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Tue Mar 5

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Tue Mar 5 19:45
The Vanarama National League South

Five Minutes That Shook The Rebels

Slough Town

Slough Town

Langley (55), Stanley (89)
Northwich Victoria

Northwich Victoria

Holland (10), Maguire (68, p), Parker (71, 73)
League Attendance: 783 Steve Thompson
A horrendous five minute period in the second half saw Slough give up the ghost and crash to defeat after dominating much of the game. Northwich Victoria will be thanking the Slough defence for handing them the three points which moved them into fifth place - a dubious honour on their performance.

It wasn't going to be easy, Northwich had notched up five wins in their past six matches and netted a hatful of goals. While on paper the result confirmed this fact it was a totally different story. Frank Murphy and David Howell were both recalled from loan but Phil Stacey returned to right back and Neal Stanley kicked-off up front.

Slough started well, but it took only 10 minutes before a half cleared corner fell to the edge of the box for Holland to drill home well. The Rebels retaliated, Steve Thompson having an impressive game and Slough looked dangerous pushing forward.

But with the wind strengthening and the rain hurtling into the home side's eyes, Northwich got on top and defending was difficult. O'Connor found himself walking through the defence until Darren Anderson managed to clear his pull back and Handhard went close minutes later.
By this time though, Slough were well on top, Thompson destroying the visiting defence and both Mark Hill and Phil Stacey were finding ample room to get in behind the full backs. The storm had abated and the Rebels were pushing forward against a struggling Northwich defence who had to rely on outstanding keeper Trevor Ball.

A minute before half time he pulled off a spectacular save from Stanley's volley and from the resultant corner produced a more impressive stop from the Slough striker's header. Injured in the process, both Ball and Northwich were thankful to go in at the half time break on level terms after beating off rampant Slough.

Ball came out for the second half with a heavily strapped ankle and the defence worked even harder to protect their static keeper. But after 55 minutes, with the Rebels well in control, Lahiff's clearance was headed on by Stanley for Langley to lob Ball, and finish off with an open goal to level the scores.

The Rebels were in charge and it looked only a matter of time before they would take the lead. But a hint of things to come saw Handhard in space set up Holland who was clean through only to shoot wide.

With 68 minutes gone, all the good work was undone by some terrible defending — punished by the visitors in a style that the Conference expects. Trevor How mistimed a header and in nipped Handhard only to be upended by Lahiff who was consequently booked. Paul Maguire converted the spot kick and Slough suddenly had too much to do.

Three minutes later Lahiff made a mess of a low cross and substitute Derrick Parker toe-poked the loose ball over the line. With 73 minutes gone Parker was again on target when he fired home from the edge of the six yard box with the Slough defence nowhere to be found.
Barry Rake replaced I low and almost found the net, breaking through and rounding the keeper with the ball running on just too far. But Slough recovered well from the nightmare period and again were the better side. Langley fired over from four yards after a good move but having pushed the self destruct button the task of recovery was impossible.

Neal Stanley notched a consolation in the last minute when he slid home with only the keeper to beat — but on the face of play it should have been the winner.

Northwich Victoria Lineup


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