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Flackwell Heath (A)
Sat Sep 21
15:00

Next match

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Flackwell Heath (A)
Sat Sep 21 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
8th
18pts

Five Star Rebels

| League
Att: 325
Slough Town
Gilkes (55) Hodges (57, 61) Boot (59) Winston (78)
5 - 1
Tilbury
Downs (41)
Dominique Jean-Zephirin
Four goals in the space of seven minutes near the start of the second half gave Slough what was, in the end, a comprehensive victory. However, it could have been so much different after Tilbury led at the break.

Slough were delighted to welcome back Steve Daly and Ian Hodges to the starting line-up and Sammy Winston and Byron Bubb to the bench, all after suffering flu in midweek. Dean Palmer also returned after his two match suspension. The players missing out from Tuesday were Rav Braich, Ryan Williams and Andrew Deaner.

Slough started brightly in the match with Tony Boot missing two early chances, hitting one wide and having one blocked by good defending. Ryan Spencer also went close early on as Slough put Tilbury under heavy pressure.

However, after the initial chances, the match settled down to a slower pace and there were no more real chances until half way through the first half when Spencer, Hodges and Ricky Browne all had shots on the Tilbury goal, the latter’s effort cleared brilliantly off the line by Keith Caine.

On the half hour, Tilbury started to assert themselves on the match and had two clear cut chances. Firstly Jean-Marie Okita dispossessed Browne but Dominique Jean-Zepherin made a sprawling save at the striker’s feet. From the resulting corner John Scarborough’s header was directed straight at the French keeper.

Just after this Boot was put through by Jean-Zepherin’s long kick, but his shot was weak and straight at Jason White. Following Boot’s effort, Hodges had another chance from a corner but his volley rebounded off the bar to Craig Rocastle but White once again came to Tilbury’s rescue and saved at his feet.

With five minutes to go until half-time, Ricky Downs had a shot saved again by Jean-Zepherin but moments later the same man did give the away side the lead. Warren Ryan made a good run down the left wing, beating Browne for pace, and his low cross was easily slotted home by Downs to leave Slough looking likely to go four games without a win.

There were more chances before the break as Spencer’s effort was deflected just inches wide and then Palmer’s header was straight at White. There was also one more chance on the Slough goal as Browne was once again beaten for pace by Okita but Daly blocked his shot on goal and the Rebels went in only a goal down at the interval.

Slough made a change at half-time, Rocastle, who now seems to have taken on the ongoing flu bug, was replaced by Williams. The Rebels still did not control the early stages as the team continued to have trouble breaking down the stubborn Tilbury back line.

However, ten minutes into the second period, Slough began a period that would turn the whole complexion of the match around. Some skilful play by Williams and Spencer on the right edge of the Tilbury box led to Spencer delivering a ball to Michael Gilkes at the far post who slammed the ball home to pull Slough back into the match.

Two minutes later, Slough took the lead, as Palmer’s long ball, which looked like it was going all the way through to White, slowed up and gave Hodges the chance to flick the ball over White with his head, and score his first goal for Slough. The striker was obviously delighted as he ran into the Slough fans to celebrate his finish.

Moments later and a pall from Hodges went all the way through the away side’s back line to Boot who easily tucked the ball away and Slough had scored three goals in five minutes. That wasn’t the end of the excitement as, just two minutes later, Boot’s quick free kick was placed beautifully onto Hodges head and his powerful header into the top corner gave White no chance and meant that Slough had penetrated the Tilbury defence four times in just seven minutes.

As the match was now practically wrapped up, Spencer was replaced by Bubb and Winston came onto to relieve Hodges, who received an ovation all the way to the touchline from the once again excellent Slough support. Within the next few minutes Slough could have extended their lead even further as Williams, Gilkes, Daly and Winston all saw chances go begging, Daly’s being the most outrageous as his effort almost cleared the driving range behind the goal. The big defender saw the funny side though as he and the rest of his team mates enjoyed the experience of playing under minimal pressure.

With twelve minutes remaining Slough did get their fifth goal as Winston was put through by Metcalfe, rounded White and unlike at Hemel the week before slid the ball into an empty net. In the last few minutes there were some final scares for the Rebels’ defence as Okita had three chances to score a consolation. However, Tilbury’s tall and rather impressive striker saw his efforts blocked by Browne and Daly and his best chance was once again well saved by Jean-Zepherin.

With the final whistle came Slough’s first win for four matches and with their three closest rivals in the promotion chase failing to win, it was a result which once again put them right back in the frame for the second promotion place.

Tilbury Line up

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