Old Windsor keep title chances in their own hands after Showcase Match win against Singh Sabha
PICTURE: Old Windsor goals scorer Harry Farnan celebrates after netting The Os' third in the 3-2 win against Singh Sabha in the Showcase Match at Stag Meadow, Windsor on Friday night. PHOTO: Gary House.
Old Windsor Chairman, Gary Wade, has challenged the first team to win their remaining five league matches this season and regain the Premier Division title.
The Os are bidding to win back the crown landed in 2020 and kept their chances in their own hands with a 3-2 victory over defending champions Singh Sabha on Friday night.
A bumper crowd of around 200 people watched on at Stag Meadow as the two rivals went head-to-head in the second leg of an enthralling trilogy.
The win moves Old Windsor to within a point of current leaders, Britwell, and with the advantage of a game in hand, and is ‘exactly what we needed’, according to Wade.
The Os Chairman said: “It was a great result for us and we took great pleasure in winning that one. It was a big game for the league and for us to continue to have any chance of winning the league. It doesn’t win us the league but it gives us the chance to go on and compete with Britwell, and of course Singh Sabha are still in it. From a results perspective, it was exactly what we needed, a massive result for us.
“We move onwards now to see what we can do in the league with five important games, which are not going to be easy. You don’t know what you’re going to get at this time in the season but we will take every game as it comes and go into the next five trying to win them all. If we do that, then we know we will win the league.
“We’re in the lap of the Gods with other results and nothing is settled yet between us, Britwell and Singh Sabha. I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting four or five weeks, and they’ll probably only one or two points in it at the end.”
A goal from Louis Maggs gave the Os the lead in the Showcase event but the two sides went into the break level as Harry Laflin equalised for Sabha.
Two goals within three minutes in the second period proved decisive with both James Walton and Harry Farnan finding the back of the net.
The champions pulled one back through Mubarak Bashir but could not force an equaliser in the final 20 minutes and fell to a defeat.
PICTURE: The Old Windsor dugout erupts as Singh Sabha celebrate a controversial goal scored direct from a drop-ball situation in the Showcase Match at Stag Meadow on Friday night. PHOTO: Gary House.
Wade commented: “These are tight games with Singh Sabha. They started a little bit better than the last time (Slough Town Cup final) and put us under a little bit of pressure without making too many chances.
“We then started to get going and scored after 20 minutes, and at that point was the better team for 10 minutes. It was a cracking goal from Louis.
“Then came a moment of real controversy because a free-kick should’ve been awarded to us but, the referee decided it was a drop ball to Singh Sabha even though we had it. The referee allowed their player to hit it 50-yards, and it was a great strike, but to allow him to knock it into the goal is against the laws of the game.
“That knocked us back but also drove us on in the second half. The injustice of the situation was felt in the changing room but it drove us on to probably our best performance in the three games against Singh Sabha.
“We totally dominated for 30 minutes in the second half. We scored two goals and could’ve scored another couple.
“Singh Sabha came back at us when we tired and nicked a goal back with their pace up top, it was a very good goal from the lad.
“But, we defended well to keep it at 3-2 whilst having another couple of chances as well.
“We was very happy with the Showcase Match. It was a good result for us and a good performance, and gave us a lot of positives going into the League Cup final.”
Old Windsor were bidding to complete a hat-trick of wins against Singh Sabha in the League Cup final at Burnham FC on Bank Holiday Monday but eventually suffered a 3-2 defeat after extra time.
Wade has praised Singh Sabha for their efforts to retain the Cup and, although he disputes some decisions from the referee, admits perhaps The Os’ best spell in the final came a little bit too late.
He said: “Singh Sabha changed their formation which threw us a little bit and, to be fair, they totally dominated the first half. Having said that, we still had some good chances and managed to take the lead.
“They were then awarded a penalty. Our player insists he never touched him and that it was a dive but, it looked a penalty from where we were.
“The referee didn’t have one of his best games. We later (in the second half of extra time) had a stone-wall penalty, the camera man caught both players pulling him down, but it wasn’t given. That could’ve put us 3-2 up.
“We did go 2-1 ahead when George scored a good goal from a set-piece and we thought we were going to hold on but, with five minutes to go, Singh Sabha were playing really well and putting us under pressure.
“We thought we had done enough to hold on because we had changed our formation to match them and it seemed to work until they equalised.
PICTURE: Old Windsor Chairman, Gary Wade, believes that a penalty kick should have been awarded for this potential pulling back inside the box during the second half of extra time in the League Cup final on Bank Holiday Monday. PHOTO: Gary House.
“We had a player sent off in extra time. I don’t think the referee covered himself in glory branding yellow cards around like they was going out of fashion and not giving free kicks but, that’s football for you.
“We were hoping to try and stay in the game for penalties but, Singh Sabha nicked one to make it 3-2. From that point on, we actually put them under a little bit of pressure. They had a man sent off in the last minute but that didn’t really impact the game.
“We probably had our best spell of the game in the last 10 minutes when we threw everything forward to try to get an equaliser but it wasn’t to be.
“On reflection, Singh Sabha just about deserved to win that one. Well done and congratulations to them on winning the League Cup.”
Old Windsor return to action in the Premier Division with a trip to seventh-in-the-table Pundit on Saturday (2pm KO).
To enter the East Berkshire Football League ahead of the 2022/23 season, or for further information about the league, or an entry form for the upcoming season, please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org