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Eastleigh (H)
Tue Jul 9
19:45

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Eastleigh (H)
Tue Jul 9 19:45
The Vanarama National League South
11th
63pts

Slough stop the rot with win at North Greenford

| League
Att: 133
North Greenford Utd
Pither (6)
1 - 3
Slough Town
Martin (41), Perkins (60), Abbey (69)
Simon Martin
Slough Town recovered from conceding an early goal at North Greenford to record a morale-boosting three points and arrest their recent slump.

The hosts took the lead after just six minutes with a long-range piledriver from Ricky Pither, but Simon Martin equalised from close range before half-time, a minute after Danny Murphy had missed a penalty.

The Rebels dominated the second period and deservedly edged ahead with a strike from skipper Steve Perkins, which was later added to by Ben Abbey - both notching their first goals for the club.

Looking to make amends for a dreadful recent run, Slough welcomed goalkeeper Dominique Jean-Zephirin back to the club after a seven year absence, and the Rebels quickly settled into the match with neat, composed football. Slough fashioned the first half-chance, an ambitious overhead effort from the returning Adam Logie dropping wide of the post.

But Slough fell behind to a sixth-minute strike of the highest quality from Ricky Pither, the midfielder picking up a pass from Garry Senior before embarking on a run at the Rebels defence and unleashing a rocket from 25 yards which beat Jean-Zephirin via his crossbar.

Despite this setback, Slough continued to threaten and came agonisingly close on the quarter-hour mark as Ben Abbey turned in the six yard box and looked certain to score with goalkeeper Jallow beaten, but former Rebel Ryan Fenton made a superb last-ditch block to deny him.

With both sides committed to playing open, attacking football, chances looked likely to arrive at both ends, and Garry Senior thundered a free kick off the post for North Greenford. Slough were applying most of the pressure though, and Jallow made an acrobatic save to stop a header from Simon Martin.

With seven minutes remaining in the first half, Slough were presented with an ideal opportunity to equalise as United captain Nick Turner tripped Martin in the box. Danny Murphy stepped up, but put the ball wide of the post to maintain Slough’s recent poor record from the spot.

Just a minute later though, Murphy made amends with a delicious cross to the back post where Sweeney was lurking. The full-back unselfishly headed across goal for Simon Martin to nod home with ease and restore parity – the striker’s first goal since the end of August.

Slough would have been pleased enough with the half-time score, but the hard work of the first half was almost undone as Senior was put through on goal, but the striker’s initial effort was well blocked and he blazed the rebound harmlessly over the crossbar.

After this though, Slough started to dominate, and the Rebels defence was looking solid after recent frailties. The away side mounted attack after attack and, on the hour mark, Slough gained possession and broke away quickly, winning a corner. Swift’s delivery was flicked on by Abbey and pushed away by Jallow under pressure – but the ball fell kindly to skipper Steve Perkins who found the bottom corner with a fierce drive through a crowd of players to give Slough the lead.

Immediately after, Coyne blasted just wide from the edge of the box as Slough looked to kill the game off, but were dealt a blow as Steve Sinclair departed injured, to be replaced by Chris Herron, also making a return to the club.

Herron slotted in well and showed some good touches in the attacking third as Slough searched for a third goal. Not even a triple substitution for the home side could stop the Rebels finding it as, nine minutes later, Steve Perkins headed another corner back across goal for Ben Abbey, who headed past Jallow and into the roof of the net.

Meanwhile Jean-Zephirin, who was largely untroubled, gave the Slough support a scare by embarking on a run in his own half which saw him beat two North Greenford players, and was almost culpable as a mistake almost allowed the hosts to bundle in a goal which could have set up a tense finale.

Late on, substitute Garry Sippetts ran clear and elected to shoot instead of lay the ball across to the unmarked Martin in the middle, but Jallow spread himself to block – and Slough left Berkeley Avenue with a deserved 3-1 win which manager Steve Bateman will hope to build on against AFC Hayes on Tuesday evening.

North Greenford Utd Line up

Jallow, Hillier, Fenton, Turner (c), Diston, Patterson, DeLisser (Hibbs), Senior, Pither (Bennell), Tilbury, Kenny (Derry). Sub not used: Murray.

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