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Chelmsford City (A)
Sat Feb 22

Next match

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Chelmsford City (A)
Sat Feb 22 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Bishops Bash Rebels

| League
Att: 340
Bishop's Stortford
3 - 2
Slough Town
Howard, Hakki
The Rebels travelled to Woodside Park in the hope of making amends for the poor late showing against Aylesbury. Bartely and Stott had both been ruled out through injury along with stalwart keeper Mautone, which forced Rebels boss Steve Browne to introduce three late signings, Kieron Gallacher, Anthony Howard and keeper Gary McCann.

Both sides started well and Ullathorne should have done better after heading over from a Gallacher cross. Purcell had an early chance for Stortford, but again, could not apply the finish to the through ball.

The impressive Vinnie John managed to turn past two Rebels defenders soon after, but his shot was comfortably saved by Gary McCann. Simon Ullathorne again had another chance with a headed effort and will have been disappointed not to have forced Micky Desborough in the Stortford goal into a save.

Quick thinking at a free kick in a dangerous position by John released his strike partner Trevor Paul, but he found McCann in inspired form to keep out his volleyed attempt. More quick thinking from a free kick situation caught the Rebels napping as Braham was released on the inside left channel. Braham cut the ball back to Paul, but the striker lacked composure under pressure and put his effort wide from close range.

Somewhat against the run of play, Slough pressured and forced a few corners. The second of which was swung in by Haynes which caught Desborough in a hesitant mood as he could only palm the ball against the bar. As the ball fell down, Howard was nicely placed to volley home from two yards into an unguarded net. This seemed to lift Slough and they were unlucky not to have scored again soon after. Gallacher had two efforts well closed down and as the ball fell for James his cross went into the path of Ullathorne, but deflected out for a corner.

Stortford slowly eased back into the game and Vinnie John proved a handful for the Rebels defence which had to reshape following the loss of Daly through injury. It was John who was released and as his shot across McCann was saved, the keeper couldn't quite hold the ball, and in the scramble the ball was eventually cleared to touch.

John got the goal his presence deserved just before half time. A high swinging ball into the area was palmed away by McCann but straight to John who accepted the open net in front of him by cooly heading home with the equaliser to send the home fans delirious. More was to follow just one minute after. John again being the recipient of Paul's cut back and had another easy finish side footing home from six yards to put Stortford into the lead.

Stortford started the second half as they had finished the first, and JOhn nearly claimed his hat-trick when he was picked out at the back post but his headed effort was comfortably saved by McCann.

Both sides now appeared to cancel one another out as chances were at a premium. The Rebels were forced into a change after Gallacher's late challenge on Braham earned him a booking, and also a damaged hamstring as the midfielder left the pitch to be replaced by Thompson.

Midway through the half came the games best goal. Braham picked ou the run of Paul who knocked the ball into the path of Purcell. His run carried him forward and with the outside of his foot, chipped the ball across the goal into the far corner with McCann beaten.

James had a quick chance to pull one back for Slough after being released by Ullathorne but his first time effort was not enough to trouble Desborough enough in the Stortford goal. James was involved again in Slough's next chance when he turned his man and put in a low cross from which a goalmouth scramble ensued but to no Rebels gain.

Then came the 'event' of the game. After a niggly second half, a challenge on McPherson by Vinnie John prompted the Slough defender to react and shove John. What then ensued was around 18 players getting involved with various activities going on between them. The outcome, red cards for McPherson and John, correctly so, and a somewhat surprising booking for Haynes.

With both sides down to ten, Stortford with their two goal lead, looked content to see out time, but were still creating chances against the Rebels. A left wing free kick was headed goalbound by Southam, but McCann was able to save, and hold, comfortably.

The Rebels did manage to pull a goal back with six minutes remaining when Haki recieved a ball into feet just outside the box. He turned off his man getting a lucky bounce to receive the ball back. With Desborough advancing, Haki squared the ball to Thompson, but the striker showing his rustiness waited for the ball and waas well tackled. Fortunately for Slough the ball fell into the path of Haki who slotted home from two yards out despite pressure from Desborough.

Within a minute, Stortford nearly extended their lead again. Paul went close with a shot from inside the area which McCann did well to parry for a corner. The resultant corner was met by the head of Purcell whose effort came back off an unguarded post and into the hands of a relieved McCann. With only a few minutes remaining, Dominic Gentle was introduced to try and rescue a point for the Rebels and his long range half volley on the turn went narrowly wide in what was the last chance of the game for the Rebels.

Bishop's Stortford Line up

Desborough, Kimble, Riches, Wolf, Hercules, Taylor, Purcell, Southam, John, Paul, Braham. Subs: Gunn (For Hercules 70), Hayes, Beale

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