Rebels Glad To Be Back But Walton Take The Points

Slough Town

Slough Town

Walton & Hersham

Walton & Hersham

Harkness (18), Fennell (56 pen), Pearson (90+3)
League Attendance: 392 Unknown
There was no fairytale start to Rebels campaign in a lower division as the lack of a pre season was very much in evidence at Wexham Park on Saturday.

Although Slough battled hard, Walton were much the sharper side and though they deserved the victory, the 3-0 final margin was somewhat flattering to the visitors.

But there were plenty of positives to be drawn from the game which the longer it went, saw Rebels play with more cohesion and they started to ask questions of the Walton defence.

For the final 25 minutes, most of the action was in the Walton half and with a little more sharpness, they could have salvaged a point before an injury time goal gave the score-line an uneven look.

A tiring Keith McPherson was outpaced on the Rebels' left by Scott Edgar and although from his pull back, substitute Marcus Rose's shot was blocked, James Pearson was on hand to slam home the loose ball via the crossbar.

Rebels rustiness was plane to see from the start with plenty of misplaced passes and they suffered an early blow when Darron Wilkinson had to limp off with an ankle injury in the ninth minute to be replaced by Paul Barrowcliff.

Soon after, the first effort on goal went to Rebels when Walton failed to deal properly with a Graham Kemp free kick and Barry Rake's dipping 20-yard volley looped over Luke Garrard's goal.

At the other end, the lively Paul Harkness supplied the ammunition for Scott Edgar but his header sailed harmlessly over Chris Andrews' bar on the quarter-hour mark. The warning signs were there for the Rebels and three minutes later, the goal finally arrived for the visitors.

Barrowcliff lost possession in midfield and Bas Savage freed Harkness on the left and he advanced on goal before sliding the ball beyond the helpless Andrews and into the far corner of the net.

It could have been worse for Slough six minutes later when Walton squandered a gilt-edged chance. Following a Rebels corner, a quick break saw full back Nicky Andrews with only the keeper to beat but the full back dragged his shot wide of the target.

There was little more goalmouth action before the break but Rebels uphill task became a mountain eleven minutes after the restart when Chris White was penalised for hauling back Savage and Adam Fennell converted the resultant penalty. Despite Rebels protests that the offence was outside the box, referee Andy Legg wouldn't be swayed in his judgement.

Tony Thompson immediately replaced White and in a rejigged line-up, Rebels started to cause problems with the substitute, in particular, looking effective.

He was just inches away from connecting with a Steve Daly knock across goal from a Lee Archer free kick and was then just wide with a headed effort.

In a rousing finish, Rebels final sub Steve Stott, on for Paul Holsgrove bundled his way through only to be thwarted by keeper Luke Garrard and Daly headed just over from a Graham Kemp corner and from another flag kick, a visiting hand seemed to push the ball away only for Slough appeals for a spot kick to be turned down.

To rub salt into the Rebels wounds, Walton broke away deep into stoppage time and added their third goal.

As Walton manager Matt Alexander said afterwards: "I'm delighted to come away from here with the three points. I don't think that many sides will be doing that. We came here just right because had it been later, I believe that it would have been a different story".

And on Saturday's evidence, he could well be right.

Walton & Hersham Lineup


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