No final twist as Rebels run ends

Slough Town

Slough Town

Bolt (46)
Cheltenham Town

Cheltenham Town

Howells (31) Watkins (44)
League Attendance: 1037 Danny Bolt
THE width of the crossbar came between Slough Town and their lengthy unbeaten run, as they lost 2-1 to Cheltenham Town at Wexham Park on Saturday, the first defeat in 13 games.

Having gone in 2-0 down at half-time after twice being hit on the break, Slough pulled themselves back into it within a minute of the restart, as Danny Bolt struck to make it 2-1.

But despite chance after chance for an equaliser, the home side could not find a way through, and when Gary Abbott's follow-up shot from a blocked header crashed off the underside of the bar with barely three minutes to go, it seemed the luck had deserted the Rebels for the day.

With Gary McGinnis absent, serving a one-match ban following his sending off against Kingstonian, manager Brian McDermott played four at the back, bringing in striker Mark West.

Lee Randall kept his place standing in for the injured Gary Brazil, and Corey Browne, available again after suspension, began on the bench.

Early chances in the game fell the Rebels' way. Randall fired over from a free kick after West had been brought down, and Lloyd Owusu saw his effort saved by Steve Book when he was one-on-one with the Cheltenham keeper.

As in the second half, the best first-half chance fell to Abbott. Randall's cross on 26 minutes beat two defenders, Abbott's brilliant volley connected, but his shot flashed wide.

Just after the half-hour mark Cheltenham took the lead after a good build-up. Jason Eaton got on the end of a chip through from Jamie Victory. He flicked on to Lee Howells, whose shot beat Paul Wilkerson.

As Slough battled to get back in the game before the break, the visitors struck again with an excellent breakaway effort on the stroke of half-time.

The goal came from a Slough corner, taken by Danny Bolt and punched well clear by Book. The ball fell to Keith Knight who took the ball the length of the pitch before crossing for Dale Watkins to send a powerful header past Wilkerson. Wilkerson had to be on his toes to save from Knight in the opening seconds of the second half, but it was Slough who struck back with a goal a minute later.

Owusu in the Cheltenham box was just unable to control a good ball from West on his chest, Abbott couldn't quite reach it, but Bolt just outside the area ran on to it and saw his low drive beat Book.

Slough were right back in it and kept the pressure up but were often frustrated as moves broke down in front of a very strong and determined Cheltenham defence.
West had two good efforts - the second a well-directed diving header - saved, with practically the whole of Wexham Park willing him to hit his first comeback goal.

And Owusu again found himself through on goal from a long ball and chose to shoot early but sent the ball wide.
As seconds ticked away fans relived the final minutes against Morecambe, when the constant pressure was finally rewarded, but this time there was to be no final twist.

Owusu headed wide from Randall's 87th minute cross, Abbott hit the bar, and, with the 90 minutes up, Bolt curled a free kick from a dangerous position over.

Cheltenham had put in a strong performance, but the relief on their players' faces when the final whistle went told its own tale.

Cheltenham Town Lineup


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