Post Wilkinson era begins with home defeat

Slough Town

Slough Town

Riddell (22)
Hillingdon Borough

Hillingdon Borough

Kirby (7), Waugh (50), Howell (53)
League Attendance: 167 Lee Riddell
Slough Town's first game following the end of Darron Wilkinson's 8-year association with the club as player and manager ended in a comfortable win for the visiting Hillingdon Borough side.

The demoralised Rebels, clearly showing the effects after only finding out about the departure of Wilkinson and Roddis hours before kick-off, faded badly in the second half after battling well in the first, holding Hillingdon at bay.

Sam Byfield, dangerous against the Rebels in both the FA Trophy encounters this season, showed his threat early on with a low drive which skidded off the wet surface but was dealt with well by Richard Barnard.

Slough managed to go close soon after. A corner kick from the left was touched on by Danny Jeffreys, but the ball hit the face of the bar and away to safety.

Hillingdon’s early pressure paid off with 7th minute goal. A Sam Byfield cross from the left was finished off by the unmarked Mark Kirby in the middle – a simple goal, but one which Rebels fans have seen their team concede time and time again this season.

Slough had a shout for handball soon after, with Dave Barratt blasting one in. The ball appeared to strike the arm of Max Howell, but play continued with the referee unconvinced.

The Rebels were given a major let-off soon after as poor defending let in Leon Nelson, who forced a tremendous close-range save from Barnard when he should have buried the chance.

At the other end Slough were still showing determination to get back into the game, and Danny Jeffreys went very close with a left-footed strike across goal which was parried by Davis in the Hillingdon goal and just missed the far post with Lee Charles just too late to make any contact.

Chima Eberendu was also frustrated in his quest for a first Rebels goal, as his low drive was cleared off the line by a combination of Davis and one of his defenders.

Soon after, Slough had to endure a period of sustained pressure from the visitors, who played around the Rebels looking for openings. One half-chance fell to Nelson in the middle, who miskicked.

Slough struggled to clear their lines but eventually did, and grabbed an equaliser against the run of play. From a swift counter attack on the right, Dave Barratt played the ball inside to recent signing Lee Riddell, who looked up and superbly chipped Matt Davis from outside the area, with the ‘keeper no more than a few yards off his line, to even things up at 1-1.

The Rebels were dealt a blow around the half-hour mark, with Danny Jeffreys limping off, to be replaced by Thomas Attrell. Jeffreys was making his first appearance since returning from injury, and had presented Hillingdon some problems.

Slough managed to keep the score level thanks to some last-ditch defending after the visitors caused more panic. First Michael Murphy cleared off the line following a headed effort, with another block a minute later from Chris Robinson, with Hillingdon appealing for handball. Yet another effort was cleared off the line soon after, this time from Dean Harper, after his initial intervention stopped Hillingdon scoring but almost resulted in an own goal.

The second half started as the first ended, with Hillingdon going close yet again and having another effort blocked close to the goal-line.

However, the visitors were not to be denied, and took the lead for the second time five minutes into the half. A long range shot from Warren Waugh appeared to take a slight deflection on its way toward goal, which deceived Barnard as the ball flew past his right hand.

Slough heads dropped and Hillingdon scored the killer third goal just three minutes later. A superb ball in from the right following smart link-up play was bundled in by Max Howell in the middle, with the Slough defence all at sea.

Hillingdon found themselves walking through the Slough defence with ease, and Chris Hibbs should have done better than shoot straight at Barnard when well placed. Likewise Leon Nelson had a good chance to score, but screwed his shot wide.

Slough’s only meaningful effort in the second half came from substitute Miller, who picked himself up after an initial shot was blocked, only to scoop his effort well over the bar.

Slough’s evening was summed up with a crazy couple of minutes from captain Michael Murphy. Just a minute after being booked for dissent, referee A Davies took a dislike to something else Murphy said, and showed the defender a straight red card to leave Rebels fans bemused.

Hillingdon held on comfortably with no scares from Slough, and the stand-in management team of Mark Betts and Richard Barnard are now charged with the responsibility of picking the team up, with a home game against Abingdon to come on Saturday.

Hillingdon Borough Lineup

Davis, Brown, Bennell, Howell, Turner, Duncan (c), Hibbs, Kirby, Waugh, Nelson, Byfield. Subs: Lawrence, Murray, Phillips, Fitzgerald, Tilbury.


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