Below-par Rebels beaten at Atherstone

Atherstone Town

Atherstone Town

Rathbone (55), Roscorla (pen 73)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 203 Grant Avis
Slough Town suffered a second league defeat in five days after a disappointing display at Atherstone Town, in which the Rebels rarely looked like threatening home 'keeper Nathan Woakes' goal.

With captain Paul Edgeworth absent due to a back injury, Slough drafted in Grant Avis for his full debut. The Rebels were also able to bring back Nathan Bowden-Haase from suspension and Chris Herron and Simon Martin from injury.

The strong winds were causing problems for both sides, and Slough had this on their side in the first half. The Rebels were generally the better of the two sides and will feel they should have taken a lead into half-time.

Atherstone almost broke the deadlock with ten minutes played as Stuart Hendrie played the ball through to Conor Fulford, but Ricky Perks was out quickly to make a good block.

Luke Edwards went close for the Adders soon after, the striker running at Dean Harper and unleashing a dipping long-range shot which just cleared Perks’ bar.

Slough were looking most dangerous with balls over the top for Tommy Hayes and Simon Martin to run onto and bring others into play, but support was not always forthcoming as Sinclair and Herron in particular struggled to get into the game. Sinclair, though, went close with a drilled shot across goal which went just wide of the far post.

A decent fifteen-minute spell followed from Slough during which the Rebels should have taken the lead. Martin curled a delightful ball into the box, but Hayes missed his header and Sinclair was unable to connect at the far post.

Soon after, Hayes found himself through on goal after Grant Avis won the ball in midfield, but his placed shot clipped the outside of the far post. Hayes then turned provider as he played a ball across to the unmarked Simon Martin, but Martin failed to make contact as he stretched for the ball.

Far from building on this pressure in the second half, Slough fell behind in slightly controversial circumstances with 55 minutes on the clock. The ball was played over the head of Harper and as a cross came in from the right, an initial effort was saved by Perks, but Dean Rathbone scored with the rebound, with the Slough players arguing that Perks was fouled in the build-up. Referee Lance Blackwood allowed the goal to stand and Perks was booked for his protestations.

The goal seemed to shatter Slough’s confidence and Atherstone looked more motivated and better suited to the conditions as the Rebels struggled to pass the ball and feed Hayes and Martin, who were both having off-days.

The Slough strikeforce was replaced as Sharif and Sealey took to the field, but the Rebels looked susceptible at the back and were punished again on 73 minutes, again not without controversy. Dean Harper went in strongly for a tackle on Luke Keen and appeared to win the ball, but the referee went with the decision of his linesman to award a penalty. Grant Roscorla made no mistake from the spot, sending the ball just out of Perks’ reach into the bottom corner.

Slough seemed devoid of ideas and, in truth, never looked like getting back into the game as Atherstone controlled the remainder of the game and snuffed out any signs of creativity from Mo Sharif.

Poor kicking from Ricky Perks in the windy conditions caused problems for his side on a number of occasions, and the Adders came close to adding a third near the end as Perks was adjudged to have picked up a pass from Sweeney, but Rathbone blazed his effort well wide.

Atherstone Town Lineup

Woakes, Guiney (c), Dainty, Langdon, Graham (Henchcliffe), Fulford, Hendrie, Rathbone, Edwards (Sturridge-Packer), Keen, Roscorla (Murphy). Subs not used: Brown, Haywood.


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