Rebels earn point on opening day

Sutton Coldfield Town

Sutton Coldfield Town

Moran (pen 66), Booth (72)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Bowden-Haase (11), Edgeworth (19)
League Attendance: 218 Nathan Bowden-Haase
Slough Town and Sutton Coldfield Town shared the opening-day spoils at Coles Lane, with the hosts recovering well from a 2-0 half time deficit.

Goals from debutants Nathan Bowden-Haase and Paul Edgeworth in the first twenty minutes had given the Rebels a flying start, and Slough looked to be on course for a first opening-day victory since Epsom & Ewell in 2004, but a strong second half comeback saw the hosts grab a deserved point.

Slough, sporting their new red change strip, handed competitive debuts to seven summer signings and started brightly, though Simon Sweeney had to be strong to force Nathan Lamey wide as the striker got an early sight of goal.

Early pressure from the Rebels told with their first real attack of the game. Nathan Bowden-Haase found himself in an attacking position and, after Sinclair played him in on goal, he flicked the ball inside onto his left foot and blasted home via the near post.

Eight minutes later, Slough doubled their lead as Paul Edgeworth acrobatically turned the ball into the top corner after Sinclair had headed a deep cross from Simon Martin back across goal.

Slough were in command but the hosts grew in stature as the half wore on, playing some neat football and stretching the Rebels defence on a number of occasions. Ricky Perks tipped over a fierce free kick from Nathan Moran and minutes later, an unmarked Sam Wilson should have done better at the far post from a cross.

For the first fifteen minutes of the second half, Slough continued to play well, with Sinclair and Edgeworth particularly influential, without creating many chances. Sinclair saw a shot blocked and a deflected cross from Chris Herron almost caught Tony Breedon out at his near post.

Sutton Coldfield gradually got their passing game together and looked a much greater threat, with Craig Owen pulling all the strings in midfield, playing balls into wide areas to stretch the Slough defence.

Ricky Perks emerged as the busier of the two goalkeepers, and the Slough stopper made a fantastic save low down at his near post from substitute Jamille Matt from a cross by Quiggin

Perks made another top save from Sam Wilson, and in the follow-up, Robbie Kean was adjudged to have handled the ball, though it appeared to strike his chest. The resulting penalty was dispatched by dead ball specialist Moran, firing straight down the middle.

Boosted by the goal, the hosts continued to pile on the pressure, and Perks was forced to fist a corner kick away from his goal with attackers lurking at the far post.

On 72 minutes, some neat play around the edge of the box resulted in the ball being flicked through by the home side's man-of-the-match Owen for Ed Booth, who finished coolly past Perks for the equaliser.

Slough then missed a fantastic chance to go back in front as Herron’s deep cross to the far post was fired over by Steve Sinclair from inside the six yard box.

Sutton Coldfield substitute Jamille Matt was exerting more and more influence on the match, and he was in the thick of the action again, creating shooting opportunities for Davis and Wilson, but the Slough defence stood firm and in the end, both sides had to settle for a point apiece.

Sutton Coldfield Town Lineup

Breedon, Moran, Male, Batchelor, Booth (Jackson), Murrall, Quiggin, Owen, Lamey (Matt), Davis, Wilson.


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