Hardy The Hero

Slough Town

Slough Town

Hardyman (40)
Telford Utd

Telford Utd

League Attendance: 547 Paul Hardyman
PAUL Hardyman's third goal of the season gave the Rebels their fourth double of the campaign at Wexham Park on Tuesday night. The former Sunderland defender, who also netted the winner at Rushden and Diamonds in November, struck in the 40th minute.

From a relatively harmless position 30 yards out, Hardyman spotted a gap in the unsuspecting Telford defence and unleashed a low left foot shot which found the bottom corner of the goal. At the end of the day it was all the Rebels had to show against a desperate Telford side who missed two clear chances to help their fight against relegation.

A rare mistake after 30 minutes by Cliff Hercules on the edge of the Slough box allowed Phil Eastwood to advance on goal, but he blasted his shot hopelessly wide on the right. And Simeon Hodson found himself in a similar position to Hardyman midway through the second half, but his dipping drive was well saved low down by Slough keeper Paul Wilkerson.

Wilkerson was in fact the busiest player on the park as Telford gamely came forward only to find no easy way through Slough's watertight defence. Slough, despite manager Brian McDermott once again using all four of his strikers, were woeful going forward.

The Rebels managed only one other shot in the first half, Gary Brazil hitting the side netting from an acute angle. Hardyman looked to have opened the way for Corey Browne to add a second, a neat pass from half way sending the Slough striker away with only Telford's debutant keeper Mark Westhead to beat. But Westhead raced off his line and Browne's challenge for the ball was second best by far.

The exchange of Abbott and Browne for Owusu and West livened things up for Slough, but a clean catch from Westhead from Fiore's cross and a last-ditch tackle by Hodson on West gave Telford heart.

The Lillywhites finished strongly, with Hercules twice blocking shots and Wilkerson punching two dangerous crosses away before Nick Colley sent a shot over the bar from inside the box. A smart one-two between West and Owusu in the dying moments should have brought Slough a second, but with the hard part done Owusu slid his final touch wide of the left post.

Victory, however, moved Slough back into eighth in the table while Telford remain rooted in the bottom three. McDermott said afterwards: "It was not a good performance, but I don't want to take anything away from Telford - they battled well to try to get out themselves of a desperate situation. "We did not look good going forward - it is an area where we need to improve and we will be working on that in training."

Telford Utd Lineup


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