The result was the perfect response, although as joint manager Jon Underwood tweeted after the game, it wasn’t pretty – but it was deserved and the Slough side showed plenty of character to find the winning goal against stubborn opponents.
Dan Sintim, signed on a dual-registration basis from Metropolitan Police to cover for the injured Adam Foulser, came straight into the side and slotted in well alongside Dave Woozley. George Short replaced the unavailable Jamie McClurg, whilst Jake Parsons replaced Darren Wheeler.
Slough laboured somewhat in the first half and struggled to create clear-cut chances, but had much the better of the play.
Jake Parsons was unlucky on a couple of occasions to see shots blocked, and even more so later in the half as he was forced off after tweaking his hamstring.
The visitors’ Jason King forced Jake Somerville to make a reaction save to his left, but their attacking threat was fairly limited.
Scott Harris replaced the injured Parsons as Slough reshuffled and moved Dyer out wide on the right, and the Rebels almost took the lead as George Short powered a header toward goal from a Warren Harris corner, but St Ives keeper Bennion turned the ball over.
Most of the action was concentrated in the middle of the park, with the visitors packing midfield and winning a lot of the ball. Both sides traded long shots, whilst Warren Harris produced simple another save from Bennion.
Slough’s best effort came from Eddie Smith after Bennion had punched away a free kick, but only to the Rebels top scorer, who hit a scorching first-time volley – but it smashed off the frame of the goal and over. Somerville tipped over a speculative shot from Dan Newman as the first half came to a close.
Dyer gave the visitors a scare early in the second half as the ball fell to him from Ryan Parsons’ cross, but the striker put his effort wide at the second attempt.
With St Ives continually frustrating the Rebels by denying them space, it felt as if things might not go Slough’s way, but the home side conjured up what proved to be the winning goal with 70 minutes played. Eddie Smith was once again involved in the creation of the goal as Dyer played a neat one-two with him, before finding space to poke in a shot with the outside of his right boot which left Bennion rooted to the spot as it bounced into the back of the net off his right hand post. It was a moment of quality in a scrappy game.
A goal to the good, Slough started to play the kind of football that saw them win six straight games recently, and Dyer latched on to Scott Harris’ knockdown but Bennion was able to save.
New boy Sintim strode forward and had a shot blocked, and Warren Harris went close to doubling the lead but Bennion denied him again one-on-one as he rushed out to narrow the angle.
Smith should have wrapped up the points late on as both he and Scott Harris was played clean through, but Smith delayed his shot for too long and Bennion was again the hero as he smothered the ball.
Dan Bannister toe poked an effort through a crowd of players and wide as St Ives launched a rare attack, but Slough emerged as deserving winners to keep up their challenge for a playoff spot.
St Ives Town Line up
Nick Bennion, Mitch Hancock, Ashley White, Dan Newman, Will Fordham, Jordan Lambert, Jason King, Lee Ellison (c), Avi Vieira, Matty Waters, Matt Bannister. Subs: David Cobb, Tom Meechan, Warren Everdell, Dan Rusallo.