Hitman Hercules Strikes Rebels To Vic-tory

Slough Town

Slough Town

Hercules (57), Bolt (63), Browne (pen 66)
Northwich Victoria

Northwich Victoria

League Attendance: 637 Cliff Hercules
THE immaculate Cliff Hercules added to his heroic stature as the Rebels clinched their first home victory of the season in the Conference with a nine-minute barrage at Wexham Park on Saturday.

Never far from the action, the outstanding Slough defender turned the tide of the game after a miserable first half which produced just three chances - all for the Rebels.

The opening 45 minutes were a dire advert for Conference soccer and a weak Vies side was hardly ever able to raise its game above the level of Slough's FA Cup victims of four days' earlier, Baldock Town.

But Vics unbeaten record at Wexham Park looked safer when Slough striker Gary Abbott limped off in the 17th minute with an ankle injury resulting from contact with Steve Walters' boot when attempting a crossfield pass.

It took 28 minutes for the Rebels to threaten Vics' goal, Gary Brazil laying the ball back for Danny Bailey whose storming drive from 18 yards flashed just the wrong side of the upright.

Lee Randall, on for Abbott, then had two further opportunities to help the Rebels to their second league win at home this year.

But he pulled a 37th minute shot from 12 yards wide of the mark and saw his 41 st minute effort from a narrow angle deflected away for a corner.

Vics' meagre contribution to unappetising fare was an early shot from Eddie Hussin which passed harmlessly across the face of an empty goal while Derek Ward blazed wildly over the bar from the edge of the box midway through the half.

The Cheshire side, however, had a gilt-edged chance to steal the lead at the start of the second half when Hussin flicked the ball cleverly into the path of Paul Tait who somehow managed to scoop the ball over the bar from four yards.

And Walters struck a powerful shot from the edge of the box in the 53rd minute which brought a solid save from Paul Wilkerson. Heaving the sighs of reprieved men, the Rebels struck back four minutes later.

Vics keeper Dean Greygoose had done well to steer a deflected shot from Corey Browne over the bar to safety.

But hit-man Hercules nodded home Danny Bolt's inswinging comer to send Rebel's confidence rocketing sky high.

From a throw in the corner, Browne then released Bolt in the 63rd minute, and a jink and a thrash from an acute angle saw the ball in the back of the net for a second time.

Browne - clearly at home in the front-runner role he has been given - got his own reward three minutes later, stroking home from the penalty spot after being pulled down by Dominic Crooks.

Bolt almost made hit a fourth after 75 minutes when he scythed through the midfield to level a powerful, low strike which Greygoose saved one-handed at full stretch diving to his left.

Northwich Victoria Lineup

Greygoose, Crooks, Duffy, Fairclough, Simpson, Hussin, Ward, Walters, Tait, Cooke, Vicary. Subs: Carroll (45, for Simpson), Stannard (77, for Vicary), Bishop (61, for Hussin)


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