Reynolds confident Winslow can beat the drop after Harpenden draw

James Bishop
James Bishop

Winslow United manager Scott Reynolds remains confident his side can beat the drop after they twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with promotion-chasing Harpenden Town.

After a goalless first half, Harpenden twice took the lead after the break but Winslow showed tremendous character to fight back and earn a precious point in the battle at the bottom of South Midlands League Division One.

United remain bottom of the table but Reynolds was in optimistic mood following Saturday’s draw, saying: “It’s mixed emotions for me after today.

“It was a really good point in the grand scheme of things, but I’m disappointed not to have taken all three which I feel we deserved.

“It was a difficult day, Ryan Freshwater couldn’t play due to being unwell all night and had to pull out of the squad completely and Aiden Bailey failed his fitness test. Therefore Liam Murphy came into the back four for what was his first start for a long time.

“We controlled the first half, had plenty of possession and created half chances. All my players did their jobs and therefore I won’t single anyone out.

“Second half we started slowly and in fairness deserved to fall behind, but credit where credit’s due, this kicked us into life and we attacked for large periods, creating some great chances.

“James Bishop got our equaliser after a corner was headed goalwards by Mark Wiltshire. Bish just helped it on into the corner of the goal, it was a real poacher’s finish.

“Harpenden again went in front with a dubious goal - everyone thought that at least one if not two of their players were offside and allowed them an easy finish to take the lead.

“We went into the last 20 minutes and battered them. Hateley (Mercer) scored an unbelievable free-kick for any standard of football to equalise and Dale Butler hit the cross bar in the dying minutes.

“That type of performance will keep us up if we can reproduce it on a regular basis, of which I’m confident we can and will.

“We go to Southall on Wednesday night and a win would see us on 13 points., just one below Amersham with numerous games in hand.”

Winslow were on the front foot from the off against Harpenden as a well-worked move led to an early chance for Dale Butler, but he was unable to convert as visiting goalkeeper Sam Taylor saved well, before further chances came and went for Grant Karwacinski and Jason Costello in a goalless opening 45 minutes.

United then paid the price for a slow start to the second period as Stu Henderson was quickest to react after Tom Wymes had saved from Charlie Gould to put the visitors into a 1-0 lead.

The home side regrouped and fought back, however, with James Bishop on hand to poke the ball home following Mark Wiltshire’s flick-on from a corner.

Charlie Gould put the visitors back in front but the lead lasted just two minutes as Winslow again pulled level thanks to a moment of brilliance from Hateley Mercer, who placed a 25-yard free-kick around the wall and into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

The final 10 minutes could have gone either way and Winslow came within a whisker of snatching all three points when Butler’s shot cannoned back off the crossbar and was cleared away to safety before the final whistle was blown.