FLACKWELL Heath manager Marcus Richardson believes his side got their just rewards in a 3-0 win at Windsor on Tuesday night, writes Rob Stevens.

The Heathens were bidding to end a frustrating run of three consecutive draws, but the challenge was made more difficult with no regular centre backs available for selection and with Storm Brendan overhead.

A strong wind blew across from the Park End to the Town End with rain lashing down on Stag Meadow all evening and, playing into the wind in the first half, Flackwell were fortunate not be find themselves behind at the half-time whistle.

New Windsor striker Adam McNamara was denied at close range with a save from keeper Sonny Wheeler early on, and Andrew Higgins was unfortunate not to open the scoring late in the half when his well-hit shot cannoned back off the crossbar.

The visitors had the advantage of the wind at their backs for the second period, but it was a moment of quality that saw the deadlock broken as Khalid Simmo volleyed a right-wing cross into the top corner two minutes after the restart.

Windsor continued to try and play football after falling behind and had some chances at goal, forcing Flackwell to scramble the ball out of their penalty area on a few occasions, but in truth the hosts were punished for not being clinical in the final third.

The Heathens secured the points with a goal from Marcus Ushiro-Lumb in the final minute of normal time before substitute Dean Morgan struck in time added on to put the icing on the cake.

Bucks Free Press:

PHOTO: Former Reading City player Khalid Simmo broke the deadlock for Flackwell Heath with an impressive volley in the second-half.

Richardson told the Bucks Free Press: “It was a brilliant performance at the end. We rode our luck in the first half because of the conditions. The wind was like a whirlwind and we were up against it in the first period.

“My keeper was excellent. He made a couple of saves that kept us in the game.

“We thought it was going to be a game of two halves anyway. Windsor played well and tried to play football, but we knew we had the quality to put them on the back foot in the second half and I thought we did that.

“We were definitely fortunate in the first half. We knew that the conditions were going to be difficult and we were playing against a team that has hit some form recently, so we knew we were going to be up against it.”

The Flackwell boss added: “We’ve had a bit of a stop-start season and to be fair we half didn’t expect the game to be on. We had a feeling that it might be on because Windsor knew we’ve got no centre backs at this moment in time, so they were going to put the game on no matter what.

“One of our ex-players is at Windsor so I knew what was going to happen. We put in some makeshift centre backs and I thought they were both superb to be honest.

“The boys knew what we were up against with the conditions, but we played really well. We played the conditions so well and I believe got our just rewards at the end.

Bucks Free Press:

PHOTO: Marcus Ushiro-Lumb (red) secured the points for the Heathens with a goal in the final minute of normal time.

“We had to shuffle things around in defence and I had to put a forward back at centre back and a central midfielder at centre back, but it happens in football. You have got to do the best with what you’ve got at times and that’s what happened.

“Khalid is young and a little naive at times and that’s probably the reason why he can’t sustain a future at a higher level at this moment in time, but he’s got talent and if I can nurture that then we can get him into better goals scoring positions.”

The win means Flackwell Heath are now unbeaten in their last five matches in the Hellenic League Premier Division and have climbed into the top 10 in the table.

The Heathens face a tough challenge ahead with runaway league leaders Westfields set to visit Wilks Park this Saturday (3pm) before making the short trip to third-placed Binfield on Monday night (7.45pm).