WINDSOR manager Mark Cooper was critical of his side despite beating Virginia Water on penalties to make progress in the Hellenic League Floodlit Cup, writes Rob Stevens.

A goal from Luke Brooks-Smith gave Windsor a narrow lead heading into the break but their Stag Meadow tenants forced a shoot-out when Martin Peters struck in the second half.

Keeper Nojus Trinovas, 16 and on loan from Slough Town, was the hero after he saved two Waters spot-kicks before captain Luke Appleton scored to ensure Windsor went through.

Cooper told the Observer: “We’ve won the tie and that’s important, but it’s the only positive I can take because I’m disappointed with the performance.

“We were workmanlike in the first half but not troubled defensively at all because our shape was good.

“Our decision making was a little off as was our quality on the ball, as was the case in the first half on Saturday.

“Coming into the break a goal ahead, we just needed to be professional in the second half, improve a little bit and go on to win the game, but we got complacent.

“Virginia Water did not trouble us and didn’t deserve to score, but if you get 10 long throws, eventually one is going to pay off.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: On-loan keeper Nojus Trinovas made himself an instant hero with supporters of Windsor after saving two penalties in the shoot-out win against Virginia Water.

“I didn’t feel at all that we were in trouble but we didn’t do enough to win the game. We would’ve won 1-0 on another night because they were very few chances in the game.

“We’ve got to work on breaking teams down going forward. Virginia Water sat back but we didn’t have enough quality on the ball.”

Cooper was far more impressed after Windsor beat Lydney Town 3-0 at Stag Meadow on Saturday to complete a hat-trick of wins in all competitions.

A second-half brace from Excellence Mahumba and a Dylan Ive penalty kick secured all three points for the home side, who now stand in seventh position in the Premier Division table.

Cooper said: “It was a great day and a great performance - the best that we’ve played since I’ve been here. It was a tough game and Lydney are a strong side.

“We were resilient in the first half and did everything apart from have that little bit of quality that we brought in the second to run out comfortable winners.”

The new manager has now been in charge for a month and managed six wins from eight matches, but he has warned there is still a long way to go.

“We look like we’ve improved the squad and definitely improved the side with some key signings that have all come in and done pretty well.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: Windsor midfielder Luke Brooks-Smith scored with a controversial free-kick in midweek.

“It’s still a work in progress however and we have a couple more to come in that we hope will be in place for this Saturday.

“We will look to improve again because we’re certainly far away from where we want to be.

“There are no set targets. We’re in the habit of winning games and we just want to keep on doing that.

“I don’t want to look too far ahead and our focus is on improving the side and going into each game being as well prepared as possible.”

Windsor return to league action with a trip to Brackley Town Saints this Saturday (3pm) before travelling across Berkshire to Reading City next Monday (7.45pm).