A 'mixed' bank holiday weekend for Mark Cooper's Royalists

Windsor FC in action against Tuffley Rovers earlier this season.

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It was a mixed bank holiday weekend for Windsor FC as they bounced back from Saturday's defeat to North Greenford to beat tenants Virginia Water at Stag Meadow on Monday.

Manager Mark Cooper felt they should have picked up at least a point from the 2-1 defeat to North Greenford, having been denied what looked a blatant penalty in the final minutes, however, he was pleased with their response in Monday's match against Virginia Water, where Excellence Muhemba and Lindell Stewart were on target for the hosts after Water’s Guy Hollis had been shown a red card in the first half.

The victory lifted the Royalists to fifth in the Combined Counties Premier Division North, just a point behind leaders St Panteleimon having picked up 12 points from their first six games.

“At North Greenford, in a tight game, I thought we started well and then went 2-0 down, conceding a sloppy goal before the break,” said Cooper.

“I felt if we’d gone in at 1-0 down, we’d have had a good chance of going on to get something from the game.

“As it was, we came out second half and the opposition were better than us for 15 minutes.”

Danny Horscroft scored Windsor's late consolation, following the introduction of player/coach Luke Brooks from the bench, and, but for a contentious decision not to award Windsor an injury-time penalty, Cooper is sure they'd have travelled home with something to show for their efforts.

Windsor’s O'Brien was also shown a second yellow card in the aftermath for challenging the referee’s decision a little too vociferously.

Cooper added: “We brought Luke Brooks on, and he changed the game in our favour.

“We then dominated possession scored a goal with 10 minutes left on the clock. I hat to moan about the refereeing at this level but everyone in the ground saw a clear handball stopping an equaliser in the last minute.

“It left us feeling rather aggrieved and on top of that one of our players let him know what a bad decision it was, and we end up losing him for a game as well.

“In a game we didn’t play overly well in I still thought we should have got a point from the game.”

The Royalists made light of the quick turnaround for Monday's clash with Virginia Water, however, to produce a solid home display and earn all three points.

“Virginia Water at home is always a very evenly contested game,” said Cooper.

“We started well again, even before they had a man sent off. Second half we played some excellent football, went 2-0 ahead, should have been four or five and then we concede one with five minutes to go from one of their well-rehearsed set pieces and then all of a sudden, we nearly end up dropping two points from a game we should have been very much out of sight in.

“Overall, it’s a mixed weekend but we’ve got 12 points from six games, a good start for us and we’ll look to get some players back.” Windsor's next game is another big one, at home to local rivals Burnham at Stag Meadow on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm.

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