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Welling United (H)
Sat Apr 20

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The Vanarama National League South

Rebels win nine-goal thriller

Slough Town

Slough Town

West (1-0), Blackman (30, 3-1), Lay (55, 5-2 pen)
Kidderminster Harriers

Kidderminster Harriers

Yates (21), Casey (56), May (5-3), Yates (90+4)
League Attendance: 1092 Garfield Blackman
"ALL Garfield Blackman needs to do," said Brian McDermott of Slough's diminutive forward before the season began, "is to believe in himself."

Right now, that shouldn't be a problem for a man who seemed to spend almost the entirety of last season on the substitutes' bench, for - in football terms - he is literally on fire.

With two more goals on Saturday to add to his opening day strike against Southport, Blackman led a Bushay-less frontline to another worthy victory over a none-too-slack Kidderminster, his commanding performance providing the icing on a sumptuous cake of hard graft and sheer inspiration.

Neither is it just Garfield - the whole team seem to believe in themselves at the moment and well they might, for they have made an astoundingly confident start to the season and are already looking forward to what should prove an immensely enjoyable, and possibly rewarding, campaign.

The scoreline here suggests a tight game, and tight it was, but the Rebels maintained the upper hand throughout and produced five well-deserved and well-executed goals which were jeopardised only by the usual defensive bumblings which occasionally threatened to turn the game in the visitors' favour.

What is surprising is that the three points were achieved without either the aforementioned Bushay or Graham Bressington. The former's absence left the attack with a somewhat disjointed feel and West trying to fill several roles at once, while the latter's necessitated a four-man defence which proved far too permeable for the likes of May and Casey.

It mattered not. Initially, things had looked fraught when Cartwright was allowed through to shoot onto the bar, or even suicidal when Deakin cruised past Lee and somehow missed the top-corner with his left-foot-slice.

But one familiar nod of Mark West's head changed all that, once again peeling away from his marker to meet Fiore's cross with devastating accuracy. Catlin's attempt to do likewise came close, but he shaved the outside of the post. But Harriers were soon level on 21 minutes when Yates forced an 18-yard shot through a barrage of legs and past an unsighted Preddie.

There then ensued a battle of wits which the Rebels won only after a gripping 70 minutes which were settled by a Blackman strike either side of the interval. He scored his first on the half-hour as he wriggled away from his marker to receive a Fiore cross on one foot and then change feet and loop a shot into the top of the net. His second was even better, Clement's 50-yard ball releasing him to sprint whippet-like past a floundering defence and in ahead of 'keeper Rose.

The result should have been settled once and for all when Lay blasted home on 55 minutes with a 20-yard volley completely out of the blue, but the visitors were allowed a slice of the action through some ill-advised defending which first reared its head just one minute later when Casey slipped too easily past Harvey and was left with virtually the whole goal to aim at.
Nonetheless, the Rebels even managed a fifth after Deakin was said to have handled a Blackman cross. But - as Harriers' local radio correspondent boldly predicted over the airwaves as Lay's penalty hit the target - the scoring wasn't over even then.

Kidderminster made it 5-3 when a similar handball was given against Baron, Leroy May scoring with aplomb, but in truth had the Rebels chosen to kill the game off they could have done, only their refusal to compromise leaving the score as close as n was at the end.

Yates scored the fourth when he burst through a half asleep defence four unlikely minutes into injury time with an astute header.

But a draw would have been unfair and Slough can feel proud of once again delighting with the positivity of their play.

Sixteen goals in two successive home games speak for themselves, but who knows when it will end? Do yourself a favour and get down here now.

Kidderminster Harriers Lineup


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