OLD Windsor manager Gary Wade has challenged his side to be involved in the race for the East Berkshire Premier Division title this season, writes Rob Stevens.

The team has made a fantastic start to the campaign with three wins on the bounce to trail defending champions Delaford by a single point.

Wade believes better commitment from his players has been the key to their fine form, and he hopes they will have a good say in a competitive division.

He told the Observer: "We're just behind Delaford at the moment and it depends on what they're like because they were so good last year.

"We would like to challenge in the league but they're all close games and, whoever wins the division, it won't be as easy as last season.

"If we can beat Delaford and Singh Sabha then we've got a chance, and it's nice not to be looking over our shoulders like last year.

"We've lost in the county cup but we're still in the other competitions and I would like to get to a final as that would be a good day out for us.

"Last year we had a lot of players but struggled to get a team out because there was no commitment.

"This year we have the same group of 13 or 14 players each week and they've all got to know each other, which makes a difference."

Old Windsor completed a hat-trick of league wins after a 2-0 victory at home to AFC Crowthorne on Saturday.

Goals in the second-half from Sean Blandford and Anthony Rees secured all three points, but Wade admits the match could have gone either way.

He explained: "The first goal was important and we got it, and we tended to control the game after that.

"We should have gone ahead in the first-half and our keeper only had one save to make. Apart from the penalty shout Crowthorne didn't make much, but we had a few chances.

"We scored two goals in 10 minutes in the second-half and from then on we had decent chances on the break.

"We defended like our lives depended on it at times and headed ball after ball. All of the defence played really well and we limited Crowthorne's chances so deserved the win."

Wade added: "The game could have gone either way and Crowthorne had a shout for a penalty in the first-half to go ahead.

"It wasn't stonewall and as the defending side you would say it was 50-50, but we would've been disappointed not to get it if it was us."

The defeat leaves Crowthorne in seventh position in the league table, but Wade predicts the new member club will be difficult to beat on their own ground.

He said: "Crowthorne don't score many goals but they will not concede many either because they're very organised.

"It could be a little awkward to go and play them away from home. We knew we were in a game on Saturday and it will be tough over at their place because they're a good team."

Old Windsor will bid for a fourth successive win in the league when hosting Frontline this Saturday (2pm), but Wade expects another close game.

He explained: "We beat Frontline 2-1 in a cup competition already this season but it was a tough game and we won with a fluke goal.

"You know what you're going to get from Frontline, they'll compete and want to get the ball down and run.

"If we can get in front then their heads might go down a little bit, but they like to play football and can cause us problems so it will be a close game."