Kiely's winner gives Slough some Christmas cheer

| League
Slough Town
Friend (pen 40), Kiely (80)
2 - 1
Morrisey (77)
Micky Kiely
THREE VALUABLE POINTS from the Boxing Day clash with Hayes brought cold comfort to Slough's supporters, who know that the race against relegation will still be an uphill one. But Micky Kiely’s late winner gave the Rebels three important points in their bid to escape the drop.

The hard-earned victory was welcomed by manager Joe Arpino who praised his team for a workmanlike performance.

But Slough, more than half-way through the season and with only 18 points, desperately need to establish winning ways if they are to avoid the dreaded fate of relegation to Division One. Slough's sights are more firmly fixed upon league survival following their exit from the FA Cup. But with several clubs already clamouring to escape the relegation zone it is bound to be tight at the season's end.

The match was a dull, untidy affair with both teams finding the conditions difficult. Hopes for constructive play wore thin after one look at the very heavy pitch. Reardon was reduced to the role of blocker in midfield since his commanding style was difficult to maintain in the mud.
Play was often bogged down in midfield and clear-cut chances were rare in the early stages.

Nevertheless Eric Young had a header cleared off the line after 20 minutes, and five minutes later Dave Russell saw one of his shots sail just over the bar after showing some delicate skills on the edge of the box.

The Slough team soon switched the play to the flanks to penetrate the Hayes defence, and the sprightly Barry Friend caused Hayes a few headaches as half-time approached.

Slough went ahead with a penalty in the 40th minute. Friend received a long ball from Paul Lee in the middle of the park, got into the box and raced to the dead ball line. But Hayes defender Vic Akers had other ideas, and referee Cotton had no hesitation in pointing to the spot for pushing. Friend made no mistake with a low hard shot which sent Cotter the wrong way.

In the second half Hayes remained unimpressive, but equalised after 77 minutes from a free kick at the edge of the box. Morrisey sent a curling ball over the five man wall and into the top left hand corner of the goal. An isolated Richard Teale was only able to spectate from the other side of the goal.

This setback injected some urgency into the Slough play and Kiely put them back into the lead with an impressive turn of speed with only 10 minutes left to play. He picked the ball up in midfield, and beat two defenders and the goalkeeper before slotting the ball into an empty net.

It was a fine goal which crowned an ordinary match. Slough are anchored to the foot of the table, but they closed the gap on their closest rivals with both Croydon and Oxford City losing and Staines managing only a draw against Woking.

Hayes Line up

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