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Hemel Hempstead Town (A)
Sat Apr 1

Next match

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Hemel Hempstead Town (A)
Sat Apr 1 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Slough Held By Resolute Aveley

| League
Att: 398
Slough Town
Boot (38)
1 - 1
R Browne o.g. (42)
Darron Wilkinson
Slough couldn't break down a resolute Aveley defence in the second half as the Rebels had to settle for a point in their push for the second promotion place. With many fans prior to the game expressing the opinion that Slough would probably need maximum points from their remaining home games, today's match may turn out to be a blow on May 3rd.

There was just one change to a Slough team that had won well at Hertford the week before, Darron Wilkinson, returning from suspension, replaced Christian Metcalfe, himself serving a one match ban. The opening exchanges of the match were scrappy with neither team really getting a foothold in the game although Slough probably just pipped it on possession.

The first real chance went to Dean Palmer after 10 minutes, as the right back surged diagonally across the box and into the area. However, his low shot was weak and easily held by Aveley keeper Darren Smith. Aveley replied minutes later as Carl Fannon had a well drilled shot deflected over the bar by Steve Daly.

The best chance so far for Slough came at around the 20 minute mark as Tony Boot managed to muscle through the Aveley back line to come out with a clear sight of goal. However, the striker made a poor connection with his finish and the ball skewed harmlessly wide. The Rebels had another good chance after 29 minutes as Byron Bubb's corner was only cleared to Palmer who took his time with his shot which gave Ernie Bentley a chance to clear off the line.

After this latest scare for Aveley they then had two good chances of their own in the space of two minutes. Firstly Dave Cannon broke away from the defence but his lob went well over the bar and then Fannon was once again allowed a shot on goal but Adrian Blake did well to tip the ball over the bar.

With seven minutes to go till half time, the deadlock was finally broken and the goal came for the Rebels. Bubb managed to wriggle through Aveley's defence but his low shot produced a good diving save by Smith. However, his palm out only went as far as Boot who rolled the ball into an unguarded net from 8 yards.

Slough would have been content to hold the 1-0 advantage until half time but unfortunately that was not the case as Aveley managed to find an equaliser four minutes later. Luke Bauckham's run down the left took him away from Daly and the midfielder's low cross was turned into his own net off the chest of Ricky Browne. Despite the fact that there were no Aveley forwards around him, Browne could not do much with the ball because of the pace on the cross and how close he was to his own goal line.

Slough went back on the front foot for the remaining minutes of the first half as first Daly and then Boot had good chances on the away side's goal. Daly's downward header from another Bubb corner was unfortunately straight at Smith while a shot from Ryan Williams was spilled once again by Smith but Boot's follow up went well over as the striker was leaning back at the time he made contact.

Boot's good chance was the final act of a first half which Slough would have ended wondering how they didn't have any sort of lead to defend in the second period.

The second half never really got going as Slough found it difficult playing with what had become a very strong wind blowing towards the golf course end. However, there were good chances at either end within the first five minutes of the second half. Firstly, Blake was required to make a fantastic save to tip over a long range shot from Carl Allison which looked destined for the top corner of his net. Then Boot had another chance to add to his season's tally of goals as Williams' low centre came to the striker but his shot was this time cleared off the line by Wes Faulkner.

With just over half an hour to go, Aveley looked certain to go into the lead as a mistake by Browne let Bauckham have a clear run to a one on one situation with Blake. The Slough keeper stood up well but Aveley's man got round him eventually only to find his shot miraculously cleared off the line via the chest of Daly. The danger hadn't gone, however, as Lacey ran in on the follow up but under pressure from Daly, Browne and Blake the winger could only fire just wide of the post.

Slough made their first change bringing on Michael Gilkes, who was just returning from injury, for Ian Hodges. His appearance seemed to give the Rebels a lift with his running down the left hand edge of the box, although the Rebels probably didn't use him as much as they would have liked. The final half hour produced very little at either end although there were half chances for Bubb, Williams and Sammy Winston on the Aveley goal while at the other end Blake was under threat again from a Fannon effort which eventually drifted wide of his post.

With five minutes left, Steve Browne added an extra striker to try and get the winning goal, bringing on Andrew Deaner for the overall ineffective Williams but the tall striker had little impact in the dying minutes and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Aveley were definitely one of the better sides to have visited the Park this season although Slough will be thinking that they did have enough chances in the match to kill off the away team.

Aveley Line up

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