The defeat maintains Slough’s hopes of making the play-offs, whilst for Dunstable, this was a fourth straight league defeat, which damages their aspirations of winning the league title.
The Rebels were clearly in the mood to gain revenge on the Bedfordshire visitors after a controversial defeat at Creasey Park earlier in the season, in which both Darren Wheeler and Ryan Lake were dismissed. Wheeler took a place on the bench for this game, with Jake Parsons coming in to the starting eleven, whilst Dunstable made no fewer than seven changes from the team that was defeated at Marlow the previous weekend, having signed five new players in the week.
Dunstable’s Terry Dixon, who looked a handful up front, put a shot wide in the early going, with Nathan Frater also blazing well off target. But with just nine minutes played, the visitors were rocked by the dismissal of former Slough player Kyle Anthony, one of several players debuting for the Duns. The in-form Warren Harris was played in down the right, but was felled by a dangerous-looking high challenge from Anthony, with both the referee and linesman in agreement that the defender should be dismissed.
Skipper Moses Olaleye was sacrificed as another former Rebel, Marc Leach, stepped in to the vacant centre-half slot as Dunstable were forced to change their game plan. Dave Woozley headed the resulting free kick over the bar, but Slough were soon ahead.
With 16 minutes played, Scott Harris saw his snapshot parried by Dunstable’s new goalkeeper Alex Taylor, but Ed Smith reacted quickest to finish beyond the keeper’s reach as he lay on the turf.
Smith had a chance to double the lead as Slough cleverly worked a corner kick to the edge of the box, but he ballooned his striker over. An even better chance was spurned by Jamie McClurg soon after. Scott Harris showed great strength to keep the ball in play on the left, before bringing the ball into the box and squaring it to the midfielder, but he side footed wide of the post.
Dunstable were by no means penned back in their own half, and put together good spells of pressure without ever testing Jake Somerville in the Slough goal, save for catching crosses and deliveries from corner kicks.
Right before the half time whistle, Slough doubled their lead through an unlikely source. Frater lost possession in midfield and was punished as Ryan Parsons drove forward with the ball. With space opening up in front of him and strikers making runs right and left, Parsons carried on and drove the ball into the bottom corner with a right footed effort.
Had the visitors managed to keep the score at 1-0 going in to half time, the second half may have been so different – as it was, Slough came out and looked to kill the game off for good, and Adam Foulser saw his firm header from a Warren Harris corner cleared off the line by Plowright.
However, six minutes in to the second half, Slough scored a third to more or less secure the points. The finish was a simple one for Smith, but owed everything to the hard work and interplay between the Harris brothers on the right, who combined to work the ball to Jamie McClurg six yards out. He unselfishly laid the ball sideways to Smith, who tucked it past Taylor with ease.
Two minutes later, Wheeler emerged from the bench to replace the excellent Jake Parsons, and with his first touch, Wheeler delivered a corner kick onto the head of Scott Harris, who directed a powerful header into the top corner, leaving Taylor rooted to the spot.
Harris could then have won a penalty for Slough after he appeared to be barged in the back, but appeals were waved away.
Slough were dominant in midfield throughout, making the extra man advantage count with Leigh Rumbold influential in the middle of the park. Wheeler was denied by a good block as he looked to score a fifth after being played in by Smith, but in truth Slough eased off a little after the fourth goal, with Dunstable looking vulnerable at the back but capable of counter-attacking. However, the visitors did not trouble Somerville in the second half, and the Rebels coasted to an important victory.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Jake Somerville
- 2 Sean Fraser
- 3 Ryan Parsons
- 4 David Woozley
- 5 Adam Foulser
- 6 Leigh Rumbold
- 7 Scott Harris 18
- 8 Jamie McClurg
- 9 Edward Smith 16
- 10 Jake Parsons 15
- 11 Warren Harris
Dunstable Town Line up
Alex Taylor, Jerome Jibidou (Tony Fontanelle, 45), Ryan Plowright, Joseph Bruce, Kyle Anthony, Moses Olaleye (c) (Marc Leach, 10), Adam Watkins, (Taishan Griffith, 71), Newman Carney, Nathan Frater, Terry Dixon, Christopher Marsh. Subs not used: Danny Murphy, Jamie Head.