Rebels Continue Fine Form With Win At Vics

Northwich Victoria

Northwich Victoria

Slough Town

Slough Town

Brazil (12)
League Attendance: 878 Unknown
The Rebels continued their fine run of form on Saturday with a hard-fought win over a Northwich side unbeaten in 1998. After victories over Halifax Town and Hereford United, this was a win that emphasised just how strong a side manager Brian McDermott has under him.

Gary Brazil got the goal that sealed it after 12 minutes, and although Slough had further chances to extend their lead, for much of the time they were under heavy pressure and held out with a stirring backs-to-the-wall performance.

Paul Wilkerson came in with two magnificent saves in a solid display, and the back five again bonded and held firm.

McDermott said: "I thought we had the clearer cut chances although you don't go to Northwich and expect them not to have any chances. We had been working in training on getting Gary Brazil up in scoring positions and he did that with the goal we got. We didn't get a lot of credit from their people at Northwich, and
their programme said that when we beat them at our place it was because they hadn't played well, so we gave ourselves a bit of credit afterwards."

The manager named an unchanged side from the win over Hereford the previous week, with Matthew Stowell still in for the suspended Cliff Hercules. The only change came on the bench, with Lee Randall preferred to Mark Fiore.

It was the home side who had the first chance to open the scoring, when John Stannard's 30 yard drive came back off the bar with Wilkerson beaten.Minutes later Ian Cooke had the ball in the back of the net but his headed effort was ruled out for offside.

After those scares it was Slough who took the lead when Brazil's scorching shot finished off an excellent move. Danny Bolt provided the telling ball, as from the centre of midfield he flipped it over the defence for Brazil to run onto unopposed and lash it in first time. It had been a brilliantly worked and well executed goal that seemed to stun the home team and silence their fans for a short spell.

But as the Vics recovered, the Rebels had goalkeeper Wilkerson to thank for keeping the scoreline at 1-0 by half-time. First he saved brilliantly first from Steve Walters' free kick, and then showed lightning reactions to tip away a point-blank header from the resulting corner.

Brazil had a chance to make it two in the opening minutes of the second half through a free kick when Corey Browne was fouled on the edge of the box.
In a training ground routine Danny Bailey flipped the ball up for Brazil to hit on the volley but his dipping shot just cleared the bar.

Slough kept up the pressure early in the half, with both Bailey and Bolt feeding well, but midway through the half Northwich manager Phil Wilson made a double substitution, bringing on Daren Vicary and Paul Tait to make up a four-pronged attack with Cooke and Stannard.

It was a severe test for the Rebels defence, and just minutes after coming on Tait found himself clear on goal, but Wilkerson was quick to come out and save at his feet. From there on the Rebels were limited to a single break, that saw Bolt's chip drift off target, as the home side held them down, but again the Slough defence, rapidly becoming one of the meanest in the league, showed its strength.

Terry Angus, Matthew Stowell, and also Danny Bailey, seemed to cut out every cross that threatened, and with Wilkerson on top of his confidence and all the back five tackling convincingly, another win and another clean sheet was on the way.

The home fans cried foul at every challenge, with Stowell and Angus both singled out for the harshest treatment, but both stuck to the task well and never looked rattled.

The victory brought up Slough's second double of the season, the first also having come in the northwest with wins over Southport.

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