After the mauling handed out by Bridgwater Town two days earlier, Simon Sweeney came back into the side to replace the suspended Dean Harper as the promising Kyle Jeffrey continued at right-back with Danny Jordan taking a place in midfield.
Supporters were hoping for a much improved display, and were not to be disappointed as Slough battled well, but not before some early scares from the visitors. In the second minute, Tom Knighton had a sniff of goal, but Jamie Jackson reacted quickly to concede a corner, from which the dangerous Claridge headed just over the bar.
Paulton then threatened with a quick break, from a ball cleared by ‘keeper Kyle Phillips. From Kyle Jeffrey’s headed clearance, the ball dropped to Josh Jefferies, whose effort from distance produced a brilliant reaction save from Jackson.
Slough tested Phillips for the first time midway through the half. Good work from Sinclair saw the winger play in Matthew Platt, and the striker’s first-time effort was well struck but Phillips was on hand to palm the ball wide for a corner.
From the resultant corner, Platt had an effort blocked, and then tested Phillips again from the edge of the box with a volley as the Rebels started to put the pressure on.
The game was flowing from end to end, and Jackson produced two more good saves, firstly from Claridge’s header, and then from Claridge again as Slough failed to clear the ball.
Slough ended the half strongly, and Jeffrey couldn’t get enough power on his shot from the edge of the box to seriously test Phillips. Yashwa Romeo will also feel he could have done better as he got free down the left, bringing the ball into the box but shooting across the goal and wide on his left foot.
The second half developed into a tight affair, with both defences dealing well with attacks. Kyle Jeffrey in particular showed his promise, and the pace of Sweeney was important as the Rebels restricted Paulton to few opportunities.
A better first touch from Claridge might have seen him clear though on goal after he was played in by Dan Cleverley, but he went wide of goal and Jackson smothered the ball. At the other end, the lively and hard-working Sinclair stole the ball down the right flank and rushed his shot, pulling it across goal and wide.
The decisive moment came on 75 minutes. A Paulton free kick was cleared to Danny Jordan, playing a central midfield role, and he hooked the ball over the top of the defence for Romeo to chase. ‘Keeper Phillips, misjudging the weight and length of the pass, raced out from his area, but Romeo was clearly able to latch onto the ball first and he duly found the back of the net from 35 yards.
Minutes later, Romeo forced another good save from Phillips at his near post, but Slough had to endure more scares as Tom Knighton missed his header at the far post from a deep Danny Boys cross as Rovers pressed for an equaliser. Hearts were in mouths as Sweeney conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position 20 yards out, but Slough dealt with the danger well and were able to hold onto a much-needed win after a difficult week.
Paulton Rovers Line up
Kyle Phillips, Dean Penory, Danny Boys, Mike Trought, Olly Price, Rob Cousins, Josh Jeffries, Jon Beswetherick, Rob Claridge, Dan Cleverley (c), Tom Knighton. Subs: Rick Hulbert, Alex Ball, Stu Tovey, Jason Hughes