Abbott returns to haunt the Rebels

Slough Town

Slough Town

Hall (8), Engwell (50)
Aldershot Town

Aldershot Town

Abbott (57), Coil (82)
League Attendance: 783 Unknown
Former Rebels striker Gary Abbott came back to haunt Slough Town as the Rebels threw away a 2-0 lead, and two points, at Wexham Park.

Slough took the lead in the eighth minute after careless defending from Aldershot's Ian Hathaway saw him give the ball away to Mark Hall just outside the area and Hall's low 20-yard shot took a deflection before beating Aldershot's debutant goalkeeper Eric Talbot.

Aldershot then began to take control, but failed to make the most of their possession, mainly due to some strong defending from Steve Daly, Chris White and Graham Roberts, who was back from injury. Slough still looked dangerous and they almost doubled their lead in the 17th minute when Bryan Hammatt made a dangerous run on the left and cut the ball back to Simon Quail on the edge of the sixyard-box, only for Quail to hit his shot just wide of the post.

The Rebels continued to counter-attack, but Quail was constantly shut out by the Aldershot defence. Mark Pye and Paul Barrowcliff were on form in midfield, but Hall failed to get to grips with the game and was unable to go on his 'hallmark' winding runs.

Pye injured himself making a tackle in the 39th minute and Shots' Jesse Hall was booked after stamping on Hall, then the visitors lost defender Daniel Colley towards the end of the half with an injury. The final few minutes of the first period were frantic and Aldershot had a penalty appeal turned down after they thought Roberts had handled in the box.

A dangerous Aldershot corner resulted in a goalmouth scramble, from which a close range header was well saved by Paul Wilkerson.
The rain poured down just before the start of the second half and this affected the game, with conditions becoming slippery.

Pye came out for the second half with his knee strapped but, within three minutes, he limped off and was replaced by Graham Kemp.
In the 50th minute, Slough added a second goal in bizarre circumstances. Shots' ex-Rebel defender Colin Fielder, under pressure from the Slough attack, passed back to his keeper, who decided to pick it up. The referee immediately gave a free-kick on the edge of the six yard box which Hammatt took, laying the ball off to Roberts who fired the ball at the 10-man wall on the goalline.
The shot rebounded to Micky Engwell, who struck the ball into the back of the net from 20 yards.

Two setbacks then hit Slough.

Abbott, on his first return to Wexham Park since his move to Aldershot in the summer, tapped home from a Leon Gutzmore cross in the 57th minute. And Slough then lost Hall to injury in the 61st minute, with Andrew Deaner coming on to replace him.

Slough began to struggle, despite the hard work of Lee Archer, who continually produced top quality passes and crosses throughout the game. Kemp was guilty of giving the ball away on several occasions and the Slough defence, finding it difficult in the damp conditions, looked as though it could be breached at any moment as Aldershot set up a series of dangerous attacks.

Half-time substitute Russell Watkinson made some probing runs on the right wing for Aldershot and Abbott worked as hard as he has ever done at Wexham Park. Slough were again forced to rely on counter attacks and in the 75th minute they almost regained their two-goal lead with a superb 25-yard volley from Engwell which went inches wide.

Then Roberts went on a spectacular run, taking on two players and sliding the ball through to substitute Andy Douglas, who shot wide.

But Aldershot grabbed an 82nd-minute equaliser when ex-Tottenham and Irish youth player Owen Coil headed home from a corner.

The Shots pressed for a winner, but the Slough defence held on for a point when they should have been playing out the final moments of a victory.

Aldershot Town Lineup


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