Putman strike seals the points against Hitchin
Date: Saturday, January 23rd 2016 | Competition: League | Attendance: 314
Man Of Match: Leigh Rumbold
Match Sponsor: Steve Chapman
Starting Line Up
- Mark Scott
- Sean Fraser
- Jhai Dhillon
- Guy Hollis
- Daniel Hicks
- Leigh Rumbold
- Lewis Putman
- Nathan Webb
- Charlie Mpi
- Lee Barney
- Warren Harris
Lewis Putman's goal on the stroke of half time was enough for Slough to claim the points against a strong Hitchin side, and belatedly get their 2016 off to a great start.
The Rebels looked a little rusty early in the first half having not played since Boxing Day, with a few passes going off target, but almost created openings. A neat move involving Leigh Rumbold almost ended in an opportunity for Mpi, but Charlie Horlock got to the ball first, and a minute later, Hicks flicked on a Hollis long throw and Putman's fierce angled drive was kept out by Charlie Horlock.
On 21 minutes, Slough stopper Mark Scott flew across his goal to claw away a header from Robbie Burns, as the game developed into a physical, sometimes edgy contest, but surprisingly with a lack of yellow cards.
Hitchin struggled to create openings, and were thwarted as Jonny McNamara saw the ball blocked behind for a corner after Lucas Kirkpatrick had done well to steal possession from Jhai Dhillon and play the winger in. McNamara then tried his luck from distance but fired well over.
Scott kept the scores level on 40 minutes with another good save, turning the ball away from Callum Donnelly's shot through a crowd of bodies as Hitchin enjoyed their best spell of the game.
But three minutes later, Putman worked space for a shot following a poor clearance and found the bottom corner with a low, accurate drive to put Slough ahead.
Slough almost extended their lead early in the second half through Warren Harris, but Horlock saved again. The move was started in midfield by the excellent Rumbold, who put in an all-action performance throughout, and his pass released Harris who skipped past a challenge before having his strike well saved.
Kane Smith's rampaging run down the right and into the box was ended on 58 minutes as Slough blocked his shot and smuggled the ball behind. From the corner, Hitchin almost had a free header at goal, but Slough cleared.
Alasan Ann slammed a free kick well over the bar after Hollis was booked for conceding a free kick in a dangerous position, but Slough continued to create the better openings, with Lee Barney's header dropping just wide. Minutes later, as Slough tried to hit Hitchin on the break, Barney tried an ambitious lob from 30 yards under pressure, but cleared the crossbar.
But the visitors spurned a golden opportunity to level on 79 minutes as McNamara found himself clean through on goal from Burns' flick, but he could only shoot straight at Scott.
Slough had further chances to end the game as a contest as Putman's shot was spilt by Horlock, who then recovered to keep out Warren Harris' effort on the rebound.
Slough were thankful for a flying save from Scott a minute from time as he kept out a fierce strike from Burns, and closed out the game by sitting deep and soaking up pressure from the visitors to record a welcome first three points of the year.
Hitchin Town: Charlie Horlock, Kane Smith, Josh Bickerstaff, Alasan Ann, Dan Webb, Ben Walster, Jonny McNamara, Callum Donnelly (c), Lucas Kirkpatrick, Robbie Burns, Lewis Rolfe. Subs: Brett Donnelly, Liam Brooks, Will Wright, Kieran Barnes, Michael Johnson.