As far as I could tell, nothing major had changed at the ground, so I won't go into any detail on that front. The pitch, given how wet it was just a day previously, looked in remarkable condition with only one noticeable sticky patch, in the corner near the changing rooms. Credit to the ground staff and volunteers who had clearly worked hard on the pitch to get the game on.
The game promised to be a close affair. Before kick-off Winslow held the edge, sitting fifth on 53 points but Rangers were just three places and four points worse off. The reverse game, late in December at Windsors, saw Winslow take the three points, winning 3-2 in a game that saw a red card for both sides, Kevin Mealor for Risborough and Simon King for The Ploughmen.
Despite the fact that Winslow probably edged possession and made more half-chances, it was Rangers who had the most clear-cut opportunities, making Ashmead the busier of the two goalkeepers. Rangers also managed to get the ball in the United net but were pulled back for what the referee appeared to think was dangerous play in the build-up. It seemed a harsh decision from my view point and was one of a few strange decisions given by the man in the middle. Winslow captain Simon King possibly had his side's best opportunity, heading over from inside the box.
HT Winslow United 0 Risborough Rangers 0. Not that much between the teams. Both sides had chances to take the lead but neither seemed to have brought their shooting boots.
Rangers immediately set about regaining parity and, as it transpired, the United lead did not last long. Less than five minutes in fact after Rangers were awarded a penalty when Lamar Mason-Williams was felled in the box. Captain Martin Griggs stepped up and levelled the scores. 1-1.
We were then treated to a much more open game than in the first half. Both sides were clearly intent on getting three points and both managed to create chances, but we saw no more goals. That was until well into time added on. As the clock had run down the home side had certainly won more and more possession and, although not laying siege as such, the ball was spending more time in the Rangers half. After 93 minutes, two United substitutes linked up, Anthony Ball went down the right flank and produced, arguably, the best cross of the night. It was met at the far post by another substitute, Harry Dalton, whose header beat Brooker and nested in the net. 2-1.
The drama, however, was not completely over. there was still time for ex-United player Kevin Mealor to earn a second yellow and get sent off for the second time this season against his former team.
FT Winslow United 2 Risborough Rangers 1. United left it very late to get the winner but, on the overall balance of play, just about deserved to get the three points in my opinion.
Winslow United: Ashmead; Bowers, Freshwater, Jenkins, Hussey Page, S King, Delderfield, Kew, Parsons, A King. Subs: Ball, Dalton, Karwacinski, Garbutt
Risborough Rangers: Brooker, Castello, Harrison, Newton, Gordon, Yearwood, Wylie, Davis,Shrimpton, Mason-Williams, Griggs (c). Subs: Mealor, Collins, Rawson, Fox, Clark
Ground Number: Not a new ground