Harper (pen 20), Evans (25), Platt (42), Romeo (89)
Swayne (40, pen 65), Barron (82)
Date: Saturday, February 21st 2009 | Competition: League | Attendance: 230
Man Of Match: Luke Evans
Starting Line Up
- Jamie Jackson
- Dean Harper
- Ryan Fenton
- Luke Evans
- Scott Webb
- Chris Fermie
- Byron Bubb
- Jagdeep Makh
- Danny Jordan
- Matthew Platt
- Yashwa Romeo
Slough took on Andover in what was seen as a must win game as the Rebels looked to open a clear gap between themselves and the bottom two.
The Slough side showed two changes from that which lined up against AFC with Byron Bubb and Jagdeep Makh coming in to replace the injured Ricky Allaway and Lawrence Brown who moved to the bench. It appeared that Slough were lining up in a 4-3-1-2 formation with Platt playing in the hole behind Jordan and Romeo.
After 4 minutes Romeo signalled the attacking intent with a neat take down and a quick shot that didn’t trouble the goalkeeper May, who was stepping in following an injury crisis. The game then settled into a somewhat scrappy probing period as neither side go exert any real influence on the game.
The game burst into life on 20 minutes when Danny Jordan was played in wide on the left hand side of the penalty area. From the acutest of angles he tried a lobbed cross shot which the keeper was only able to tip wide at the last moment. From the resulting corner Bubb found Evans at the far post who seemed destined to score only to receive a sharp shove in the back which saw the referee award a penalty. Dean Harper stepped up to fire home into the bottom right hand corner despite May getting a hand to the ball.
Moments later and Andover seemed to have equalised only for Evans to prove his worth at the other end of the pitch as he spectacularly cleared off the line with an overhead. The follow up was well saved by Jackson and the Slough defence seemed to be rocking as a chance from the subsequent corner forced another fine save from Jackson.
However, on 25 minutes Slough doubled their lead when another fine corner from Bubb was meet with a powerful header from ten yards by Luke Evans who celebrated with a roar of “have some of that” or words to that effect.
Slough started to take some control of the game with Romeo, Platt and Evans again going close to adding the tally.
However, it was Andover who added to the scoring on 40 minutes when neat work on the right flank by Bobby Swayne saw him produce a cross that was tapped in from six yards out by his brother Kyle.
Just two minutes later and Slough had made it three one. A ball from Fenton caused chaos in the Andover box with the ball falling to Matthew Platt who fired home despite May getting a hand to the ball and a desperate attempted goal line clearance from Jones.
The mayhem was not yet over as a brilliant run from Turvey saw him nip passed Evans and round Jackson only for his shot to be superbly cleared by Webb who collided with the post in his desperation to clear the ball. Slough still had time for a fourth goal from Romeo to be ruled out for off side. Then Romeo had shot well saved and the subsequent follow up by the luckless Danny Jordan was cleared off the line by Beckland. Beckland showed an admirable never say die attitude by also leaping to his feet and making a solid block tackle on Makh.
It may be a cliché but this proved to be a game of two halves. Slough were unable to reproduce the attacking play from the first half and nerves started to creep in. On the 65th minute Evans made a rare error and went through his man to concede a penalty. This was coolly slotted home by Kyle Swayne who sent Jackson the wrong way.
On 70 minutes Slough switched to a 4-4-2 as Platt and Makh were replaced by Attrell and Brown. However, the change in shape didn’t produce a change in fortunes and after Fenton missed out on a 50/50 ball a further cross from the right hand side was forced home in scrappy fashion by Barron to make the score 3-3 with just 8 minutes remaining.
It seemed as the game moved into its final stages that Andover were the most likely to find the winner but as they pushed forward Slough were able to counter attack and a fine pass from Fermie played in Romeo who had Jordan in support and an exchange of passes allowed Romeo to slot home comfortably to make it 4-3.
As the game drew to a close both sides had further chances to score in frantic exchanges, fine work by Smith who had replaced Webb saw him cross for Jordan whose header drifted just wide.
In the end a second half performance to forget from the Rebels nonetheless produced the right result in a seven goal thriller and three points secured.
Andover: May, Beckland, Williams, Webber, M. Jones, P. Jones, B. Swayne (c), Ruden, K. Swayne, Barron, Turvey Subs: Gates, Lewis, Andrews, Easham, Hook