Rebels slip to defeat at Clarence Park

St Albans City

St Albans City

Akanbi (13, 75), Fage (18)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Bayliss (61), Jackman (71)
League Attendance: 1138
In a closely fought encounter, Slough Town's impressive ten-match unbeaten run was brought to an end when St Albans City emerged as narrow victors at Clarence Park.

The Rebels appeared poised for a share of the points after the defensive duo of Dan Bayliss and Josh Jackman nullified Ibby Akanbi and Dylan Fage's first half strikes. However, within five minutes of Jackman's goal, Akanbi struck again, securing all three points for the Saints.

This defeat leaves Slough languishing in 21st place in National League South, now three points adrift of safety despite their good recent form.

In preparation for this game, Rebels manager Scott Davies made some tactical adjustments from Saturday’s goalless draw against Chelmsford City by introducing Jeanmal Prosper, Nathan Minhas, and Dom Hutchinson into the starting lineup. Notably, Davies himself took a seat on the bench, with David Ogbonna and the influential Matt Lench sidelined due to injuries.

The deadlock was broken just 13 minutes into the match when Giorgio Rasulo delivered a precisely weighted pass to Akanbi, who confidently dispatched the ball past Rohan Luthra in a one-on-one situation.

St Albans City further asserted their dominance, doubling their lead in the 18th minute. Mitchell Weiss, sprinting down the left flank, reached the byline and delivered a cross that Fage emphatically converted from around eight yards.

The relentless pressure from St Albans City continued, and Luthra was forced into action to deny a long-range strike from Akanbi.

The first half brought chances for both sides, with George Alexander providing a cross that was calmly claimed by Sam Bentley, and Johnny Goddard found the back of the net, only to see his celebrations cut short by the offside flag.

As the first half neared its conclusion, Weiss had an opportunity to test Luthra, Minhas sent an effort narrowly wide at the other end, and Akanbi fired another shot that kept Luthra on his toes.

The Rebels started the second half positively, with Alexander sending a shot just wide before Bayliss, assisted by a Goddard corner, powered a header past Bentley to narrow the score to 2-1.

Moments later, it should have been 2-2 as Jackman's deep cross created chaos in the Saints' area, requiring Bentley to claw the ball over the crossbar.

But parity was restored in the 71st minute when Josh Jackman calmly found the back of the net with a side footed finish from just outside the box, set up nicely by Alexander.

Slough had a mere four minutes to reflect on that goal before Akanbi fired the hosts back into the ascendancy with a well-placed finish after neat build-up play which started with a throw-in on the left touchline.

In a bid to salvage something from the game, Davies introduced Tom McElroy, Ogbonna and Leon Chambers-Parillon from the bench – but St Albans managed the closing stages of the match astutely and came close to adding another goal in added time.

Looking ahead, Slough Town's next challenge awaits them on Saturday as they face Eastbourne Borough at the SO Legal Community Stadium. The Rebels will aim to regroup and continue their aim of climbing the National League South table.

St Albans City Lineup

Sam Bentley, Ben Smith, Dan Bowry (c), Ryan Blackman, Giorgio Rasulo, Mitchell Weiss, Joe Partington, Dylan Fage, Nathan Carlyle, Ben Wyatt, Ibby Akanbi. Substitutes: Shaun Jeffers, Emmanuel Harvest, George Morrall, Andronicos Georgiou, Kieran Gauthier.


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