Rebels leave it late

Newport IOW

Newport IOW

Lilley (4)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Davies (31), Gray (80), J. Gumbs (89)
League Attendance: 215 Johnnie Gray
Slough Town kept their survival hopes alive with a hard-fought win at Newport.

It was the already-relegated hosts who made a dream start, going ahead in the fourth minute as Slough were still settling into the game. Darren Powell carved through the Slough defence before slipping the ball through to Mark Lilley, whose first-time shot easily beat Jamie Jackson and nestled in the bottom corner.

Knowing they had to win, Slough wasted no time in looking for an equaliser. Danny Jeffreys wasted a good chance on his right foot as the ball fell to him in the box, whilst Steve Daly, looking for a third goal in three, saw a looping header tipped over by Sam Webb.

Slough continued to press, and John Gray, a constant menace down the left wing every time he got the ball, almost forced left-back Graham Stay into an own goal, the ball flying just over the bar.

James Pritchard was again instrumental to a lot of Slough's attacks through the middle, and the experienced midfielder hit one effort wide from the edge of the box after good work to shift it onto his left foot.

A Slough goal was looking inevitable as Newport lost the ball every time they got possession, and Terry Davies grabbed his eleventh of the season on 31 minutes. James Pritchard worked the ball wide for Gray, whose cross into the middle was turned home at the near post by Davies.

Davies had a chance to score his second after chesting down another Gray cross, but fired wide.

After dominating the first half, Slough were slower out of the blocks in the second, with Gray a lot less busy on the left.

Jermaine Gumbs replaced Jeffreys to add another striking option, with three points at the forefront of manager Derek Sweetman's mind.

Slough's first real effort of the second half came on 64 minutes as Davies struck a volley after a Gray cross was deflected and looped up into the air. Sam Webb in the Newport goal made a wonderful reaction save and turned the ball around the post.

Newport striker Lilley found himself in trouble after the referee adjudged that he had taken a dive in a challenge with Slough keeper Jackson. Lilley was cautioned, and five minutes later shown a second yellow card for dissent.

The home side were forced to rearrange themselves and try to hold on for a point as Slough piled forward in search of a winning goal.

With the Slough supporters fearing that time was going to run out, the Rebels forced an 80th minute lifeline with a first goal for the impressive John Gray. Roy Gumbs powered his way into the box and cut the ball back for Gray, who planted his side foot effort into the roof of the net to spark wild scenes of celebration.

Derek Sweetman looked to seal the points with strikers Bangura and Sakala replacing Roy Gumbs and Terry Davies, who had worked tirelessly all game. They were involved almost immediately as Bangura got free down the right, but his low cross was missed at the far post by Sakala with a Newport defender in close attention.

Immediately though, poor distribution from Webb led to the ball falling to Pritchard, who tried to pick his way through a number of Newport players on the edge of the box, before playing a simple ball to the far post for Jermaine Gumbs. His initial effort was blocked by Webb, but Gumbs latched onto the rebound and found the back of the net to seal the three points.

Slough now make the trip to Bridgwater on Tuesday afternoon knowing that another win will see the Rebels move above Bracknell in the table and heap pressure on their Berkshire neighbours ahead of next weekend's final round of fixtures.

Newport IOW Lineup

1. Sam Webb, 2. Martin McDonagh (14. Jamie White), 3. Graham Stay, 4. Jason Mann, 5. Mark Isaacson, 6. David Lewis (c), 7. Darren Powell, 8. Richard Morse (12. Daniel Squibb), 9. Louis Bell, 10. Steele Saunders (16. Toby Donbauand), 11. Mark Lilley. Subs not used: 15. Jarred Wetherwick, 17. John Simpkins.


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