Slough's play-off hopes dented

Barton Rovers

Barton Rovers

Hassan (1, 49, pen 72)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Buchanan (14), Edgeworth (17), Bateman (90)
League Attendance: 82 Elliott Buchanan
Slough's fight to remain in the play-offs took a huge hit with a draw against bottom placed Barton Rovers.

Sam Bateman's late first goal for the Rebels salvaged a point for the club who, for the second time in a week, fought back from a deficit with ten men following Dean Harper's red card on his 100th appearance in a Slough shirt.

With injuries and suspensions limiting manager Steve Bateman’s options, Slough lined up with a 3-5-2 formation and it took basement side Barton Rovers barely thirty seconds to expose the Rebels’ lack of cohesion and confidence, striker Bilal Hassan beating Ricky Perks to open the scoring.

Knowing that Sutton Coldfield had dropped points on the previous evening, Slough needed to click into gear and get back into the game - but were not helped as the influential Steve Sinclair, who had struggled with an injury the previous weekend, was forced off and was replaced by Kyle Jeffrey.

Slough gradually found their way into the game and started to enjoy a spell of possession, particularly with Danny Murphy on the left. The Rebels found an equaliser on 14 minutes thanks to a moment of magic from Elliot Buchanan, the striker lashing a snapshot past Grant Beckwith from 20 yards.

Three minutes later, after more pressure, Slough went ahead as Paul Edgeworth hooked the ball past Beckwith after Sonner had a header blocked from Murphy’s corner.

It looked as if Slough would start to take control of the game, and Sonner flicked Bateman though on goal, but the young midfielder couldn’t get enough on his shot. Moments later, Slough were handed a golden chance as referee Marin spotted a foul on Simon Sweeney in the penalty area. Dean Harper, making his 100th Rebels appearance, stepped up to take the kick but his drilled effort was saved by Beckwith, with the keeper also making a terrific save from Buchanan’s shot on the rebound.

Neither side found another route to goal before half-time, though Edgeworth should have done better than blaze over the bar from Murphy’s ball across goal.

Minutes into the second half, Slough were denied what looked a certain penalty as Sonner’s ball into the middle was handled by Sam Stanton, but the appeals were waved away and moments later, Barton were level. A long throw from the right was flicked towards goal and turned in, with the goal being credited to Hassan with former Rebel Sammy Winston following in to make sure.

Slough lacked width without the likes of Sinclair, Sealey and Herron and were seriously devoid of ideas, relying on long balls up to the front pairing of Sonner and Buchanan. Sonner latched onto one ball and showed great close control before lobbing an effort just over the bar.

Beckwith made another smart stop from a close-range Harper header before Rovers shocked Slough by taking the lead on 72 minutes. Danny Murphy’s foul gave Hassan the chance to complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot, and he duly converted, sending Perks the wrong way.

Slough were looking a shadow of the side from earlier in the season, and were almost punished again as Hassan ran at the defence on the break, but his shot was well blocked. Desperate for an equaliser, the Rebels struggled to create anything against a resolute Barton defence, and Dean Harper received a second yellow card for a late tackle, having previously been booked, leaving Slough to battle on with ten men for a second successive game.

But Barton hearts were broken as the clock ticked into injury time with Sam Bateman’s first senior goal for Slough. Elliot Buchanan worked an opening on the left and his inviting cross was headed superbly into the top corner with Beckwith unable to keep the ball out.

As the final whistle sounded, both teams looked utterly dejected as Barton were denied only a third league win of the season and Slough lost two more vital points in the race for fifth place.

Barton Rovers Lineup

Beckwith, Andrews, Stanton, Hull, Jackman (Cook), Randall (c), Spencer, Harkin (Peverall), Winston (Case), Hassan, Donnelly. Subs not used: Clark, Kierons.


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