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Sat Dec 9

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Bromley (A)
Sat Dec 9 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Barratt rescues a point

| League
Att: 279
Slough Town
Barratt (81)
1 - 1
K Warner (11)
Terry Davies
Slough Town gained a vital point against an in-form Uxbridge side after a spirited second-half performance.

The Rebels were able to welcome back Adrian Brown to galvanise the defensive line, and new signing from Thatcham, John Gray, made his debut on the left side of midfield as Slough lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with Abby Nsubuga playing off Terry Davies up front.

It was crucial that Slough got off to a good start against the fifth-placed team from Middlesex, but after just two minutes a dangerous cross from James Pritchard on the right was headed over by former Rebel Neville Roach, who was unmarked in the middle, to give an early warning sign.

Uxbridge were having the better of the play and forced a number of half-chances, with Mark Nicholls blasting one effort wide from 20 yards, and Pritchard poking just wide after a half-clearance from another Nicholls effort had caused panic in the Slough box.

The opening goal arrived for the visitors on 11 minutes. A ball forward was not sufficiently dealt with by the Rebels defence, and Kevin Warner found himself with space on the left hand side of the box. He drove the ball into the bottom corner with a fierce left-footed effort to put Uxbridge ahead.

The lead was nearly doubled soon after, but Pritchard's close-range effort was blocked superbly by Richard Barnard.

The best Slough could muster in the first half was a typically ambitious effort from Terry Davies on 20 minutes. He blasted a volley just wide of the angle of post and bar from the edge of the box.

At the other end, Uxbridge should really have gone further ahead when Meddie Nsubuga miscontrolled the ball, letting it slip under his foot leaving Mark Nicholls a clear shot on goal. However, he fired his effort straight at Barnard.

For the majority of the first half, Slough were unable to get any sort of rhythm going, with the visitors restricting attacking forays to a minimum and looking dangerous on the counter-attack. Robinson and Gray on the flanks found themselves unable to get forward much, and the long balls from the back were easily dealt with by the large Uxbridge defenders.

It was important that Slough got off to a good start following the half-time team talk, and the words of Betts and Barnard appeared to have the desired effect as the Rebels put in a spirited display.

Abby Nsubuga was forced off with an injury on 55 minutes, and was replaced by Laurence Brown who slotted into midfield with Dave Barratt moving forward to support Davies in attack.

This reshuffle seemed to freshen up Slough's thinking and the home side started to look threatening, with fewer long balls and more of the attacking play coming through passing the ball around. James Suarez played in Davies down the right, who beat his man, brought the ball inside and drove in a left-footed effort which was fumbled by Rob Bullivant in the Uxbridge goal, and cleared away as Dave Barratt was unable to get contact on the rebound.

Slough's best effort of the game came as John Gray worked his way down the left wing and crossed in for Barratt, who forced a save from close range. Terry Davies followed up but saw his effort blocked and the striker ended up in the back of the net, clutching his ankle.

Slough continued coming forward, and were frustrated on a number of occasions by the offside flag, with Davies picking up a yellow card after remonstrating with the linesman.

The scores were almost level when Barratt latched on to a throw in, turned brilliantly and hit a screamer inches wide of Bullivant's post. Minutes later, Slough won a free-kick on the edge of the box which Davies fired agonisingly wide of the same post.

However, the pressure told and with nine minutes to go, Slough grabbed an equaliser. A poor goal kick from Bullivant, who otherwise had been outstanding in the Uxbridge goal, was latched onto by Davies. He worked an opening down the right and squared the ball to Barratt in the middle, who squeezed his shot through the Bullivant's legs and into the back of the net.

An end-to-end last few minutes followed, with Pritchard forcing a tremendous finger-tip save from Barnard after Meddie Nsubuga had lost possession. Mark Nicholls also saw a low 25 yard effort saved comfortably, whilst Suarez was just unable to direct a header on goal from a Gray cross for Slough.

In the end, Slough will be happy to have come away from the game with a point and now look forward to two more challenging home games with Farnborough and AFC Hayes.

Uxbridge Line up

Bullivant, Stamp, Hurrell, Weedon, Dennison, Dickens, Carter (Howe, ht), K Warner, Roach, Nicholls (c), Pritchard. Substitutes: Howe, Tarr, Oldham, Panter, D Warner.


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