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Welling United (H)
Sat Apr 20

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Welling United (H)
Sat Apr 20 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Rebels slip to late defeat at Bell Close

Leighton Town

Leighton Town

Marsala (87)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 211 George Short
Former Slough player Dom Marsala came back to haunt the Rebels on Saturday, scoring three minutes from time to seal victory for struggling Leighton Town.

Marsala, who played half a dozen times for Slough in 2011, chested and volleyed past Jake Somerville in the closing stages to condemn Slough to a third league defeat of the season. It was the second time in the space of a week that Slough had conceded late on at Bell Close, having surrendered a two-goal lead against Aylesbury United the previous weekend.

As early as the second minute, Slough had what looked like a strong penalty appeal waved away as Scott Harris hit the turf under a challenge from a Leighton centre-half.

Warren Harris had a sniff of goal as a superb Ollie Burgess pass played him through, but the winger’s first touch was too heavy and allowed 17-year-old goalkeeper Bradley Kirkwood to come out and smother the ball. Kirkwood, Leighton’s third choice goalkeeper, went on to have a fine game and was certainly the home side’s man of the match.

Leighton almost took the lead after Wes Harrison was penalised for a handball offence. The resulting free kick attempt was fumbled by Somerville, but Slough managed to clear their lines.

Leighton broke forward again and had a shot blocked, before Scott Harris headed over from a corner.

Left-back Jake Bewley almost put through his own net from Darren Wheeler’s cross as Slough cranked up the pressure, with Scott Harris again heading over the resulting corner.

Another chance was spurned by Scott Harris as a clever ball from Dan Burnell played him one-on-one, but Kirkwood stood his ground superbly and saved as Harris tried to poke the ball over his head.

It was by no means one-way traffic though, and Leighton broke away again, with Wes Harrison failing to deal with a bouncing ball in the strong wind. Somerville had to make a good save at his near post to turn the ball behind.

Slough’s hopes were dented towards the end of the first half as the influential Ollie Burgess limped off with an apparent hamstring injury. Much of Slough’s best play to that point had come through Burgess, and his loss seemed to affect the team’s performance in the second half.

His replacement, Jamie McClurg, tried his luck from the edge of the box at the start of the second half, but Kirkwood was again equal to it, and he palmed the ball away from danger. After the resulting corner came in, Dave Woozley had a shot kicked off the line – the closest Slough had come to scoring – and George Short headed straight at Kirkwood moments later.

Somerville saved well from Ben Gallant, and then made an even better save from the striker as he burst through the heart of the Slough defence, the keeper diving to his left to turn the ball behind.

Johnnie Dyer made a welcome return to the first team following illness, replacing Scott Harris, but it was his strike partner Burnell who should have given Slough the lead, but his free header from a corner hit the turf, rather than the back of the net, and the ball bounced over the bar.

Slough kept pressing, and Woozley headed over as a Wheeler cross got caught in the wind, but his side almost fell behind when they switched off from a Leighton throw-in, and Somerville needed to make two good saves to keep the scores level with his defence caught off-guard.

Adam Foulser replaced Burnell in attack as a final roll of the dice as Slough persisted in pumping high balls forward instead of playing football on the bumpy playing surface, but shortly after, substitute Marsala struck after Slough failed to clear a goalmouth scramble, to give Leighton a much-needed three points and put an end to Slough’s unbeaten league run.

Leighton Town Lineup


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