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The National League U19 Alliance

Welcome win is a long time coming

Telford Utd

Telford Utd

Slough Town

Slough Town

Hardyman (14), Abbott (40)
League Attendance: 872 Unknown
Two first half goals brought Slough their first Conference win since November, but the game was perhaps won much earlier, a week earlier in fact.

When Mark Fiore hit an injury time equaliser to avoid a defeat at bottorn club Rushden and Diamonds, it left the Rebels in a confident and positive frame of mind, anxious to get back on the pitch.

And their bright start at Bucks Head on Saturday showed just how much they wanted a win, and how deeply they believed they could get one.

Another Saturday brought another new player into the line-up midfielder Ted McMinn, whose determined and robust style was a key element in Slough's win.

Within the first five minutes Gary Brazil, McMinn and Steve Bateman had all had efforts on goal. And the opening goal came in the 14th minute after a good cross from the right from Gary Blackford. The Telford defence failed to clear and Paul Hardyman waiting on the edge of the box had plenty of time to watch the ball coming and tee up a shot, which he drove in at the far post.

Buoyed by their lead. Slough continued to have the better of the game. with their best work coming on the left, involving Hardyman, McMinn, Mark Fiore and Brazil. But for long periods the ball stayed in the air, and although Telford manager Jake King's frantic gesticulations from the bench showed he was worried by Slough's dangerous long clearances, it wasn't always pretty to watch.

The long ball brought two good chance for Brazil just after the half hour and again four minutes later. On both occasions Gary Abbott got the vital touch on a long clearance to set up Brazil, but his first effort was held by the keeper and the second went over.

But Brazil's tenacity earned Slough their second goal in the 40th minute. from a mistake by Telford keeper Mark Jones. Jones came out of his box to meet a clearance, but was dispossessed by Brazil who turned and sent a lob goalwards. Peter Wilding was there to head it off the line, but the ball got to Abbott. who squeezed his shot between the defender and the post.

Slough were given an early scare in the second half, when first Gray and then Roger Preece hit the bar within seconds of each other. Just before the hour Gray went down in the box under a challenge by Tony Nolan, but the referee sided with the Rebels who claimed the striker had dived.

It seemed the luck that deserted Slough in recent games was beginning to run their way, although the Rebels also had young keeper Noel Imber to thank, who brought off a string of fine saves to ensure his first cleansheet at the club.

The pick of Imber's saves car the 70th minute. when Telford were given a clear run on goal and thundered a shot in from outside the box. Slough weathered the storm and created one or two more chances themselves, but the relief on players' faces was clear to see as the final whistle signalled an end to the long run without a win.

Telford Utd Lineup


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