The goal was Daventry’s reward for their persistence throughout the game, and the ‘Purple Army’ were relieved to have emerged without a second successive home defeat in the space of three days. The hosts had certainly had a busy week, having beaten Aylesbury United on Tuesday evening before defeat against Kettering on Thursday, with the Northants side playing catch-up due to their FA Cup and Trophy exploits earlier in the season.
The opening quarter of an hour was a tight affair, with Daventry having the first sight of goal shortly after. Mykel Beckley dribbled into the penalty area, leaving three Slough players in his wake, but saw his strike at goal blocked behind for a corner, which was easily cleared.
Slough then had the better of the next quarter of an hour or so, and twice went close to taking the lead. The Rebels won a series of corners, and from one, Johnnie Dyer failed to make contact as he swung his leg at the ball after Dave Woozley had got his head to the ball. From the next corner, Dan Sintim was free at the back post, but saw his shot cleared off the line. Then moments later, Dyer headed across the face of goal, but the excellent Liam Dolman cleared.
But with 30 minutes on the clock, Daventry opened the scoring against the run of play. The hosts broke forward at pace and worked the ball to Ashley Robinson on the left. He drove toward goal and from a difficult angle, arrowed a shot into the top corner, giving Somerville no chance.
This failed to put Slough off their stride however, and eight minutes later the away side levelled. A hotly-disputed free kick was awarded, which Ryan Parsons delivered into the box. Warren Harris fought well to get ahead of his marker and play the ball across goal, where Ed Smith got in front of his man and finished past Richard Morris.
Daventry had a big penalty appeal turned down at the end of the half, after Beckley’s cross appeared to be handled in the penalty area. The remonstrations carried on into the half time break with the hosts feeling hard done by. But the Rebels missed a glorious chance to take a 2-1 lead into the break when the industrious George Short found some space on the edge of the box after Harris flicked the ball across to him, but his volley was straight at Morris.
The first half was a very positive one for Slough, and they carried the momentum into the second half, with Smith having a shot blocked by Morris under pressure from Josh Blake.
Eight minutes into the second period, Slough deservedly went ahead through Warren Harris. The winger, who had another fine game, found some space 20 yards out and after Dyer laid the ball off to him, he drilled it through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner. Morris got a hand to the ball, but could not prevent it from hitting the back of the net.
Slough, boosted by this, went in search of a third, and Morris was called upon again to fist away a good strike from Harris after he embarked on another long mazy run. The ball was recycled out to Dyer, who found Short on the edge of the box, but he dragged a shot wide.
It seemed a matter of time before Slough would find a third, and again Harris was instrumental in creating a chance for Dyer, but Morris rushed out superbly to claim the ball at the striker’s feet after the winger slipped the ball through.
Daventry made three changes to introduce fresh legs after a gruelling week, with Ross Oulton, Tommy Berwick and Josh O’Grady replacing Ryan Howell, Luke Keen and Josh Blake. They almost made an immediate impact. O’Grady crossed in for Adam Confue at the far post, but he put his header well over the bar.
The final ten minutes belonged to the hosts, who enjoyed a sustained period of pressure for the first time in the game. Jake Somerville had hearts in mouths as he dropped a cross from Beckley, but he recovered well, whilst Berwick fired high and wide from a narrow angle.
Daventry threw caution to the wind and committed players forward, but Slough seemed certain to hold on to all three points, as Somerville was rarely tested. But in the fifth minute of time added on, the hosts won a free kick, which was chipped in to a packed penalty area, which included goalkeeper Morris. Amidst the confusion, the ball fell kindly for O’Grady, who fired the ball emphatically into the roof of the net to stun the visitors and deny them a narrow, but deserved victory after a predictably tight game.
Daventry Town Lineup
Richard Morris, Ollie Wilkinson, Josh Blake (O'Grady 69), Liam Dolman, Marcel Simpson, Adam Confue, Ryan Howell (Ross Oulton 62), Mykel Beckley, Ashley Robinson, Luke Keen (Tommy Berwick 62), James Husband.