Haunted by two blasts from the past

Yeovil Town

Yeovil Town

Pickard (45, 69)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Hercules (82)
League Attendance: 2509 Unknown
Striker Owen Pickard, whose goals contributed to Dorchester's infamous FA Trophy win over Slough at the beginning of the year, returned to haunt the Rebels on Saturday, with a double strike in his new club colours.

Pickard moved from Dorchester to Yeovil in the summer, and has made an immediate impact, with 19 goals so far. He struck in first half injury time and again in the 69th minute. and although Slough applied some good pressure late on. a goal from Cliff Hercules with nine minutes left was not enough.

Managed by former Rebel Graham Roberts. newly-promoted Yeovil showed themselves to be a strong and well-organised side.

Slough boss Brian McDermott. who had a spell as assistant manager at Yeovil, was forced to change his side around with the suspension of Terry Angus and the return of Corey Browne. Matthew Stowell lined up in the back four in Angus' place. Browne made it to the subs bench with Mark West starting, but Gary Abbott. whose scoring touch seems to have left him of late, was relegated to the reserves.

Slough had chances early on. and Lloyd Owusu came within inches of continuing his scoring run with a spectacular volley that flew just over the bar. The home side had given the Slough defence a few scares - and Paul Wikerson somehow kept out a fierce drive from Colin Fielder - before Owusu made his mark.

As the Yeovil defence cleared one attacking move. Cliff Hercules came bursting through on the right flank and sent in a dangerous cross. Owusu watched it coming. and at just the right moment launched himself into the air and hammered in an overhead shot that Mark Hughes would have been proud of.

Yeovil keeper Tony Pennock never saw it. hut luckily for him the hall was just the wrong side of the cross bar - a couple of inches lower and it could have been goal of the month, season, and decade.

Ten minutes later Slough fans thought they had gone in front, but Danny Bolt's effort was deflected into the side netting. But the home side ended the first half with a spell of pressure that saw them win four consecutive corners. Visiting fans were anxiously looking at their watches, but the half-time whistle didn't save them as in injury time Pickard met Mickey Engwell's cross with a well-directed header into the corner of the net.

Slough had worked hard in the first half, but were up against a strong defence that gave little time or space and were quick to break down moves. But on the hour mark that defence was unlocked with the best move of the game that deserved to bring an equaliser. Paul Hardyman chased Wilkerson's clearance down the left touchline and after his incisive run cut inside for Bolt.

Bolt played a neat one-two with Owusu on the edge of the box, but the ball just ran away from him at the return and he was unable to get a shot in. But if that had lifted Slough, they were brought down again eight minutes later when Pickard grabbed his second. A lofted free kick from half-way was flicked on by Warren Patmore, and Pickard had sneaked in behind the defence to lash it in.

Two minutes later it could have been three, after Gary McGinnis' last gasp tackle on Pickard, which sent the ball looping goalwards, was judged to be a back pass after Wilkerson grabbed it. Fortunately Fielder's drive from the resulting free kick ran into a mass of bodies and was kept out.

A goalmouth scramble at the other end almost brought Slough's first, in the end Rebels fans had to wait until the 82nd minute, when Hercules picked the ball up on the edge of the box from a corner. His shot was blocked, Gary Brazil's effort on the rebound was also kept out, but Hercules managed to have another go and this time his low shot found a way through.

Yeovil probably deserved the points in the end. but the Rebels will want to carry on where they left off after their late challenge could have salvaged a point.
Manager Brian McDermott said afterwards: "I was disappointed to get nothing out of that game. In terms of possession we matched them, especially in the second half, but we never got too much of a break. The lads gave it everything and they were disappointed themselves. I wasn't at all critical afterwards, and Yeovil are a good side, but I thought we could have got a point."

Yeovil Town Lineup


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