toes and, in an attempt to recover possession, clearly fouled Luke Hayes inside the box. Louis Maggs converting the spot-kick low into the bottom right-hand corner.

Iver equalised on 39 minutes after a calamitous mistake from new Os keeper, Mitchell Groves. The stopper was being closed down by Liam Connor and completely missed his clearance kick, allowing the forward a simple tap-in.

The home side restored their lead two minutes into the second half with a stunning strike from Dylan Rowe. Iver cleared a corner kick to the edge of their box but Rowe struck early with the ball moving in the air past helpless keeper, Sam Hewitt.

PHOTO: The Premier Division table after the opening weekend of the season.

Iver were not behind for long however as a deep corner was headed back across goal and Connor found enough space for himself to head in unmarked from close range in the 54th minute.

The match was littered with defensive mistakes from both teams and another led to a third goal for the Os on 55 minutes. A James Walton free-kick from wide on the left touchline missed everyone inside the box and nestled in the far corner of the net.

Iver continued to show their resiliency and found another equaliser just moments later, this time Kingsley Etefia latching onto a loose ball on the left edge of the box and rifling home on the hour mark.

With all to play for in an incredible curtain-raiser to the new season, Old Windsor went ahead for a fourth time in the 74th minute. A ball into the box was flicked on to the back post where Luke Hayes was free to convert from inside six yards.

The drama was not over however, as substitute Frank Francis fired in a fourth and late equaliser for Iver Heath to ensure his team went home with a share of the points.

Iver Heath host newly-promoted Southcote in the Premier Division next Saturday (2pm KO) as Old Windsor travel to new side Surrey Rangers (2pm KO), also in the league.

Old Windsor: Mitchell Groves, Jack Taylor, Dylan Rowe, Chris Tierney, Lee Short, James Walton, Bradley Birchmore, Ben Kendell, Louis Maggs, Lewis Corney, Luke Hayes, Dylan Harbridge, Toby Donnelly, Harry Crimmins, Sean Blandford and Mark Beale.

Iver Heath: Sam Hewitt, Adam Durrant, Adam White, Keith Mcaspurn, Karl King, Harry Spraggon, Scott Hopkins, James McIntyre, Josh Allbrighton, Frank Francis, Mark Walker, Jack Poole, Ryan Partington, Matt Gingell, Liam Connor and Kingsley Etefia.

Entertainment Rating: 10/10

Man of the Match: Liam Connor

To enter the East Berkshire Football League ahead of the 2023/24 season, or for further information about the league, or an entry form for the upcoming season, please email the team at


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