Match Report versus Windsor (5/4/22)
By Steve Williams
Tadley Calleva 0 Windsor 2
Having turned the dreadful start to the season with a well earned draw at Stag Meadow in October, Tadley Calleva were hopeful of continuing their strong run with three points against Windsor. Impressive performances as second half substitutes away at Ascot United saw Scott Kinge, Callum Cleary and Marc Vockins in the home starting line-up. On 10 minutes, striker Brett Denham, released by a typical probing ball from Ben Wright, finished confidently only to be denied by an offside flag. The opening 20 minutes was proving tight with neither team being dominant. Jack French was tidy in the home midfield, but too often possession was needlessly lost elsewhere.
Windsor opened the scoring on 21 minutes when giant centre back Luke Paris was on target with a low volley from 15 yards after Tadley had failed to clear a corner. At the other end Wright wriggled to create space and from 25 yards sent an audacious diagonal chip that young away keeper Conaill Ryan did well to deflect over the bar. Centre back Paris was proving to be a dominant and controversial figure. His head seemed a magnet to the high balls that were a large part of Tadley's attacks. He was rightly booked after he aggressively barged Brad Neal to the ground before a free-kick delivery into the Tadley box. He was fortunate to escape further censure over a number of incidents. The pick of the home sides attacks was a 40 yard pass to Cleary running in behind the Windsor defence. His first touch was good, but he was unable to get his shot off before being crowded out. (HT 0-1)
Tadley were much sharper in the second half especially when playing the ball on the deck, with good early play between Cleary and French resulting in a fine cross from Kalum Cousins which just eluded Cleary's continued run at the back post. Ben Dillon and Joe Lawler rang the changes switching to 4-3-3 with Ousman Darboe, Jack French and Jordan Goater operating in midfield and Cousins and Cleary joining Wright up front. Cleary was looking the most likely to score. First with a volley into the side netting from a Neal cross. Then, just as the frequent long throw-ins into the box were proving unsuccessful, the tactic yielded a loose ball to Cleary who shot powerfully only to be denied by keeper Ryan.
Windsor were mainly on the defensive in the second half. But, on 80 minutes, a home corner was cleared up field and the powerful Windsor striker Excellence Muhemba illustrated his first name. He picked up the ball wide on the halfway line and outpaced Kieran Maylen, who had been solid and constructive, and took the ball into the box. It appeared that he had lost control at the last minute, but he managed to see the ball roll square to Lindell Stewart who scored from a few yards out.
A feature of the game was the pressure applied to the referee by the visitors, often crowding around him which appeared to the home supporters to result in Tadley's disadvantage. With hardly a bad tackle in the game, five Tadley players were booked and one received a straight red card. On 85 minutes, after a prolonged delay, Kieran Maylen was harshly adjudged, as the last defender, to have brought down Muhemba and denying a goal scoring opportunity. A red card followed. (FT 0-2)
Tadley travel to Wembley on Saturday hoping to return to winning ways, kick-off 3pm.
Tadley Calleva: Craig Atkinson, Marc Vockins (sub 55' Aiden Harris), Tom Walsh (C), Brad Neal, Kieran Maylen, Scott Kinge (sub 67' Ousman Darboe), Jack French, Kalum Cousins, Brett Denham (sub 73' Jordan Goater), Ben Wright, Callum Cleary.
Unused Subs: Jacob Rolfe
Photo courtesy of Paul Smithson (Windsor FC supporter)