Rebels still harbour hopes of safety

Slough Town

Slough Town

Asamoah (67, 83)
Ebbsfleet United

Ebbsfleet United

League Attendance: 312 Derek Asamoah
Slough Town continued to put up a brave battle against relegation with a much needed victory over high flying Gravesend this evening.

In front of a crowd of just 321, Paul Coombs returned in place of Damian Markman to the starting line up to provide a bit more strength and aerial power in the attacking line.

The first chance of the game fell to Slough's David Rainford as he pounced on some hesitancy between two Gravesend defenders to loft the ball over Jamie Turner but wide of the goal.

Rainford was involved in Slough's next chance, as the midfielder cut the ball inside to Coombs, who placed the ball into Asamoah's path. The young striker's first touch however gave Turner the chance to get out and smother the ball.

Gravesend's best chances fell to the head and feet of Darren Smith, but neither effort troubled Mautone seriously in the Slough goal. Asamoah was soon released through to face Turner, but the keeper made a great save to stop Asamoah opening his Rebels account, parrying the ball wide for a corner.

Gravesend's big number nine was causing Daly and the Rebels back line no end of problems with his height and strength, and it was his strength which should have put the Fleet into the lead. Shielding the ball from the defence on the six yard line, he shot on the turn only to see the ball hit the outside of the post and go wide.

Moments later, he was again involved winning the ball from Daly, leaving himself clear through on the edge faced only by Mautone, but found the Slough keeper in inspired form, pulling off a great save parrying the ball wide for a corner.

Both sides began the second half with defences ruling. Chances were now few and far between, with neither side creating any real opening goal mouth incident. The opening chance of the half fell to Gravesend's Darren Smith whose looping volley was well saved by Mautone after the ball bounced right in front of the Rebels keeper and he did well to hold onto the ball.

After an hour had passed, Paul Coombs broke down the left flank and cut the ball inside into the path of Haynes. The midfielder's low shot was well saved by Turner but Haynes was able to retrieve the ball and float it back over into the middle, but Asamoah could not keep his header down from four yards out, as the Rebels fans began to wonder whether their luck had really run out.

Asamoah soon reprieved himself for his earlier miss, as Haynes saw Turner off his line and tried to lob the keeper. Turner back-pedalled toward his line but could only palm the ball out toward the advancing Asamoah, who hit a low volley from close range past the stranded keeper to put the Rebels in front.

Then came the ten minutes of pure Gravesend pressure. Smith was twice denied by Mautone, and the number nine had a header superbly tipped over by the Australian keeper.

With only seven minutes remaining and Slough hanging on, Asamoah stepped up to take his place as one of the best finishes seen at Wexham Park. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, he was seemingly going nowhere turning upon himself, before cutting into the area past two defenders and unleashing an unstoppable shot which cannoned in off the angle of the goal frame and nestled in the opposite corner of the net to the side of the goal it had hit. This second goal effectively killed the game off as a contest as the Rebels were happy to hang on and pack the defence, leaving Gravesend with little opportunity to create.

Ebbsfleet United Lineup


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