Slough bounce back

Arlesey Town

Arlesey Town

Marsh (4)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Martin (73), Harper (74)
League Attendance: 141 Sean Sonner
Despite conceding early in the game, two goals in quick succession from Simon Martin and Dean Harper saw Slough bounce back from Saturday's defeat against Bury and return to the top of the Zamaretto Midlands league.

The result was doubly pleasing for Steve Bateman’s men as his side emerged from the Armadillo Stadium, where Arlesey had previously not lost in the league this season, with a vital three points which proved that Slough can beat sides challenging for promotion as well as those lower down the table.

The Slough side was missing Steve Sinclair, who was substituted with a niggling injury in the defeat to Bury, and Dwain Clarke took his place - but Simon Martin returned to the Rebels starting eleven following injury, replacing Elliot Buchanan as Bateman looked for a more physical presence in attack.

The match was played in strong wind and rain, which was against the Rebels in the first half and immediately evident from the off. Slough started brightly however, forcing an early corner which almost led to a goal, but Martin and Sonner went for the same ball and the ball was hooked over the bar.

From a quick goal kick, a long ball forward caught in the wind and with no Slough player able to head clear, Nathan Frater latched on to the pass. Ricky Perks looked to be in a position to rush out and clear, but elected to run back towards his goal, giving Frater the time to lay a square pass to Chris Marsh on the edge of the box, and the striker rolled the ball into the net to give Arlesey a fourth-minute lead.

Slough were finding it difficult to adapt to the conditions, but gradually settled into the match and a tight midfield battle ensued, with both defences repelling the opposition’s attacks. A half-chance arrived as Edgeworth’s ball into the box was only half-cleared, but Sean Sonner’s shot was blocked by Jamie Waite’s legs.

Nathan Bowden-Haase headed over before Sonner picked up a quickly-taken throw in and tried his luck from 25 yards, but Waite parried his shot away.

The weather conditions deteriorated further as rain poured down, and a neat passing move from Arlesey saw Chris Marsh go on a strong run which was ended by a last-ditch tackle by Murphy.

Slough upped the tempo in the second half, and went close again as Paul Edgeworth drilled a shot just wide from 25 yards on the wet surface, but Arlesey missed a glorious chance to double their lead as Joe Reynolds danced through the Slough defence but shot straight into the hands of Perks.

The game opened up more as Slough pushed forward, and Steve Bateman’s side got the reward their efforts deserved, with many feeling a goal would never come. A dangerous corner from Edgeworth was headed back by Bowden-Haase and struck toward goal by Sonner, with Simon Martin getting a telling final touch to prod the ball home.

Just a minute later, Slough completed the turnaround. Possession was regained in midfield after Arlesey kicked off, and Chris Herron’s long shot was parried by Waite into the path of Dean Harper, who followed in to tuck the ball into the back of the net.

With Slough now firmly on top, Sonner sidefooted a first-time shot just wide from a long ball over the top, and Paul Edgeworth headed a deep cross from Herron just over the bar.

Arlesey were still in the game however, and Jamie Osbourne should have done better than shoot straight at Perks after the Slough defence had allowed the ball to bounce from a throw-in.

Right at the death, Marsh’s cross from the right had Perks scrambling, but the big ‘keeper was relieved to see the ball go over and hit the roof of the net as the home side’s chance was extinguished.

Arlesey Town Lineup

Jamie Waite, Ross Hanley, Mark Coulson, Marc Leach (Luke Gregson 83), Derek Brown (c), Joe Reynolds, Stuart Sinclair, Derwayne Stupple, Nathan Frater (Zema Abbey 19), Chris Marsh, Moses Olaleye (Jamie Osborne 75). Subs not used: Stuart Strange, Steve Young.


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