Winslow’s promotion bid goes to the wire

Football

Winslow United 2

Bletchley Town 2

Winslow’s promotion bid looks like going right to the wire after they fought out a draw last Monday against a Bletchley side reduced to nine men at the final whistle.

Third-placed United need to beat champions Padbury United this Saturday at home to secure promotion to Division One - if not, they will have to rely on other teams’ results.

Padbury surprisingly lost to second-placed Totternhoe on Monday, who opened up a four-point gap over Winslow, but are not understood to have the required facilities to go up.

Against Bletchley, James Brown gave Winslow an eighth-minute lead in the South MIdlands Division Two contest, but it proved to be the highlight of a disappointing first half, which saw the visitors lead 2-1.Ryan Wiffin’s 54th minute strike bagged a point for United.

For Bletchley, Jamie Parker took advantage of some slack Winslow defending on 23 minutes to fire home from 20 yards, his shot hitting the upright and bouncing into the goal.

Then in the 38th minute Winslow keeper Liam Twyman spilled a highbouncing ball delivered from the left, which Lee Jones ran onto and slotted home. Twyman was injured in the collision with Jones, and taking no further part in the game, was replaced by Nick Bennion. Sam Balls was just off target with a shot in the closing minutes of the half, but it was one of few chances which saw Winslow outbattled by the visitors.

Winslow came out with more purpose after the restart, with Wiffin’s goal levelling the scores as he fired home from close range from a corner.

Winslow had chances to take the lead several times but frustratingly couldn’t find the net, Ross Firth heading over and Balls making frequent runs into the Bletchley box.

Bletchley also had a chance to win the game with the clock ticking but their forward scuffed his shot.In the last 10 minutes Bletchley were reduced to ten men and then nine after two players were sent off for yellow card offences.

With a minute to go keeper Bletchley keeper Sisson made a great save from Phil Martin’s rasping shot, which denied Winslow a win and three points.

Winslow host champions Padbury United this Saturday in their final league game, kick-off 3pm. They have played each other twice this season with a win apiece and it will doubtless again be a closely-fought affair.