First-half blitz downs Rebels

Slough Town

Slough Town

Bowden-Haase (77)
Chesham United

Chesham United

Talbot (pen 5), Wales (15), Frendo (45)
League Attendance: 286 Danny Murphy
Chesham United scored twice in the opening quarter of an hour and again just before half-time to punish a poor Slough display and condemn the Rebels to another home defeat.

Nathan Bowden-Haase reduced the arrears with thirteen minutes remaining and Simon Martin saw his weak penalty kick saved soon after, but a share of the spoils would have been harsh on the Buckinghamshire visitors, who completed the double over Slough in the process.

Slough’s record against the top teams in the Midlands division is miserable thus far, and Steve Bateman shuffled his pack for this game in an effort to reverse this trend, lining up with a three-man defence and Sweeney and Sinclair at wing-back, seemingly with the aim of keeping Chesham’s danger men quiet.

However, in the early stages the changes seemed to only unsettle the Slough side, and Chesham took full advantage with a dominant first twenty minutes in which they barely let the Rebels catch breath. From the get go, the visitors took control and almost took the lead after just four minutes, but Steve Wales fired over after Chris Bangura had chested the ball down neatly.

Chesham’s pressure was unrelenting, but in truth they were gifted the opening goal as a lunging tackle from Bowden-Haase upended John Frendo just inside the area with just five minutes played. The referee correctly pointed to the spot and captain Danny Talbot converted the resulting penalty to fully punish the error.

Fully exploiting the space down both flanks, Chesham kept the ball well and Slough struggled to get out of their own half. It looked to be only a matter of time before a second goal arrived, but when it did, it owed as much to poor defending as clinical finishing. Dave Fotheringham was afforded far too much space on the left by-line, and his pull back somehow ran all the way past Yeboah, Harper and Bowden-Haase without being cleared, and through to Steve Wales who fired in expertly from eight yards giving Perks no chance.

Still, Chesham poured forward looking for a killer third, and Bangura should have done better than send a free header over the bar from Talbot’s corner.

Eventually, Slough started coming back into the game, and forced a goalmouth scramble as Dean Clark’s long free kick was headed goalwards by Yeboah and hacked away from close to the line.

Yeboah headed a clear chance over the bar before Chesham ‘keeper Richard Hayward was called into action for the first time from another Clark free kick, making an instinctive save from Sean Sonner’s shot as the ball bounced loose.

Slough looked to have taken control of the game, but Chesham struck again in first half stoppage time to all but kill the game off and wreck Steve Bateman’s half-time plans. Again, Slough were the masters of their own downfall as the dangerous Fotheringham came forward on the break. His ball into the area was controlled by John Frendo, whose shot towards goal looked to carry no real threat, but the ball agonisingly bobbled over Ricky Perks’ outstretched hands as he dived low to his right, and bounced just inside the post, giving Chesham a 3-0 half-time lead.

Half-time brought a change for Slough, with the benched Danny Murphy replacing the ineffective Kean. The Rebels reverted to 4-4-2 with Dean Harper playing the combative midfield role as Slough looked to stifle Chesham and mount attacks of their own with Sinclair free to roam.

But with Chesham in such a commanding position, the visitors soaked up the pressure and Slough struggled to mount a serious threat. In fact Chesham could have extended the lead as John Kyriacou cut inside and hit a left-footed shot which deflected onto the post. Sam Ledger also forced a good save from Perks as Slough were exposed again.

On a rare attack in the Chesham box, Sonner played in Buchanan, but he sliced a shot wide as the ball bobbled up – seemingly symptomatic of the entire evening for the Rebels.

Slough did manage to conjure up a goal, but with thirteen minutes remaining many wondered if it was too little, too late. A hurried clearance fell to Sinclair, who crossed back in for Bowden-Haase to head powerfully into the roof of the net to give Slough hope.

In the very next minute, Slough were awarded a penalty as Nick Leach shoved substitute Simon Martin aside as the striker went to challenge Hayward in the air. Martin took the ball from Elliot Buchanan, but his powder-puff effort was easily saved by Hayward who barely needed to dive, although he did pick up a minor injury in the process.

That miss seemed to knock the stuffing out of Slough, who surely realised their last big chance to get back into the game had come and gone. The last real threat came from Sinclair, who put in a low cross and caused another goalmouth scramble, only for Kyriacou to clear off the line again.

Chesham United Lineup

Hayward, Kyriacou, Ledger, Leach, Talbot (c), Lambert, Fotheringham, Wales (Cotton), Frendo (Gudgeon), Bangura, Obeng (Marsala). Subs not used: Laws, Farrell.


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