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Oxford City (A)
Sat Oct 26
15:00

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Oxford City (A)
Sat Oct 26 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
3rd
24pts

Late Platt header seals Rebels victory

| League
Att: 263
Slough Town
Romeo (29), Jordan (70), Platt (84)
3 - 2
Cirencester Town
Williams (16, 35)
Ryan Fenton
Slough Town fought back from a half-time deficit to record another home win as Yashwa Romeo's first half goal was added to in the second by Danny Jordan and Matthew Platt.

With a number of key players forced to miss the game due to injuries and suspensions, manager Derek Sweetman was forced to name Roy Gumbs in the back line for Slough as a replacement for Luke Evans, specifically as a means of trying to negate the considerable physical presence of ex-League striker Julian Alsop up front for Cirencester. Slough were however able to welcome back James Pritchard into midfield after an ankle injury, and new signing Yashwa Romeo made his debut in a three-pronged attack.

Early on, Slough were finding the new system difficult to adapt to, and the visitors had their first chance when Jamie Reid blazed over a decent chance at the far post.

Yashwa Romeo was showing flashes of pace and trickery on the right for Slough, and he put in a dangerous cross which was put behind for a corner. Cirencester started to stamp their authority on the game early on though, and took charge with a shot from striker Williams going just wide from 20 yards. A header from Thorne, up from the back for a corner, also went just wide.

Cirencester were in firm control in the early stages, and their pressure paid off after 16 minutes, with a long throw causing havoc in the box. The ball fell to the unmarked Williams at the far post, who finished easily – a very sloppy goal to concede, but one which the visitors’ play had merited.

It was very nearly two just a minute later, as Reid lifted the ball just over the bar from the edge of the box.

Slough had their first attempt on goal midway through the half, but Platt’s attempted dipping volley from a Jordan knockdown landed two yards wide of Miller’s goal.

Against the run of play, Slough equalised on 29 minutes. A good passing move saw the ball played into Danny Jordan’s feet, and his clever flick laid the ball into the path of Romeo, who slotted the ball coolly past Miller for a debut goal.

The goal saw the Rebels start to find their feet and up the tempo, but it didn’t take long for Cirencester to regain the lead. On 35 minutes, a weak shot from the left found its way past numerous pairs of legs in the middle of the box, falling to Williams who was again unmarked and able to score his second past the helpless Jamie Jackson.

Slough searched for a second equaliser before half time, with Romeo featuring in all the best moments in attack. His movement and pace enabled him to get past his man on a couple of occasions to get crosses in, which Cirencester did well to deal with.

Minutes before half time, it was Romeo who had a great chance to score, heading Pritchard’s flighted free kick inches wide of the right-hand post.

Slough went in with a one-goal deficit at half time, but were certainly fighting back well after the early spells of pressure from the visitors and starting to create numerous chances.

Eight minutes into the second half, Slough had a lucky escape as Julian Alsop jumped highest from a free kick and planted his header onto the crossbar. John Gray was able to clear the danger and Roy Gumbs, who was doing a sterling job covering in defence, was able to rise and head away from the resulting corner.

Slough started to pile on the pressure as the second half unfolded, with good play from Platt leading to a corner. The cross found Jordan at the far post and he wriggled around two defenders, but took too long to pull the trigger and his strike was blocked.

Soon after, Slough hit Cirencester on the counter-attack, with Romeo's cross almost being out into his own net by Minturn - but the ball was pushed away at the last moment by Miller and over the bar for a corner.

Three minutes after this though, and Slough were level. A long ball from the back by Fenton, clearing his lines, was missed by the covering defender and Danny Jordan ran clear through on goal and emphatically rifled left-footed past Miller into the roof of the net.

Slough’s tails were up, and the home side should have scored again soon after, but Platt's cross from the right was put over the bar by Romeo from just four yards out.

Derek Sweetman replaced the tiring Romeo, who had a great debut, with Byron Bubb as Slough looked for a creative spark and a winning goal. The Rebels were dealt a severe blow though as Cirencester’s Minturn inflicted further damage on Dean Harper’s head wound in an aerial challenge. Harper was again taken to hospital with blood dripping from his head, and Tom Windsor replaced him for the last eleven minutes.

Further reorganisation was required, but Slough did not seem perturbed by this and Platt found himself through on goal after good work from Bubb. He rounded Miller, but his weak shot was cleared off the line by Spalding.

Then, in the 84th minute, Slough went 3-2 ahead with a fantastic header from Platt. John Gray’s free kick was lifted into the middle and Platt rose highest to power his header past Miller and into the bottom corner, to scenes of jubilation on and off the pitch.

Slough had to face a nervous last few minutes as Roy Gumbs, who had previously been booked for dissent after the Harper incident, was shown a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge 20 yards out. His dismissal further decimated the defence for Slough, with the excellent Ryan Fenton joined in a makeshift defence by Lee Riddell, John Gray and Laurence Brown.

With Slough holding on, Haisley blazed over the bar for Cirencester when well-placed, whilst at the other end, Bubb had a chance to wrap the game up for good when played in by Jordan, but his low drive was easily saved.

Three minutes of injury time passed without further addition to the score, and Slough held on to record another hard-fought victory and move into mid-table.

*For video highlights of this match, select Video Clips under Latest.

A photograph gallery is also available at http://www.horshamrebel.co.uk.

Cirencester Town Line up

Miller, Mititri, Spalding, G Thorne (c), Reid, Mintum, Davis, Haisley, Alsop, Williams (Robertson), Pugh. Subs not used: M Thorne, Stevens, Etheridge, Heath.

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