Rebels lose grip and let victory slip

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Slough Town

Abbott (43)

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Whittaker (76)


Date: Saturday, March 22nd 1997 | Competition: League | Attendance: 1117

Man Of Match: Garry Smart

For an hour Slough dominated the game comfortably and looked set to record their first home win in the Conference since October.

But in the second half the Rebels capitulated the advantage, squandered the lead, and were lucky not to concede a second goal in stoppage time. Andy Whittaker's 76th minute strike had cancelled out Gary Abbott's first-half goal.

And with the final whistle only seconds away, Southport captain David Gamble robbed Mark Fiore 40 yards out, spotted Noel Imber off his line, and sent an opportunist effort fractionally over the bar.

Gamble had come close to opening the scoring as early as the third minute, when he blazed a shot over the bar as both sides started brightly. But it was the home side who had the better of the first half with their best work coming on the right, from Ted McMinn and Garry Smart. Both Gary Brazil and Gary Abbott had chances, although Southport keeper Billy Stewart was never overstretched.

Slough's pressure finally paid off two minutes from the break, when Gary McGinnis floated in a free kick from close to the halfway line. Moran failed to cut it out, and the ball went onto Abbott who took it on his chest and shot home on the turn.

Just two minutes earlier Moran had seen his header from a corner at the other end bounce off the top of the cross bar and fall into Imber's arms. Slough could have extended that lead early in the second half. In the 46th minute Fiore found Brazil in the box, but his shot on the turn was saved by Stewart. A minute later Southport could have equalised if Steve Haw had been quicker to capitalise on a moment of indecision between Imber and Cliff Hercules.

Another good opportunity for Slough in the 49th saw Fiore break down the middle, but with a choice of Blackford, Brazil or Abbot to pass to he tried a shot from 30 yards that was blocked. Stewart had to be quick to punch over an effort from Abbott in the 53rd, but then Slough started to lose the initiative and came under pressure. Four bookings in the space of 34 minutes did not help the Rebels' cause, with Abbott, Blackford, Steve Bateman and captain Gary McGinnis all finding their way into the book.

With Gamble leading the way Southport nearly equalised in the 67th, when a corner from Sharratt was dropped by Imber, and a follow-up shot was deflected wide. Two minutes later the visitors were claiming a penalty when Cliff Hercules brought Whittaker down from behind, but nothing was given.

A free kick in the 76th for a foul on Gamble set up the equaliser. Gamble floated the ball over a static Slough defence and Whittaker. in oceans of space, nodded it in. It was enough to give Southport a point which keeps them above Slough in the table, and enough to ensure the frustration at Wexham Park goes on.

The Vanarama National League South Vanarama Motorama

Saturday, 16th February

vs Dartford

Draw 2-2 (Home)

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Pos Name Goals
1 Ben Harris 12
2 Chris Flood 7
3 Warren Harris 3
4 Louie Soares 3
5 Sam Togwell 2
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