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Ebbsfleet United (H)
Sat Mar 25

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Ebbsfleet United (H)
Sat Mar 25 12:30
The Vanarama National League South

Rebels Held By Rovers

| League
Att: 155
Great Wakering Rovers
Hampshire (20), Pilkinton (88)
2 - 2
Slough Town
Rainford (56), Boot (69)
Michael Gilkes
Slough must be ruing the decision taken last summer by the Rymans League to put them in the Northern section of Division One as once again they returned from an away fixture in Essex having failed to take all three points.

The draw at Burroughs Park means that the Rebels have failed to win on their last four visits to the County leaving their opening away game at East Thurrock as their only success.

Both teams started reasonably brightly although took time to come to terms with a strong wind blowing diagonally towards the Rovers goal. Although the opening exchanges were even the decision to play with the wind in the first half meant that much of the play was contained within the Great Wakering half as they struggled to clear their lines.

Whilst Slough had much of the early possession the first meaningful shot on goal came from a break into the Rebels area after eight minutes which resulted in a shot on goal although it never looked like troubling Gary McCann who caught comfortably. A period of Slough pressure followed reducing Great Wakering to playing on the break and one of their rare ventures into the Slough half almost resulted in the first goal after fifteen minutes for leading scorer Dan Trenkel. A through ball up the left channel was collected by the Rovers number eight who cut inside and fired a shot just past the post.

Two minutes later Slough created their first real opening of the game when Ryan Spencer collected a ball on the right and swung over a cross which was just too high for Tony Boot in the centre.

On twenty minutes Rovers took the lead following a free kick which was not properly cleared. In a carbon copy of the earlier chance, Mark Hampshire cut inside from the left with little resistance and fired the ball low past McCann into the far corner.

Slough continued to press and Christian Metcalfe should have done better when he headed wide whilst unchallenged following a quickly taken free kick from Michael Gilkes. The Rebels player/coach continued to create the majority of Slough's openings with some superb left wing crosses and on 35 minutes Deji Davies missed a glorious chance to equalise when he headed over from barely eight yards from another Gilkes centre.

On forty-two minutes an uncharacteristically reckless challenge from Paul Barrowcliff on Rovers' Stuart Munday resulted in the first yellow card of the game although this was swiftly followed a few minutes later when Danny Scopes exacted revenge on Barrowcliff and joined him in the book.

The second half started with Great Wakering using the strong wind behind them to try and play long through balls although this was nullified as The Rebels pushed up and caught them offside on several occasions.

The breakthrough Slough had wanted came after just eleven minutes of the second half when another Gilkes cross from the left caused panic in the Rovers defence. Following the goalmouth scramble that ensued the ball was only half cleared to Dave Rainford who took one touch before firing the ball past Hudson into the bottom corner.

Almost immediately following the equaliser Sammy Winston was brought off the bench replacing Deji Davies who, although had worked hard, once again failed to look like a striker who had scored fifteen goals this season.

As has been the case in previous matches when Winston has emerged from the bench the difference was immediate as Rovers were pushed back threatened by the increased pace in the Rebels attack. Within ten minutes of the substitution Slough took the lead as a through ball up the right flank saw both Tony Boot and Sammy Winston beat the offside trap. Boot pulled away to the left allowing Winston to take the ball forward and draw the keeper before unselfishly passing across the face of the goal to allow Boot to side foot home at the far post.

Slough continued to press forward but failed to get the third goal that would have sealed the points and as the game wore on they allowed Rovers to mount increasingly dangerous attacks. On seventy-one minutes they survived a snap shot that just cleared Gary McCann's crossbar and a few minutes later a similar effort also went for a goal kick.

Two minutes from time Great Wakering got the equaliser they had threatened when a corner from the right was swung across. As defenders and attackers rose the ball was flicked on by a Slough head to the far post where substitute Paul Pilkington volleyed towards goal which McCann could only parry into the net. Whilst Slough can count themselves unlucky to have conceded such a late equaliser they can also thank their luck that another Pilkington effort in stoppage time went narrowly wide and they were able to take a point from the game.

Great Wakering Rovers Line up

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