On Tuesday night Windsor hosted Burnham at Stag Meadow looking to build on a strong start to their Combined Counties Premier Division North campaign. A win for the Royalists would have seen them climb to second in the table whereas the visitors were looking to break into the top half of the table after a mixed start to their own season.
Windsor began the game strongly, playing at a high tempo that Burnham found hard to deal with, and the hosts got an early reward inside the first 10 minutes when a free kick was recycled, turned into the box by Lindell Stewart and smashed home by Kabir Kareem.
After half an hour Burnham started to get into the game and had a couple of chances of their own but it was the hosts who doubled their advantage when Excellence Muhemba latched onto a long ball, charged into the box, and after realising there was no one up with him in support, cut inside and fired a shot across the keeper and into the far corner of the net.
Then a fun moment for all in the crowd and a non-league cliché ticked off this reporter’s “to see” list when the game had to be stopped due to a dog getting onto the pitch. During the brief paws in play the referee was forced to ask the players to sit and stay off the pitch before retrieving the rogue pooch himself.
The mutt’s owner could not be located and it was thought he got in from Windsor Great Park through a gap in the fence, so it remained unclear who let the dog out.
In the second half Windsor again started the stronger of the two sides and were rewarded on 58 minutes when Muhemba was brought down in the box by defender Tom Kemp. Charlie Losasso converted from the spot to put the hosts 3 goals up and leave the visitors with their tails between their legs.
At 3-0 Burnham were certainly the underdogs but they were handed a lifeline almost immediately when they were awarded a penalty of their own. Emmanuel Williams stepped up to strike the ball and was able to whippet into the top corner to give the Blues hope.
Four minutes later the home keeper was again fetching the ball from the back of the net when Williams found himself in acres of space inside the box and turned in a Jayden Moore cross first time to make it 3-2.
Then the Royalists suffered another blow following a coming together between striker Lindell Stewart and Burnham defender Joey Gritt. There didn’t seem to be much in it, but the referee produced a red card to leave the striker in the doghouse and the Windsor faithful barking mad.
The comeback was complete on 75 minutes when substitute Melvy Nsomi scored to make it 3-3. Much like the dog owner earlier in the evening, Windsor will be disappointed they were not able to hold onto a lead.
In the last 10 minutes Burnham hit the woodwork twice but some dogged defending from Windsor saw them hold on for a draw.
There may be mutterings of discontent among some Burnham fans that they were not able to push on for the win after getting back level against the 10-man Royalists but, they should be happy they were able to retriever point after being 3-0 down.
The result sees Windsor climb to 4th in the table whereas Burnham are up to 12th.
Apologies if this has been a ruff read.