Abbott Double Secures Point For Rebels

Stevenage Borough

Stevenage Borough

Hayles (1-0), Browne (33)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Abbott (10, 39)
League Attendance: 2834 Gary Abbott
On a playing surface that would have suited the Slough Jets better, the Rebels provided a little comedy early on before knuckling down and gaining a hard-won point.

Two goals from Gary Abbott - his first away from home this season brought Slough level in the first half..

The second half was calmer as the players grew more cautious in the slippery conditions. hut saw Steve Bateman sent off in the last minute for a deliberate handball, his second bookable offence.

The game opened with a moment straight out of pantomime that provided Stevenage with the opener.

Both Cliff Hercules and Robert Smith seemed to have a long through ball covered but Slough keeper Paul Wilkerson came learing out of his box to meet it. Smith took it past him, leaving Wilkerson stranded, then as Barry Hayles bore down on him, slipped as he tried to turn, providing Hayles with the simplest of tap-ins.

The travelling Slough fans soon forgave Smith when they realised just now treacherous the pitch was, and it was another mistake that led to Slough's equaliser in the 10th minute.

Borough's Mark Smith slipped on the right allowing Abbott to run clear on goal and blast it home.

It signalled the beginning of some good pressure from Slough as Hercules headed over the bar from a corner and Garry Smart was brought down as he blocked a clearance to run on goal.

Both sets of defenders were hesitant in their challenges, aware that one slip could lead too disaster but ironically it was that hesitancy that led to Stevenage's second.

Borough had already given warning in the 29th minute when Efetobor Sodge and Corey Browne played a neat one-two to open up the Slough defence but Myles' shot was blocked by Wilkerson. Two minutes later Browne went past four defenders to shoot low past the Slough keeper.

But Slough kept up the pressure. and won a corner in the 39th minute. Mark Fiore sent it into the box and Abbott was there to meet it and equalise. Stevenage keeper Des Gallagher was then forced to save from both Andy Clement and Michael Murphy before the hall-time whistle.

By the second half players were skidding for yards. and the caution and concentration needed to stay upright seemed to dominate. Fiore had two attempts at goal early on and Stevenage's best effort came from Kenny Webster on 72 minutes. His low shot ran wide.

A clash with Hayles savv Bateman hooked just before the hour mark. It was to prove significant when in the 89th minute Bateman put up his hand to stop a hall from Carl Adams reaching Hayles.

The referee had no choice but to produce the card again. and Bateman became the third Slough player this season to he sent off at the death.

Stevenage Borough Lineup

Gallagher, Kirby, Mutchell, Sodie, Smith, Barrowcliff, Adams, Brown, Catlin. Webster, Hayles SUBS: Crawshaw (73, for Webster), Beaver (86, for Catlin), Cretton.


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