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Fri Jul 5

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Virginia Water (H)
Fri Jul 5 19:45
The Vanarama National League South

Patched-up Rebels bow out of Berks & Bucks Cup

Hungerford Town

Hungerford Town

Grace-Parsons (25, 45)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Smith (39)
B&B Senior Cup Attendance: 102 Tom Moran
Slough Town exited the Berks & Bucks Cup with a 2-1 defeat at Hungerford Town’s Bulpit Lane.

For the Rebels, it was a real struggle to even field eleven fit players, indeed joint managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood needed to draft in midfielder Gareth Risbridger for his first start of the season, winger James Dobson played at left-back despite struggling with an injury, and Eddie Smith started after scoring at the weekend whilst on loan at Cove. On the bench meanwhile was George Short, who was needed in the second half despite a head injury, and four of Mark Betts’ youth team.

Despite their problems, Slough, playing in a 4-3-3 formation, started brightly, although were lucky to escape falling behind in the opening few minutes when Risbridger blocked a shot from Josh Grace-Parsons.

Soon after, Slough had two great chances to take the lead themselves, but Luke Knight shot well over and Adam Cornell was just wide from the edge of the box, both after great work from Smith to shield the ball.

Hungerford settled into the game and started to dominate. Grace-Parsons side footed a volley wide and forced Jake Somerville into another save as the hosts cranked up the pressure.

Slough, though, had their moments in attack, and looked capable of getting in behind Hungerford. On one such occasion, Darryl Thomas was unlucky to see his shot deflected behind for a corner.

With 25 minutes played, Hungerford took the lead. Grace-Parsons was on the end of a square pass from the right as the hosts finally broke through, and he tapped into an empty net.

Slough levelled with their first real attempt on target on 39 minutes, with Eddie Smith on target for the first time this season after a frustrating injury lay-off. The striker curled a shot into the far corner, with keeper Brendan Norris only able to get fingertips to the ball.

Hungerford regained their lead, though, on the stroke of half time. After a goalmouth scramble in which two players had shots blocked, the hosts put together a fine move which ended in Grace-Parsons firing clinically into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Slough were forced to replace Dobson with Short at half-time, with the midfielder sporting a bandage after sustaining an injury recently, and Jake Parsons slotted in to his brother’s left-back berth.

Hungerford took control of the match and dominated the second half, with the Rebels making further changes, introducing youth team players Oscar Betts and Mbarak Bashir replacing Smith and Luke Knight.

A wild shot off target from Thomas was the closest Slough came to troubling Norris again, and worse was to come as the forward limped off with an injury, leaving the Rebels to battle on with ten players.

With Slough beginning to tire, Hungerford controlled the game comfortably but failed to add to their tally and put the result beyond doubt, due to some wayward finishing. Ultimately, the hosts eased to victory as Slough now look to rally ahead of Saturday’s visit of Redditch United to Holloways Park.

Hungerford Town Lineup

Brendan Norris, Gary Morgan, Diak John (c), James Rusby, Matt Day, Ian Herring, Josh Grace-Parsons, James Pilling, James Clark, Harry Goodger, Alan O'Brien. Subs: Jon Boardman, Lee Smith, Mark Draycott, Dean Stow, Paul Strudley.


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