Burnham extend their unbeaten league streak with narrow victory over Windsor

Burnham 2, Windsor 1

Goals from Dwayne Clarke and Leo Decabo extended Burnham’s unbeaten streak in the Combined Counties Premier Division North to five games as they defeated Windsor, 2-1, at The 1878 Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues fired themselves into the ascendancy in the 40th minute when Charlie Jaggers was robbed of the ball close to the area and Clarke had the composure to power home a finish despite Sam Butcher’s best efforts.

Following a spell of attacking pressure, Danny Horscroft brought the Royalists level when the midfielder had the nous to follow in Excellence Muhemba’s headed effort and capitalise on Tautis Poniskaitus’ parry.

Manny Williams’ men retook the lead when Decabo confidently converted Tayo Ajayi’s teasing cross in the 80th minute. They were then able to keep Mark Cooper’s side out for the remaining 10 to secure maximum points.

“Over the run of play, I thought we deserved that today,” said Williams at full-time. “We had the clearer chances, and maybe missed a handful of one-on-ones.

“It was a hard-fought win. The message at half-time was to not overcomplicate things. In the first half, we felt the midfield were taking too many touches and that’s not what we normally do – we try to move the ball around very quickly.

“We also knew we had to match them [Windsor] for workrate in the second half and protect what we had.

“In fairness, the boys came out in the second half and moved the baller quicker in two or three touches. We looked a much better outfit.”

Chances were few and far between for both sides in the first half with the first notable opportunity presenting itself in the 30th minute and in Burnham’s favour, as Firas Chniba crashed the bar from inside the area having skipped away from his marker.

The Blues’ winger cracked off another shot three minutes later that looked destined for the top corner had it not been for Butcher’s quick reflexes.

Five minutes from half-time, the Blues broke the deadlock thanks to Clarke and were able to snuff out the last few attempts from Windsor before the break.

In significantly wetter conditions, the Royalists were the slicker side after the interval with Billy Montague sending Lindell Stewart on his way in the early exchanges. The forward, however, was brought down as he broke into the area, but the referee dismissed the penalty appeals.

Excellence Muhemba sent a sweet cross into Luke Appleton next, the player rattling the crossbar with a header before getting the opportunity to go again. However, in this second attempt, the player was fouled by Poniskaitus but, again, the match officials weren’t interested.

The visitors continued to knock on the door with Jake Hammond going close with a shot trickling just wide of the post. Not to be deterred, Windsor found their breakthrough thanks to Horscroft and his quick-thinking.

Their celebration turned into frustration just under 10 minutes later when Decabo had the ball in the back of the net from a counter-attack. Annoyance was further added when Montague narrowly missed a series of chances in the game’s dying embers.

With one last throw of the dice, Butcher was sent upfield to attack a free kick, the stopper rising high to get his head onto the set piece but Burnham were able to clear their lines.

As a result, Burnham move into 12th while Windsor slip to ninth. The Royalists host St Panteleimon while the Blues travel to Abbey Rangers next Saturday (December 18).

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