The Rebels came into the game with many injury problems, particularly in attack, with Landy Salaka, Lee Charles, Stanley Mugisha and Danny Jeffreys all injured and new signing Enrico Grimm also unavailable. The shortages meant that Slough lined up with Abbey Nsubuga playing a lone striker role, supported by Dave Barratt on the right, with a midfield combination of Roddis, Metcalfe and Wilkinson.
Things started badly for the Rebels, going behind after just 4 minutes. David Warner got away from the Slough defence and was able to put the ball across from the left and onto a plate for the unmarked Lee Tunnell to score.
Instead of letting their heads drop, Slough attempted to push forwards and play neat football. The experienced midfield trio were finding a lot of space and time and Abbey Nsubuga was in the thick of things as a lone striker, cutting in from the left and seeing one attempt go well wide, whilst looking to bring others into play.
Nsubuga found himself laid out by a high boot on 20 minutes, with Slough players and fans alike protesting vehemently that a penalty kick should have been awarded for dangerous play. It certainly looked at the time like they had a valid point.
Uxbridge’s second goal on 38 minutes was a little harsh from Slough’s point of view, but a punishment for a lapse in concentration. A shot from Lee Tunnell was deflected into the net by another Uxbridge player, from what appeared to be an offside position – however the referee was quick to point out that he was being played onside by a Slough defender and the goal stood.
Instantly fearing the worst, Slough were given some cheer after an instant reply from Dave Barratt. The midfielder, pushed higher up during the first half to support Nsubuga as a second striker, thundered in a volley from 18 yards, low into the bottom corner to reduce the arrears just before half-time.
Uxbridge hit the bar five minutes into the second half as they looked to finish Slough off. Following a good save from Barnard, David Warner thundered a shot in, only for it to rebound back off the crossbar and to safety.
Thereafter, the Rebels grew in confidence and poured forward at every opportunity. Chris Robinson and Leon Woodruffe were looking increasingly dangerous down the flanks, the latter particularly impressive at retaining possession and providing balls into the box.
On 54 minutes, a whipped Murphy corner was headed goalwards by Dean Harper, only for Ian Dickens to clear off the line. Four minutes later, Dave Barratt headed a Woodruffe cross just wide, and put another just over minutes after that, as Slough began to boss the game.
Ian Dickens repeated his earlier feat on 66 minutes to frustrate the Slough faithful even further, this time clearing Steve Daly’s goalbound header off the line.
Uxbridge tried to counter Slough’s spell of dominance as a Mark Nicholls free kick went narrowly over, and James Mann heading a corner kick over minutes later.
Slough almost gained an equaliser in spectacular style on 74 minutes, with Dave Barratt attempting an audacious long range cross-shot which completely fooled ‘keeper Bullivant and rebounded back off the post, but away from Nsubuga who was waiting in the middle.
The hosts found themselves clinging onto their lead, and three minutes from time Woodruffe fizzed the ball across from the left, only for Bullivant to somehow push the ball away to safety. Uxbridge went on a counter-attack looking to finish the contest, but Tunnell flashed his shot wide after being played in by Nicholls.
Slough ultimately ran out of time following a dominant second-half showing which, unlike most games this season, deserved more than the final score suggests. The Rebels must now take the positives into a tricky league fixture at Oxford City.
Uxbridge Line up
1. Rob Bullivant, 2. Ian Dickens, 3. Steve Dell, 4. Kevin Warner, 5. Jorden Oldham, 6. Mark Weedon (c), 7. Tom Howe, 8. Danny Yeoman, 9. Lee Tunnell, 10. James Pritchard, 11. David Warner Subs: 12. Mark Boyce, 14. Chris Drake, 15. James Mann (on for 5, 40), 16. Liam Hines, 17. Mark Nicholls