Match day

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Ebbsfleet United (H)
Sat Mar 25

Match day

Team logo
Ebbsfleet United (H)
Sat Mar 25 12:30
The Vanarama National League South

Rebels safe and sound

| League
Att: 704
0 - 0
Slough Town
Gary Abbott
Goalkeeper Paul Wilkerson could have gone beachcombing during the second half of Slough's penultimate match at Morecambe's Christie Park on Saturday when the Rebels secured their Conference status by virtue of their 13th draw of the season.

A familiar tale of Rebels on top but unable to turn the advantage into goals left Wilkerson a virtual spectator after making two good first half saves which virtually killed off the Shrimps' challenge. In an even opening 45 minutes Wilkerson, replacing the injured Ben Miles, tipped one excellent long range shot from Mike Bignall which was curling into the top comer over the bar to safety.

And he came out well when the Rebels were caught square and spreadeagled himself to block Bignall's shot. The best effort of the period for the Rebels came from Gary Blackford who could only find the sidenetting from Ted McMinn's cross from the left.

With Wilkerson just tidying up behind them after the break, the Rebels created enough chances for Morecambe keeper Steve McIlhargey to win his side's man of the match award. Abbott hooked the ball over his shoulder and almost beat McIlhargey with his shot on the turn. But the very best opportunity came after the Shrimps had been reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Paul Burns for a second bookable offence in the 80th minute.

A run down the right and cross from Gary Smart saw Slough substitute Lloyd Owusu plant a header against the upright with Abbott just unable to tuck away the rebound. The result left the Rebels on 49 points with third from bottom Bath able to match that figure but with a goal difference of 25 separating the two clubs.

Wilkerson's lack on involvement left him time, perhaps, to ponder his own fate after a season in which he became the understudy to first Miles, then the disastrous Noel Imber. At first the 21-year-old took demotion badly, asking for more time to work on his game. But he applied himself and improved in the process and he should take credit for that.

Morecambe Line up

McIlhargey, Burns, Lavelle, McKearney, Hogdson, Drummond, Monk, Healy, Bignall, Norman, Knowles. Subs: McCluskie (63, for Bignall), Williams (63, for Norman), Cain.

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