Minhas scores stunner as Rebels fall to home defeat

Slough Town

Slough Town

Minhas (16)
Torquay United

Torquay United

Ash (59, 71)
League Attendance: 1127 Nathan Minhas
Despite dominating most of this match against Torquay United and creating countless chances, Slough found themselves on the wrong end of a single-goal defeat at Arbour Park in front of over 1,100.

Nathan Minhas fired Slough ahead with an acrobatic effort as the hosts had much the better of the opening hour or so, but the Gulls were indebted to a man-of-the-match performance from goalkeeper Mark Halstead and the opportunism of striker Brad Ash, whose two second half goals turned the game on its head.

Boosted by their 3-0 win at Weston-super-Mare the previous Saturday, Slough peppered the Torquay goal in the first half, but only found the back of the net once.

Slough should really have been a goal ahead as early as the ninth minute. The industrious Munashe Sundire had plenty of time to shoot from distance, and his effort was parried away by Halstead but only to Minhas, who should have done better than fire over on his left foot.

The Rebels looked a real threat every time they got on the ball, trying to play strikers George Alexander and Nathan Minhas in on goal with balls over the top of a hesitant Torquay defence.

But just past the quarter hour mark, the home side took the lead in spectacular fashion. Josh Jackman’s throw-in to Johnny Goddard was cleverly worked for the winger to dink the ball across into the six-yard box, where Minhas blasted the ball past Halstead with an overhead kick.

That lead was almost doubled minutes later, but Alexander could only put the ball over the bar from six yards following a corner.

The Slough pressure was constant, and it forced Torquay into an early defensive switch, with Finley Craske replacing Dan Martin.

Halstead was called upon again on 29 minutes as he pushed aside a strike from Goddard after great work from Minhas down the right, and shortly after Minhas himself worked space for a low shot which the keeper saved comfortably.

Yet another chance went begging on 36 minutes, with Jackman’s shot being tipped away by Halstead. Torquay failed to clear, and Scott Davies burst into the box and eventually won a corner to keep the pressure on.

Halstead was the hero twice before the break, first saving from Jeanmal Prosper after the normally defensive-minded player found space to run right at the heart of the visitors’ defence, and right on the whistle Jackman was again denied after striking at goal from the edge of the box.

But Slough had just the one goal to show for their efforts in a great first half, and crucially Torquay were still in the contest.

The second half started in much the same way however, with Alexander firing over the bar after superb hold-up play by Minhas, and Minhas himself seeing a shot at Halstead’s near post turned behind after superb work from Sundire to release him.

Then, on 59 minutes Slough were punished for their profligacy. A ball over the top led to confusion at the heart of the Rebels’ defence, allowing Brad Ash too much time and space to whip a shot across Luthra and into the far corner to give Torquay an unlikely equaliser.

Suddenly the visitors burst into action, and Lewis Collins was flagged offside after blasting narrowly over the angle of post and bar, before Aaron Jarvis’ strike was held by debutant goalkeeper Rohan Luthra after the striker combined well with Lapslie.

On 71 minutes came the moment Slough fans had feared after seeing their side spurn so many opportunities. Torquay broke away down the pitch following a Slough corner, and Collins’ pinpoint cross was headed home by Ash at the back post to harshly leave the Rebels chasing the game.

Slough made attacking changes, but Torquay looked solid and composed, in complete contrast to the first 45 minutes as they held the Rebels at bay.

Alexander sidefooted the ball high over the bar from Goddard’s cut-back deep into stoppage time to compound Slough’s misery as the Rebels’ late pressure amounted to nothing.

The result leaves Slough third from bottom but looking to bounce back at Chippenham Town on Monday.

Torquay United Lineup

Mark Halstead (c), Dan Martin, Tom Lapslie, Ross Marshall, Aaron Jarvis, Lewis Collins, Brad Ash, Shaun Donnellan, Will Jenkins Davies, Ollie Tomlinson, Jack Stobbs. Substitutes: Dylan Crowe, Brett McGavin, Finley Craske, Dillon De Silva, Rhys Lovett.


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