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Havant & Waterlooville (A)
Wed Dec 11
19:45

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Havant & Waterlooville (A)
Wed Dec 11 19:45
The Vanarama National League South
2nd
37pts

Boot And Winston Strike In Rebels Win

| League
Att: 393
Slough Town
Boot (22), Winston (54, 66)
3 - 0
Oxford City
Ryan Williams
A first half goal from Tony Boot and a second half Sammy Winston double helped the Rebels to record their first win in four matches in what turned out, in the end, to be a pretty straight forward 3-0 win.

Five changes were made to the team that lost at Wealdstone, three of which were enforced due to departures from the club. Dominique Jean-Zepherin, Dean Palmer and Nick Gyoury came in for a defensive reshuffle while Byron Bubb and Ryan Williams replaced Ryan Spencer and Darron Wilkinson in midfield. The match also saw the return of Ricky Browne and Adrian Brown to the bench, both coming back from long term injuries.

The game started slowly as both sides struggled to keep possession. The first real chance of the game came to Oxford’s Danny Wise, but his header was well saved to his right by Jean-Zepherin. Slough’s first real chance was a good one just before the quarter hour mark as a well worked free kick between Michael Gilkes and Winston resulted in Winston’s flick going just over the bar.

This sparked Slough into action and they had two more good chances in the space of three minutes. First Gyoury headed over a Gilkes free-kick and then Boot’s flicked header was deflected wide of the line by Matthew Hayward.

After 22 minutes, however, Slough did have the lead. As a long ball came over the top of the Oxford defence, Boot and Winston both broke the offside trap. As Winston bore down on Oxford keeper, Steven Benbow, he calmly squared the ball for Boot to have the simplest of tap-ins from four yards. Unfortunately for the Rebels, they failed to capitalise on their advantage during the rest of the first half and their passing became sloppy as the game turned into a scrappy affair before half time. The best chance at either end fell to Shaun Wimble as he thought he could have had a penalty after Jean-Zepherin dived at his feet. It did look as though the Frenchman had just managed to palm the ball away and indeed the referee, Mr Chittenden, decided on no more than a corner.

In the second half Slough did manage to find their feet and after Stuart Lewis had a shot smartly saved by Jean-Zepherin, the Rebels were never really in danger. In fact, nine minutes into the second half, Slough doubled their lead. This time good work from Williams and Gilkes down the right, led to Gilkes putting in a delightful cross which Winston headed home from six yards.

Just after the hour mark, Slough had a good shout for a penalty rejected as well. As Winston cut into the box from the left he appeared to have his trailing leg taken from him by Craig Farley. However, once again the referee saw nothing wrong and let the game go on. This led to two efforts in three minutes, one at either end, which finished the game off. Lewis Craker hit a long range drive from midfield which
Jean-Zepherin did well to save with his legs after seeing the swerve on the ball late. Having been Oxford’s best chance in the match they may have thought there was still a way back into the match for them at this point.

However, two minutes later they were 3-0 down. Bubb broke from the centre of midfield and hit a good low shot which Benbow got something on. The ball was trickling towards goal but with Hayward almost in range to clear the onrushing Winston made sure by tucking the ball in from a yard. Whether the ball would have trickled in was questionable but Winston did the right thing to make sure.

Slough now had full control, and Steve Browne took advantage of this by substituting some of his important players. Paul Barrowcliff, Christian Metcalfe and the out of sorts Palmer gave way for Spencer, Wilkinson and the return of Browne. During the final stages both Williams and Spencer had good chances to the Rebels but both were pulled wide of the post. Spencer then hit a powerful long range drive which Benbow did excellently to tip over his bar. In the final minute, it looked as though Winston would claim his first hat-trick for the club as he turned in a superb low cross from Spencer. However, the linesman’s flag ruined the party even though it looked like it may have been Bubb and Boot in front of Winston who were offside rather than the man himself.

Despite this late disappointment, Slough claimed a much needed win and with three of their next four matches at home, the Rebels will hopefully be looking to get on a bit of a run from here.

Oxford City Line up

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