League Cup Match echoes top of table battle



Slough Town

Slough Town

Bushay (69)
Ryman League Cup Attendance: 603 Trevor Bunting
After recent disappointing performances, Slough fans got a result to take some heart from on Tuesday, as the Rebels inflicted Hayes' first defeat of the season in the clash of the Diadora League titans at Church Road.

The Rebels were looking to consolidate some of the finer points of Saturday's win, while wiping the memory of Yeading's three soft comeback goals, and, while this was still not the best that Slough can achieve, the Rebels deserved their win for their persistent attacking if not for some suspect defence.

Chances were virtually non-existent early-on, largely thanks to Hayes' long-ball tactics, as the ball swung erratically from end to end. Too often, the Rebels succumbed to the temptation and followed the more direct route themselves.

On 13 minutes, Pearce should have opened the scoring for Hayes when a header across the area caught Bunting off-guard and left the goal open.

Hayes' strongarm tactics rarely threatened to trouble Slough, but a footballing side like the Rebels were never going to flourish in such conditions, not helped by a fashion-conscious referee who believed that yellow cards went rather well with gold shirts, needlessly booking Wojtowicz, Lee and Stone.

Slough's first decent chance took 23 minutes to arrive, as the talented John Richardson troubled the goalkeeper with a difficult dipping header. Even better a minute later, was Stone's acute drive from 15 yards, which the 'keeper did well to parry over. Sayer then forced a similar save with a six-yard effort after great persistence let him through.

Chances were still not exactly flowing, but the Rebels had the upper hand against a tricky side. Brian Lee, however, was having an off-day, frequently putting the ball into touch and missing tackles as the half fizzled out.

Ansil Bushay made an early appearance in the second half, replacing Andy Sayer. It was the home side who were beginning to look the sharper, though as Pearce again pushed forward. At the other end, West came close, hitting the bar with a delicate chip. Nwaokolo came on in place of the injured Stone, who was booked for his pains, but the game was beginning to slow.

Enter Ansil Bushay. Latching onto a long ball in the 69th minute, he beat a defender, cut inside and beat the goalkeeper easily for a fine goal, his first action of note since his introduction.

Hayes naturally pushed forward, and Bunting had to make several superb saves, most notably on 74 minutes, as he touched over a fine volley.

A bizarre defensive mis-kick, as a defender kicked the ball into himself, released Bushay to narrowly miss a second goal.

There were still a few hairy moments to come for the Rebels, but the defence weathered them all fairly well, although Bunting, again a rock at the back, had to perform acrobatics to keep out Pearce with just four minutes to go.

While far from inspired, this was still a good win against one of the division's better sides, and cautious optimism may soon be able to replace the niggling doubts that have been raised by recent games.

Hayes Lineup


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