Defeat leaves Rebels' fate out of their hands

Fleet Town

Fleet Town

Anderson (57)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 302 Ryan Wharton
Slough Town were condemned to finishing second bottom of the Southern League Division 1 South & West after a 1-0 defeat at Fleet Town, who will finish as runners-up and go on to play Uxbridge in the playoffs.

Barely three minutes had passed when Slough were handed a golden opportunity to open the scoring in front of almost 200 travelling Rebels supporters. Terry Davies latched onto a ball forward and was bundled over by Fleet captain Noakes, who conceded a penalty.

James Pritchard stepped up, having converted successfully against Godalming, but his nervy effort was too high and bounced off the crossbar and over.

Fleet looked for an instant response to this early threat, but Slough were able to block shots at goal and withstand the pressure.

The home side's best chances came in the final ten minutes of the half. Jamie Jackson did well to save low down at the far post from winger Nathan Smart after a neat passing move.

From the resulting corner kick, Ben Wright's header hit the crossbar with Jackson well beaten as Slough held on.

Finishing the half strongly, Fleet forced another chance as Salmon's cross fell to James Field, but his shot was well held by Jackson.

In the second half, Slough were again forced to soak up a lot of pressure, but could not prevent Fleet taking the lead on 57 minutes.

Mark Anderson, a former Bracknell player, ran onto Steve Noakes' long ball and cleverly lobbed the hapless Jackson to give Slough a mountain to climb.

In a desperate move, Dean Harper replaced Usif Bangura and took his place in attack alongside Terry Davies.

Harper found himself in the thick of things early on as he had a shot blocked; eventually the ball rebounded off Pritchard and was saved.

Late on, Fleet had further chances through Field and Pearce, but both were off target.

Ultimately Slough battled hard and tried to create chances, but were unable to break through a resolute Fleet Town defence.

A late corner kick saw Jamie Jackson up in attack, and indeed it was the goalkeeper who had Slough's final effort at goal of the season, but he dragged his shot wide as the curtain came down on a second successive relegation season for the Rebels.

Image: Gary House

Fleet Town Lineup

Paul Smith, Salmon, (Hemmings 71), Jack Smith, Damien Smith, Noakes, Paterson, Field, Howell, Anderson, (Ed Smith 84), Wright, Smart, (Pearce 88). Subs not used: Smalley, Campbell.


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