Hard Fought Point In Tough Conditions

Salisbury City

Salisbury City

Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 624 Shaun Allaway
The Rebels came away from Salisbury feeling unlucky not to have taken all three points in what was a decent game of football despite the blustery and rainy conditions. Slough’s line up was unchanged from the last team they put out against Harrow back in December, although Matt Miller who has just started a month’s loan spell at Thame was replaced on the bench by Nick Gyoury.

The home side dominated the first five minutes of the game, making two good chances for themselves during this period. Firstly Steve Daly’s boot stopped Craig Davis’ shot from finding the target within the first sixty seconds and this was followed up by Sean Allaway making a wonderful diving save to deny Glenn Howes’ volley.

Slough were finding it hard to get forward and although they started to find some passing rhythm in midfield chances were few and far between. Their best of the early stages fell to Matt Murphy whose long range strike was deflected wide for a corner.

Salisbury could have taken the lead after twenty minutes as referee Mr Bull seemed to miss on obvious foul on Allaway. As the keeper went to collect the ball he appeared to be pushed over by Howes and the ball broke to Adam Wallace who had a good sight of goal. However, Allaway managed to regain his balance quickly and smothered the ball as Wallace was about to tap home. Further chances were to come Salisbury’s way as Wayne Turk fired wide and then Allaway made another fine stop, pushing away Matt Holmes’ drive.

Four minutes before the break Slough almost took the lead. Ryan Spencer, scorer of two wonderful goals already this season at Leyton and Kingstonian picked the ball up in midfield and headed for goal. With Kevin Sawyer about twelve yards off his line, Spencer attempted another of his now legendary chips but unfortunately for the away crowd on this occasion Sawyer just managed to retreat quickly enough to tip it over the bar.

After the break it seemed that Slough could be in for more defending as Allaway dwelt too long on the ball and gave possession away to Davis. With the keeper stranded, Davis attempted to curl the ball into the unguarded net but luckily for the Rebels Michael Murphy made his way back onto the line and flicked the ball away.

Despite the early scare it was Slough who would go onto dominate the second period and their first chance came soon after as Matt Murphy delivered the first of many dangerous corners from the left. With the wind blowing across from right to left the ball was holding up in the wind and with Spencer constantly applying pressure on Sawyer the keeper was having a torrid time. On this occasion he pushed the ball straight to Daly who saw his low effort cleared off the line by Scott Bartlett.

Not long after another corner found the head of Daly who knocked the ball down to Spencer. The creative midfielder turned well but under pressure couldn’t apply the finish and the ball floated harmlessly over the bar.

Further chances came for the away side as Alex Haddow went on a trademark run down the left before firing in a low shot which did well to hold. Then Christian Metcalfe tried his luck from range but sliced his shot well wide.

Salisbury were finding it difficult to get out of their half but were still dangerous on the breakaway. Mat Davies tried his luck from distance before substitute Leigh Phillips almost gave his side the lead against the run of play. Having come on just a minute earlier, the striker latched onto a good throughball by Davis, turned Daly and fired a low shot which again required a wonderful save by Allaway. It was Allaway’s third excellent save of the match and the keeper was having a good afternoon all round with his kicking the best it has been since he joined the club, ironic seeing as the conditions were as bad as they were.

Slough again came back strong with Haddow’s low free kick not troubling Sawyer, but then with another corner brought another good chance as Daly saw his second attempt cleared off the line, this time his header hacked clear by Mark Lisk. From the clearance the ball found Josias Carbon whose excellent cross was met by Ian Hodges whose free header was too comfortable for the home keeper.

These were the last really good efforts on goal although both teams tried their luck from range, Davis’ effort deflected for a corner and Spencer’s drive well held by Sawyer. With five minutes remaining there was a big moment of controversy involving Hodges and Salisbury defender Josh Thomas.

As Hodges ran across the area to meet Matt Murphy’s throw in, Thomas shoved the striker in the back forcing him to ground. Despite the linesman flagging the foul and Mr Bull producing a yellow card for Thomas, the referee felt a penalty could not be awarded as the ball was not in play when the offence was committed.

After this it would have been harsh for Slough to have lost the game but that was almost what happened as Davis released Turk who was one on one with Allaway. However, the Slough keeper continued his good form and pushed the effort away for a corner.

The game therefore ended goalless although it wasn’t a bad encounter played in dreadful conditions on not the best of pitches. However, in front of bumper crowd of 652 both sets of fans could have wished for a slightly better New Years Day game.

Salisbury City Lineup


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