On Tuesday night Windsor travelled to Wilks Park to face Flackwell Heath in what was the first league game of the season for both sides.
The Heathens, like the Royalists, been knocked out of the FA Cup by Step 4 opposition on Saturday so attentions now turned to their league campaigns where both sides would have been looking to improve on the midtable positions they were in when last season was cancelled.
Flackwell had the best of a disjointed opening period in a 1-0 win where neither side seemed to find a rhythm. There were a few dangerous moments for the Royalists to deal with, but generally, both sides struggled to impose themselves on the game in the early stages.
The two main highlights of the opening 30 minutes both came from Heathens winger Khalid Simmo. First, he broke free on the left-hand side of the box but his shot was dragged across the face of goal and just wide, but he made amends shortly afterwards when he broke down the right-wing, went past a Windsor defender and finished from a tight angle to give the home side the lead on 20 minutes.
The game continued to lack fluidity until 10 minutes before the break when Royalist’s left-back Ryan Parsons was sent to the sin bin for use of foul language. This sparked the home side into action and Windsor were put under a lot of pressure for the rest of the half. Windsor managed to survive until the break but going in at half time they could have had no complaints about being behind and they would have been grateful that the deficit was only one goal.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, but Windsor finally came into the game just before the hour mark. Corey Parchment cleverly played in Adam McNamara but the striker fired over the bar under pressure from the Heathens defence. Then, a couple of minutes later, another Windsor attack saw the ball break to Ben Mulley just inside the area, but he too put his shot over the bar.
The addition of substitute Keaton August gave the Royalist some added energy down the right-wing and he constantly looked threatening as Windsor pushed for an equaliser.
Flackwell still posed a threat, though mainly on the break now, and they did produce a couple of chances of their own, however, their task was made tougher 15 minutes from time when midfielder Jack Taylor was shown a straight red for a lunging tackle on Sam Coles.
Windsor continued to press and should have been level 10 minutes from time when a well-worked move down the right saw August create space and square to an onrushing Coles, but the midfielders shot cleared the crossbar.
That was to be the last clear chance of the match as the Royalists fell to an opening day defeat. Flackwell had played well in the first half and had defended strongly throughout but Windsor will be left to rue the missed chances in the second half.