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Hampton & Richmond Boro' (A)
Sat Dec 21
15:00

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Hampton & Richmond Boro' (A)
Sat Dec 21 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
2nd
37pts

Easy win for Rebels over Braintree

| League
Att: 364
Slough Town
Carbon (14), Matt Murphy (40, 43)
3 - 0
Braintree Town
Darron Wilkinson
Slough retained their unbeaten home record in the league during 2004 and made it four wins at home this season with another clean sheet for good measure.

This was expected to be a tough match for the Rebels against a Braintree side who had yet to taste defeat this season. In reality though it was the most comfortable victory so far as two first half goals from Matt Murphy and one from Josias Carbon effectively ended the contest by half time.

Attacking towards the bright September sunshine, the Rebels had the better of the early exchanges although it was the visitors who almost took the lead with the first real chance of the game on 12 minutes. A free kick awarded by referee Mr Granfield was blasted goalwards by Louie Evans but August player of the month Jake Whincup denied the Braintree striker with a brilliant instinctive parry to his right.

Just two minutes later the home side took the lead with a well worked goal. A long ball over the top should have been dealt with by Adedeji but he allowed the ball to run through to Ian Hodges. Slough’s leading scorer steadied himself before picking out Josias Carbon at the far post who struck the ball into the ground and past Danny Gay in the Braintree goal for his first this season.

Glen Harris was unfortunate not to increase the lead ten minutes later when he stepped inside a defender and fired a shot just past Gay’s left hand post whilst at the other end a resolute Slough defence were offering only occasional half chances to the visitors.

Their frustrations at making little headway spilled over into petty arguments with the referee who, although did seem to award the majority of fifty-fifty decisions to the home side, probably did so due to the incessant moaning from the Braintree players. Their cause in this respect was not helped when Gavin McGowan was booked on 31 minutes for kicking the ball away to prevent a quick Slough free kick.

With Braintree getting more rattled by the minute, Slough increased their lead with another early contender for goal of the season. After a neat passing move across the midfield the ball was laid off to James Saulsbury. The defender took one touch before curling an exquisite low cross into the box which was met on the volley by Matt Murphy who rocketed the ball into the roof of the net past the helpless Danny Gay.

The visitors had their best chance of the afternoon on 39 minutes when a long through ball was chased by Bertie Brayley. As the ball dropped he hit a brilliant dipping volley across the face of the goal and was unlucky to see it go the wrong side of the post with Whincup at full stretch.

The game was over as a contest in the 42nd minute following more hesitant defending by Braintree. The ball was allowed to reach Harris who fed Matt Murphy coming in from the left unmarked, and from a narrow angle he blasted the ball across Gay and into the far top corner for Slough’s third.

If Rebels fans were worried about a second half onslaught from the visitors, their fears would have been quickly erased as the second half started with Slough keeping the pressure on and forcing hurried clearances which gave possession back to the home side.

Alex Haddow was fortunate not to join McGowan in the book after 57 minutes when he was involved in a tussle on the right touchline with a Braintree player although Ollie Adedeji was not so lucky five minutes later when the referee’s patience finally snapped following constant verbal abuse from the former Hornchurch star.

Having already seen two players booked for petulant offences, Braintree manager George Borg would have been furious at the lack of discipline from his players as just four minutes later Louis Riddle joined his team mates in the book for not retreating at another Slough free kick.

After a lengthy delay on 70 minutes for an injury to Martin Moller, the game petered out with a succession of substitutions with Ryan Spencer, Matt Miller and Danny Steer getting a run out in place of Wilkinson, Murphy and Haddow.

The Rebels left the field to standing ovation and would have been pleased not to have exerted too much energy in the second half with a difficult game at Staines to come in midweek.

Braintree Town Line up

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