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Dartford (H)
Sun Jul 19
15:00

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Dartford (H)
Sun Jul 19 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
5th
60pts

Rebels Earn Slender Lead

| Ryman League Cup
Att: 171
Heybridge Swifts
Akurang (79)
1 - 2
Slough Town
Harris (55), Seedel (87)
Ian Hodges
Slough Town put themselves in pole position to claim a place in the Bryco League Cup Final with a 2-1 victory at Heybridge Swifts in the first leg of the semi-final. Second half goals from Glen Harris and Matt Seedel were just rewards for the attacking endeavours that Slough showed, particularly in the first half against their hosts.

Slough started the game keen to avenge their 5-2 mauling in the league fixture a few weeks beforehand and retained possession well fashioning several opening within the first quarter of an hour. First Christian Metcalfe had a shot saved then successive cross by Josias Carbon led to a penalty claim for handball and a great chance for Michael Murphy who fired against Paul Rutherford from a narrow angle.

The Swifts' first chance came on 13 minutes when a ball given away by Metcalfe was seized upon although Allaway did well to save the resulting shot.

The Rebels continued to press and came closer still on 17 minutes when a curling free kick from Veli Hakki, awarded for a foul on Glen Harris, was headed narrowly wide by Matt Murphy. Shortly after Matt Seedel was unlucky not to get a shot away when the ball dropped to him in the box although the defenders managed to clear as the ball got stuck beneath his feet. Further chances followed for Josias Carbon who had a swerving shot comfortably saved and Matt Murphy who just failed to get on the end of a flick on from Steve Daly.

As the end of the first half approached, Ian Hodges was booked for a foul as a Heybridge player broke down the right hand side and despite their share of possession Slough were slightly fortunate not to fall behind late in the half as shots from Dwayne Edwards and Cliff Akurang had Allaway scrambling across his goal on two separate occasions. Whilst the Rebels would have been pleased at their first half showing their failure to break the deadlock had been more about their inability to find the final pass as opposed to resolute Swifts defending.

The hosts started the second half more brightly and almost took the lead immediately although a great save from Allaway to his left denied them. It took 10 minutes of the second half for the Rebels to get the goal their approach play deserved and when it came it was a product of the neat passing football they had employed in the first half. Josias Carbon collected the ball on the right flank and his low ball into the box was dummied first by Matt Murphy and then by Matt Seedel who both showed great awareness to leave Glen Harris in space to fire a first time shot past Rutherford. Slough almost made it two straight from the kick off as a cross from the goal scorer was whipped across the box although Matt Murphy couldn't connect as he slid in at the far post.

A miscommunication at the back almost gave Heybridge their equaliser on the hour as an Abbott cross into the box was touched back by Steve Daly to his keeper who had already advanced off his line. The lead was maintained however as Allaway managed to recover and clear the ball just before it crossed the line.

Heybridge showed a far greater attacking intent after falling behind and managed to create a succession of openings although woeful finishing on at least four occasions troubled the occupants of the field behind the goal far more than Shaun Allaway.

As Slough sat back though an equaliser did look likely and the home side got their breakthrough with just over ten minutes remaining. A good cross into the box from the right found Griffiths unmarked although his bullet header was saved by a stunning one handed reaction save from Shaun Allaway. Unfortunately for the Rebels the lesson of marking players from crosses wasn't heeded and from the resulting corner Akurang was left in acres of space to easily find the corner of the net.

With Slough sitting back a Heybridge winner seemed far more likely at this point although it was the Rebels who secured a priceless lead with only a few minutes remaining. As Slough fans screamed at their side to hold onto the ball and relieve some of the pressure, Dan Cann, on for Matt Murphy, had other ideas collecting the ball on the left before hitting a superb cross into the six yard box for Matt Seedel to run across his marker and brilliantly side foot across Rutherford into the far corner. Ecstatic Rebels fans almost saw their side move further in front just a minute later as Dan Cann found himself with space inside the box although his side foot shot was brilliantly tipped over by the Heybridge keeper.

With a home game to come at Stag Meadow, Slough will be favourites to progress although should be wary of Heybridge's swift attacking capabilities which caused them problems during the second half.

Heybridge Swifts Line up

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