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Ladies First XI captain Freya Hayter and Elle Gatehouse in action

Windsor Ladies First XI had everything bar the kitchen sink thrown at them by Marlow Ladies 3s in a tense top versus bottom game.

And for 50 minutes Windsor soaked up unimaginable pressure as promotion hopefuls Marlow twisted and turned to try and find a way through a Windsor side determined not to concede.

A heroic display at the back with a series of stunning saves by Windsor keeper Ruki Sayid and a goaline clearance from Emma Briggs kept the home side in the game.

And far from “parking the bus” Windsor created first half chances that rattled the Marlow defence as Sally Khoury, captain Freya Hayter,

Left back Emma Williams along with Fe Marsh, Gerry Hyde and Emma Briggs were outstanding in defence

Maxine Bonnage and Helena Davidson worked patiently to try and thread their way through.

 

But with the first half deadlocked and an increasingly frustrated Marlow side becoming tetchier over the scoreline, the visitors upped the tempo in the second half and pushed forward in numbers.

With Sayid still tormenting the forwards with more daring saves and the back four of Emma Williams, Fe Marsh, Gerry Hyde and Briggs holding firm, it was a controversial goal that finally unlocked the Windsor back door.

Following a penalty corner, the ball was stopped by a Marlow foot but as the infringement went unchecked, the visitors took their chance and hammered the ball onto the back board to take the lead.

Windsor remained disciplined and worked tirelessly to get back into the game with Saskia Swannack and Khoury causing the visitors problems on the left.

Saskia Swannack caused Marlow problems on the left flank

But Marlow’s superior, clinical finishing saw two more short corners converted to make it 3-0, while Windsor were unable to capitalise on set pieces at the other end.

The defeat is another blow to Windsor’s hopes of staying in Trysports Division 1 as a goalless draw between Gerrards Cross Ladies 1s and Maidenhead Ladies 3s has put fellow strugglers Cross on the same points as Windsor but worringly, they still have two games in hand.

A break this weekend will give Windsor the chance to plan for must-win games against foot of the table Reading Rebels on Saturday, February 24.

And then they need to beat fourth placed Sonning Ladies 3s the following week to give themselves a lifeline against the drop.

Windsor Ladies 2s were the club’s only victorious side, comfortably beating Milton Keynes Ladies third team 3-0 at home.

All the goals came in the first half with an early strike from a penalty corner.

The successful Nikki Hill and Paula Green partnership opened the scoring from a trademark set routine that saw Green’s pacey shot beat the defence and goalie.

A similar set piece paid dividends again just minutes later when Mel Dobson pounced on a Green rebound to flick the ball into the roof of the net.

And in the closing minutes of the first half, Annaliese Hogan drilled an opportunist ball into the D where Green was waiting to deflect it past the keeper.

L2s defensive maestro Tasha Bailey in action

The three goal cushion put Windsor in control but a terrific second half performance from the Milton Keynes keeper denied the home side to keep the scoreline respectable.

And at the other end Milton Keynes were unable to bag a consolation goal after being awarded a penalty flick which went wide.

Windsor who are mid table in Division 4 are next in action on Saturday, February 24 when they take on Oxford Ladies 6s away.

All three Windsor men’s teams had a torrid time with unexpected defeats.

The First XI went 3-0 down at home to Thame First XI and are now fighting for survival in Middlesex, Berks, Bucks and Oxon (MBBO) Division 2.

They must take points from equally troubled Milton Keynes Mens 3s when they travel to Buckinghamshire on Saturday, February 17 in a bottom of the table clash.

The Mens First XI will be looking to dig their way out of trouble on Saturday

In Division 6, the Mens 2s saw their unbeaten run ended by Tring Mens 2s in a 4-3 defeat away, despite taking an early lead.

Windsor opened the scoring with a Ben Hefford assist for a Charles Lambert goal and Steve Timpson made it 2-0 before Tring managed to pull one back ahead of half time.

A tactical Tring change unsettled the visitors and the hosts seized the moment to quickly score twice and take a 3-2 lead.

As Windsor fought against the shift in power, Tring struck again in a bid to kill off the game at 4-2 but got a scare with five minutes left as captain Matt Humphreys piled on the pressure with another Windsor goal.

With the game finely balanced at 4-3, Tring managed to hang on and take all three points from this season’s team to beat.

But Windsor 2s remain at number one on the table and next play Milton Keynes Mens 4s.

And in Division 7, the Mens third team lost 2-0 away to local rivals Slough Swifts and host Leighton Buzzard Mens 3s on Saturday, February 17.