Rebels narrowly beaten at league leaders

Arlesey Town

Arlesey Town

Allinson (11), Brown (34)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Burnell (29)
League Attendance: 167 Danny Burnell
Slough Town battled valiantly at the Armadillo Stadium but ultimately top dogs Arlesey Town proved too strong and shut out the Rebels in their search for a second-half equaliser.

Arlesey quickly set about imposing themselves on the game, dominant in the air and with a big physical presence all over the pitch, and closed Slough down quickly, making it difficult for the Rebels to play their brand of football.

But despite this, and Shaun Byrne having to cover at right-back in the absence of the injured Simon Sweeney, Slough looked a match for their opponents early on, settling into the game with the two front men, Sonner and Burnell, gamely competing and winning their fair share of aerial challenges.

Slough almost fell behind early on, though, as Chris Marsh got the better of Byrne too easily in the right-back area, but the forward curled a shot onto the post with Bullivant having got a faint touch to the ball to deny him.

Arlesey's Stuart Sinclair fired a hurried volley well wide from the edge of the box before the hosts took an eleventh-minute lead. Chris Dillon’s long-range strike looked to be heading wide, but Bullivant took no chances, making a low one-handed save, but Lee Allinson followed up smartly to roll the ball home with ease.

The hosts continued to boss the game, but without playing much football, and Stuart Sinclair, a thorn in the Rebels’ side all game, was booked for a crude off the ball challenge on Adam Logie.

Slough refused to be bullied out of the game though, and, after surviving another Arlesey attack which saw Byrne get across superbly to block a goal-bound shot from winger Aston Goss, the visitors snatched an equaliser.

The ball was worked cleverly from right to left, and Murphy's cross-shot caused havoc, with the normally steady Richard Hayward spilling the effort. Danny Burnell had a shot blocked by Hayward, and in the ensuing scramble, reacted quickest to squeeze a shot through a crowd of bodies and past Marc Leach on the goal-line.

But Slough’s joy was to last just a matter of minutes, as Arlesey capitalised on a free kick conceded by Steve Perkins. Allinson turned provider this time, sending over a perfect delivery which captain Derek Brown, sent off in the fixture at Holloways Park earlier in the season, headed past Bullivant to put his side back in front.

With Slough still finding it hard to create chances, the closest they came in the first half was a shot on the turn by Burnell, which did not trouble Hayward.

Holding a lead in the second half, Arlesey surprisingly seemed content to sit back and invite pressure onto them, and Slough managed to get the ball down and play a bit more – but again, were stifled by a no-nonsense, resolute Arlesey side. Danny Murphy blazed well over from 25 yards, summing up the Rebels’ frustration.

With Stuart Swift and Ben Abbey introduced to give further attacking options, Slough retained possession well and continued playing all the football, but Arlesey sat deep and soaked up the pressure, with Slough failing to get enough crosses into the box to test the otherwise impressive Hayward.

Slough’s frustration threatened to get the better of them with Sonner booked for a rash challenge and Steve Perkins’ name also taken, and as Steve Bateman threw on his son Sam as a final late roll of the dice, Arlesey had their first sight of goal, but a flicked header landed over the bar.

Swift hooked over from a Perkins knock down as the Slough skipper played the final few minutes as a makeshift forward, and at the death, Perkins went closer than any other Slough player to equalising, but he fired a shot a foot wide from the edge of the box - and Slough’s efforts ultimately went unrewarded.

Arlesey Town Lineup

Hayward, Mawer, Perpetuini, M Leach, Brown (c), Allinson (Mason), Deeney, Sinclair, Dillon (Gray), Marsh, Goss. Subs not used: Price, Abbey, Ender.


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