VIRGINIA Water made it four consecutive wins in Hellenic Division One East after a 2-0 victory against Penn & Tylers Green on Tuesday.

Goals in the first half from Lorenzo Di Felice and Josh Guichard secured all three points for The Waters at Stag Meadow.

Virginia Waters manager Ceri Jones told the Observer: “I’m delighted with the three points and it puts us in a good position, we’re in pole position to win the league.

“It was a bruising encounter with quite a few yellow cards and a red as neither team gave an inch.

“It’s a combination of relief and delight for us. Relief that we’ve got 14 players still standing with no serious injuries and delight with the three points because it gives us a little bit of breathing space at the top now, and hopefully we can go on to win the league now.”

The Waters had keeper Matt Jones to thank for his penalty save to keep the match goalless midway through the first-half.

Jones commented: “Matt needs to earn his dinner! We’ve got no complaints about the award of the penalty and Matt did pull-off a terrific save to keep us in the game at that stage.

“To be fair to Penn, they were well on top at that stage, as they were for the first 20 minutes. Soon after they went clean through again but Matt pulled another good save and that’s what he’s there for.

“We were delighted at half-time because we only really came into the game in the last 20 minutes of the first half and Lorenzo scored a great goal on the half-volley from the edge of the box.

“I didn’t really see the penalty but everybody seemed to think it was a handball and thankfully we took our chance.

“I don’t think we were on top at half-time but to be 2-0 up and not playing well you take it all day long.

“Discipline was the biggest thing for us because we knew that Penn had to win the game, so the start to the second half was really important and we defended really well for the first 15 minutes.

“Penn threw everything at us but the back five stood very strong and the visitors didn’t have that many clear-cut chances that I remember.

“From then on we got a foothold and looked the only team likely to score in the was quarter of the game. We hit the bar with Josh, who I thought was tremendous. He had a couple of long range efforts that I thought there keeper did well to save.

“I think for the neutrals we ran out deserved winners but credit to Penn because it was a real physical encounter and we wish them well.”

The wins means Virginia Water move up one place to second position in the table and two points behind Bicester Town but with two games in hand on the league leaders.

Commenting on the race for the title Jones said: "I would be foolish to take anything for granted but thankfully we've got three home games which does play into our hands a little bit.

"I can't imagine any of the three teams we have left to play coming here to lay down.

"I've no doubts we will be up for the battle and there will be many more bumps and bruises before the season finishes, but we're in pole position now and people will say it's ours to lose.

"Momentum is a key thing and we've got a bit of an advantage playing at Stag Meadow, which has become a little bit of a fortress for us.

"The three homes games to finish is crucially but what has really helped us is having two fast and furious games against Binfield and Bracknell in quarter-finals of the cups.

"That's helped us out to play football at that level and intensity, so we're in a good place."

Virginia Water completed a hat-trick of wins after a 3-1 victory away at bottom-of-the-table Milton United on Saturday.

The first half at The Heights ended goalless but The Waters opened up a clear lead after the restart thanks to goals from Richard Bond, Guichard and Di Felice.

Milton pulled one back through Kyam Walls but the away team secured all three points.

Jones said: "It wasn't as easy as the result sounds because it was 0-0 at half-time and Milton played exceptionally well.

"The pitch was quite heavy and difficult, but once we got the first goal early in the second half it calmed the nerves and then we went on to score another couple in quick succession.

"We conceded a penalty late on but saw the game out quite comfortably in the end."

Virginia Water saw their match with Thame Rangers postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Stag Meadow today (Saturday), but host Aldermaston on Easter Monday (3pm).

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