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The Vanarama National League South

Rebels back with a bang

Slough Town

Slough Town

Harper (10), Gumbs (60), A. Nsubuga (84), Windsor (90)
Abingdon Utd

Abingdon Utd

Beechers (50)
League Attendance: 208 Dean Harper
Slough Town, featuring a number of new faces following the departure of manager Darron Wilkinson and assistant Nick Roddis, upset the form guide to gain an impressive victory over high-flying Abingdon at a sodden Holloways Park, and claim only their fourth win of the season.

Under the caretaker management of Mark Betts and Richard Barnard, Slough handed debuts to Lee Rendell and Mark Janes at left-back and right-back respectively, both signed on loan from Oxford City, as well as Meddie Nsubuga in the middle and former Beaconsfield striker Jermaine Gumbs.

The Rebels showed their attacking intent from the off, with good link-up play between Lee Charles and Dave Barratt resulting in the latter shooting wide from 18 yards.

A half-chance fell for Billy Beechers at the other end following a weak kick out by Barnard, but he could only return the ball straight into the ‘keeper’s arms.

Jermaine Gumbs was keen to prove himself and had a number of early long range dipping shots at goal, all comfortably dealt with by Wilkins, who coped well with the slippery surface. Abby Nsubuga also had a swing from a Mark Janes cross, but sent the ball well wide.

Slough’s opener arrived on 10 minutes. A corner kick from Rendell was scuffed by ex-Rebel Josias Carbon at the near post and missed by everyone else, until Dean Harper arrived in the middle to drill the ball past Wilkins to score his second of the season.

Abingdon were giving the ball away cheaply and Slough were keen to make them pay. Lee Rendell was proving to be a menace to the Abingdon back line whenever he got forward, and a whipped cross was just missed by Abby Nsubuga in the middle as the Rebels continued to press.

Abingdon forced a short spell of sustained pressure, with their efforts ultimately coming to nothing as a Carbon shot was blocked by Harper. At the other end, Nathan Woodley was yellow-carded for a foul on Abby Nsubuga as he was shaping to shoot, and from the resulting free kick, Dave Barratt tested Wilkins with a fierce shot which the ‘keeper parried away.

Slough then suffered a blow as Barratt was forced off injured, seemingly suffering a recurrence of the groin injury that he sustained at Oxford City.

Just before half-time, Slough had a great chance to extend their lead when a cross from Rendell found Janes in the middle, but he could not connect properly from six yards out.

Early into the second period, the visitors penned Slough in their own half and gained an equaliser on 50 minutes. Billy Beechers sent one effort wide but made amends minutes later as he chested down a poor clearance after a defensive mix-up, advanced to the edge of the box and drilled into the bottom corner from 18 yards to restore parity.

Slough weathered this storm from Abingdon, kept their heads high, and were rewarded for their efforts with a second goal on 60 minutes. Lee Charles strode forward to the right side of the box and saw his initial cross blocked. He put the ball back into the danger area for Jermaine Gumbs in the middle, who nipped in front of the defender and tucked the ball away past Wilkins, before celebrating jubilantly in front of the Rebels faithful.

The Rebels were dealt another injury blow with substitute George Moleski stretchered off. The midfielder had replaced Barratt in the first half but broke down with a recurrence of a serious knee injury.

Abingdon had a good chance to equalise with Beechers again looking threatening. His pacy run took him away from defenders, and his low shot beat Barnard at his near post, but luckily for Slough, went into the side-netting.

Slough’s confidence was strong, perhaps epitomised by Steve Daly receiving a pass 30 yards out, striding forward and forcing a corner with a deflected shot from outside the box.

Following the corner, a free kick was won on the left. Lee Riddell put in an in-swinging cross, to which Abby Nsubuga got his head to, to make the score 3-1.

Right at the death, Slough added a fourth through substitute Tom Windsor, who had only just replaced Abby Nsubuga. Jermaine Gumbs found himself with time and space on the right to measure a ball across for Windsor, who hit the ball first time from an awkward position as he steamed into the area. The ball squirmed past Wilkins to complete Slough’s biggest win for some time, and a huge confidence boost ahead of another vital match at Hillingdon on Tuesday.

(Front pic: Gary House)

Abingdon Utd Lineup

Wilkins, Moss, Organ, Woodley, Carbon, McCalmon, Alexis, Beechers, Holden, Odihambo, Mills. Substitutes: Davel, Tricker, O'Hara, Modou, Hemmings.


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