Match day

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Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Wed Apr 17

Match day

Team logo
Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Wed Apr 17 14:00
The National League U19 Alliance

Five On The Bounce For Impressive Rebels

Staines Town

Staines Town

Ibe (85p)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Boot (6), Hodges (19, 75)
League Attendance: 452 Steve Daly
Slough Town produced a superb performance at Wheatsheaf Lane against one of the divisions form teams to make it five consecutive victories and take themselves into fifth place in the table. Staines will cite tiredness after their extended FA Trophy campaign against Halifax but in truth they were outplayed by a resilient Rebels team who never looked like relinquishing their early lead.

Tony Boot opened the scoring to take his tally for the campaign to 15 while in-form Ian Hodge added another two goals to move to within five of Boot’s total last season of 31.

Slough started the match intent on keeping possession and making their hosts work for the ball and enjoyed a good spell of pressure early on. However, even the most optimistic Rebels fans wouldn’t have dreamt of such a great start with a goal after just six minutes or the spectacular manner in which it came. An exchange of passes saw the ball fed to Tony Boot 25 yards out and as the Staines defenders stood off him he took one touch before hitting a brilliant dipping shot beyond Matt Lovett and into the top corner.

The early strike spurred Staines on and the new found resilient Rebels defence were content to sit back and soak up some pressure. The closest the home side came however was a free kick curled comfortably over the bar from outside the area.

The inspirational Veli Hakki played a significant part in Slough’s second after 19 minutes when his trickery on the ball earned a free kick a few yards outside the box. Glen Harris took the resulting kick quickly and played Hakki in behind the sluggish Staines defence. His left foot cross evaded Lovett and was hooked back across the Staines keeper by Ian Hodge into the top corner for a brilliant second goal.

Paul Barrowcliff did well to cut out a cross from Adam Campion after 27 minutes and Alan Foster was indebted to Hakki who cleared the ball behind after the Rebels keeper dropped the cross from the corner. The home side’s reputation as one of the more physical sides in the division was emphasised on 35 minutes when Jon McDonald was booked for a reckless challenge on Ian Hodge.

Staines had their best chance of the first half five minutes before the break when Julian Sills headed over from six yards from their third corner in quick succession.

A couple of minutes later the most controversial incident of the half occurred as Kezie Ibe was brought down outside the Slough penalty area as he bore down on Fosters goal. Although not responsible for the original challenge, Veli Hakki seemed to aim a kick at the grounded Staines striker although it was difficult to gain a clear view from behind the opposite goal. Hakki was booked for his involvement in the incident although several players from both sides were lucky not to receive similar punishment, not least of all Gavin Tomlin who appeared to aim a punch at a Slough player.

Just before the interval a combination of keeper and captain preserved the two goal lead as Ibe hit a fierce shot which was well parried by Foster with Daly poking the ball away to prevent the rebound reaching Danny Deegan.

Slough continued their attacking intentions straight after the break as a great exchange of passes between Boot and Hakki saw a fortunate free kick awarded to Staines against Boot despite Matt Lovett failing to collect the ball without any intervention from the Rebels striker.

Glen Harris should have made the game safe for Slough on 56 minutes when more neat play on the Staines left saw Ryan Williams whip in a fantastic right foot cross. However, he failed to adjust his feet, coming in from the left and the ball went through his legs with just Lovett to beat.

The home side changed things around on the hour mark with Craig Maskell and Ronnie Joe replacing Rouco and Campion. Shortly after, ex-Rebel Mark Pye was shown a yellow card making no attempt to play the ball as he felled Ryan Williams on the right flank. Glen Harris missed a further opportunity after 64 minutes as he slid in with his right foot trying to convert Tony Boot’s cross which he would have done better to take with his left foot.

Michael Murphy was booked on 68 minutes although immediately after, Mark Pye escaped a second yellow card after a clumsy challenge on Ian Hodge with the referee preferring to lecture the Staines number eight.

The Rebels finally made the game safe with 15 minutes remaining after a foul on Steve Daly. The free kick on the right touchline was swung into the box and Ian Hodge climbed highest to direct a brilliant looping header beyond the stationary Lovett who must have been regretting his ill advised taunting of Slough fans at Stag Meadow in November.

The home side did get a consolation goal after 85 minutes when a seemingly good challenge on Kezie Ibe was penalised by referee Tony Mason. The Staines number nine picked himself up to fire the spot kick past Foster into the top corner. Mark Pye once again inexplicably avoided a dismissal 3 minutes later as he elbowed Darron Wilkinson as the two contested a high ball. The referee’s generosity towards the home side continued from the resulting free kick as Hodge was clearly brought down when trying to turn inside the box as he went looking for his hat-trick.

As the fulltime whistle approached, Alan Foster ensured the victory with a stunning left handed save from Paul Ellis then followed it up by spreading himself to deflect another goal bound effort from the resulting corner.

Staines Town Lineup


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