Match day

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Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Wed Apr 17

Match day

Team logo
Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Wed Apr 17 14:00
The National League U19 Alliance

Dreaming Of A Giantkilling

Walton & Hersham

Walton & Hersham

Banton (11), Terry (44), Turner (3-3)
Slough Town

Slough Town

West (2-1, 2-3 pen), Sayer (2-2)
League Attendance: 642 Andy Sayer
It's all too easy, when you are a supporter of a team aiming for promotion, to wring your hands in frustration and despair whenever they drop a couple of points.

In truth, there was nothing particularly wrong with Slough on Saturday, save for a couple of defensive lapses, and when the FA Cup trip to Birmingham is out of the way, no doubt the players and supporters will be able to concentrate a little harder on the league. In the meantime, the occasional wandering mind can be excused.

As for Saturday, it was a strange game, which Slough let out of their grip only in the last minute following a spirited fightback from 2-0 down.

Price managed to split the defence open in the fifth minute in the first real opportunity, but Nwaokolo was on hand to prevent Joseph from making a connection. At the other end, Bushay slipped when trying to make contact with a similar through-hall.

Apart from that, it was mostly tentative stuff until top scorer Banton hit an unexpected opener in the 11th minute, rising above Bateman and Lee to head home an accurate Price cross.

The Rebels were naturally a little shocked at such an early riposte from the Surrey side, but seemed unable to create much in return, a Stone shot on 14 minutes aside.

Part of the problem may well stem from the fact that, in creating a footballing side, Dave Russell has shown a marked reluctance to resort to the long ball, which probably would have had a far greater effect on the defensively-dodgy Walton and their mediocre pitch than the intricate passing movements that Slough tried to create.

Too often, as well, there was a lack of support for breaking players such as Bushay or Stone. On a poor pitch, it is often more advisable to use the long ball, however "unethical" such tactics may be.

Things began to pick up a little later in the half. West and Sayer, who seems to cover more of the pitch each week and regularly pop up in both penalty areas, both had chances snatched away from them when on the brink of scoring, and Stone's trickery on the wing was a joy to behold, even if it did not always bring fruition. Slightly less attractive was his 37th-minute hooking for the use of elbows, something the Rebels could well have done without.

Just as the half came to a close, salt was rubbed into the wounds as Steve Terry headed home a second goal, but it was a more determined and resolute Slough who emerged after the break.

The second period started more hopefully, largely thanks to the efforts of two players who have a real knack for producing the goods, even when they are not playing particularly well. The first, Bushay, showed that he was fully switched-on by hitting the inside of the post with the 'keeper stranded and then the second, West, shot into the bottom corner front ten yards to open the Town account.

The Rebels definitely had the upper hand, and rammed their advantage home as Sayer slotted home through a tangle of legs to equalise with his first goal since the opening game of the season back in August.

Waltham counter-attacks were still a danger, such as Warfield's drive past the post on 69 minutes, but with Bushay in top gear, the Rebels are a different prospect altogether. Fans must hope that the Birmingham game does not bring hint to the attention of league clubs, for he would not look uncomfortable on such a stage.

The third goal was hardly surprising, if more than a little controversial. Bushay waltzed his way into the box and slipped the ball through to an offside Richardson, but was then awarded a penalty for a foul despite vehement protests. McCann could only parry West's spot-kick into the net.

The action, though, was far from over. Terry crashed a back-header onto the bar on 81 minutes, before Waltham's never-say-die attitude brought them an equaliser through a 20-yard screamer from Turner.

So, for once, resolve and determination alone did not carry the Rebels through. But on another day, they certainly would have done, and there arc a lot of other days left before the end of the season.

Walton & Hersham Lineup


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