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Eastleigh (H)
Tue Jul 9
19:45

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Eastleigh (H)
Tue Jul 9 19:45
The Vanarama National League South
11th
63pts

Rebels edge out Croydon in close encounter

| League
Att: 380
Slough Town
Markman (31)
1 - 0
Croydon
Steve Daly
A first half strike from Damian Markman was just enough to earn the Rebels a scarcely deserved three points.

This match saw the debut of Darron Wilkinson from Conference neighbours Woking, and the combative midfielder had an impressive game. The match also marked the return after a brief absence of Danny Honey, after his spell with Dagenham & Redbridge in the Conference.

In the first half, both sides looked evenly matched with Croydon buoyed by their excellent 5-1 win over high flying Hitchin just last Monday, and Slough taking encouragement from a good performance away at Sutton the previous Tuesday.

Slough were marginally the better side of the half, with Markman's pace and non-stop running and harassing causing the Croydon back line some problems.

The only goal of the game came in the 31st minute from a through ball by Lambert down the left wing. The ball hit Deaner's foot as he was running back from an offside position which held it up nicely for Markman to run on to. This inadvertent touch enabled Markman to turn onto the 18 yard line and hold off his marker before moving inside the box and neatly chipping the ball over the advancing keeper.

Croydon's best chance in the game fell to their number 8 who shot over when he should have found the target late on in the half.

A substitution at half time saw Townley come on to replace Simpson for Slough. With both sides now becoming more evenly matched as the game wore on, Slough were content to sit back and soak the pressure and try to hit Croydon on the break. However, the Croydon offside trap was working very well against the Slough front line of Markman and Deaner.

The first chance of the half fell to Croydon's 7, when the ball fell to him invitingly but he saw his shot flick off a Slough defender's head and out for a corner.

Andy Deaner had a good opportunity on 64 minutes when an underhit backpass from the Croydon number 10 was well cut out by the frontman and his well-hit shot from a narrow angle went just wide of the far post.

Markman had another good chance shortly after when he got through the offside trap, but his effort went wide as he was well marshalled.

Croydon's first real chance of the half came from a direct free kick about 25 yards out but the effort went wide of the Slough goal.

The best save of the second half was pulled of by the returning Honey with a fantastic stop from a very well hit shot from the edge of the box. As a near post cross came in the ball was half cleared by Slough and fell to Croydon's number 8 at the back post. The ball bounced up nicely and he managed to make a good connection with the shot, but found an inspired Honey in the Slough goal in the way.

Good pressure from Markman on the Croydon left back brought Slough's next chance; moving down the right wing with the ball, he cut the ball back into the path of Hawthorne, who shot wide under pressure.

Just after this, a long ball over the top found Wilkinson breaking through the static defence but his attempted lob, which was heading wide, was well covered by the visiting keeper.

The last chance of the game, on the stroke of full time, fell to Croydon. A cross into the area was not held by Honey, and as the ball went goalwards after a touch by a Croydon striker, Cramman was on hand to clear the ball to safety.

Croydon Line up

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