Saturday 6th January 2018
WINDSOR have reached the last-16 of the FA Vase this season after a 3-1 win away at Eastbourne Town on Saturday.
Not for the first time, Windsor had to come from behind in order to progress but it was a deserved win and much to the delight of the traveling support.
Windsor made a bright start to the tie at The Saffrons and Barry Hayles saw a low shot saved by the legs of keeper Greg Nessling. The stopper also kept out a header from George Gould that looked destined for the top corner.
Eastbourne took the lead with a goal somewhat against the run of play in the 27th minute. A counter-attacking move saw the ball passed out wide to Aaron Capon who crossed low from the right wing for Evan Archibald to slot in with his right foot from inside the box.
The home side were unfortunate not to go further ahead moments later when Windsor keeper Hugo Sobte saved a Daniel Rogers header onto the bar with his right hand.
Eastbourne were much the better side early on in the second half but Capon and Archibald were both wasteful in front of goal, while Sobte was at his best to pull of another one-handed save.
Hayles should have equalised when his header from a Paul Coyne free-kick was straight at Nessling, but Windsor kept on pushing forward and got their rewards with an equaliser on 78 minutes.
Substitute Nadir Shafi was tripped in the box and Kieran Knight sent the spot-kick past the diving Nessling and to the keeper's left.
Windsor were well on top in the final 10 minutes and went ahead in the final minute of normal time. Substitute Riccardo Cannon fed the ball to Shafi who, from a tight angle, fired powerfully past Nessling and into the roof of the net with his right boot.
Shafi was superb in his role from the bench and got the assist for the third goal, squaring the ball for fellow sub Matt Stockhill to roll into the empty net in the fifth minute of time added on.
Windsor boss Mick Woodham said: "It feels amazing - I'm just so pleased and delighted for the players and everyone connected with the club because it was a massive effort today."
Grab a copy of the Observer this Friday for the match photos and all the post-match reaction.