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Braintree Town (H)
Sat Dec 7
15:00

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Braintree Town (H)
Sat Dec 7 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
3rd
34pts

Ten-man Arlesey too good for Rebels

| League
Att: 267
Slough Town
0 - 3
Arlesey Town
Gray (23), Mason (31), Allinson (68)
Stuart Swift
Despite playing over an hour with ten men following skipper Derek Brown's first-half red card, visitors Arlesey claimed a deserved victory at Holloways Park to further dent the Rebels' play-off ambitions.

Arlesey started the brighter, with the increasingly impressive Charlie Fanner pushing out a dangerous low cross, before the visitors smashed an effort well over.

Slough thought they had a case for a penalty soon after as Simon Sweeney appeared to be tripped in the box, but play carried on and as the half wore on, Arlesey were on the front foot with Slough looking to play on the break where possible.

The visitors took a deserved lead as a free kick was headed into the far corner by defender Gray, with Fanner helpless.

Not long after, though, Arlesey looked to have shot themselves in the foot as captain Derek Brown was dismissed for a petulant kick out at Stuart Swift after a tangle of legs in the midfield.

However, things didn’t go to plan for the Rebels as, just a minute later, Arlesey doubled their lead with a cool finish from Mason, who controlled beautifully under pressure before swivelling and shooting past Fanner.

As Slough looked to gain a foothold in the game and give themselves something to play for in the second half, Paul Coyne fired just wide of the angle with a fierce drive from distance. But Arlesey were still just as much of a threat at the other end, showing their class despite the numerical disadvantage.

Only a wonder save from Richard Hayward stopped Slough from registering before the interval, as the former Chesham United keeper scooped away Sonner’s touch from a left wing cross.

But despite their best efforts to try and get back into the game, Arlesey, hot on the heels of Hitchin in their quest to take the Central division title, were in no mood to let the three points slip from their grasp.

Arlesey's organisation with ten men was mightily impressive, as the visitors kept nine men behind the ball at all times, making it extremely difficult for Slough to break them down. Arlesey were reduced to playing on the break as Slough pinned them in deep into their own half, but the Rebels were unable to make any clear chances despite the one-way traffic.

Steve Bateman’s efforts to freshen up the attack with Ben Porter and Chris Herron replacing Swift and Sinclair bore no fruit as Arlesey grabbed a third with a classic sucker-punch on the break, Allinson keeping a cool head to place the ball across Fanner and into the far corner on 68 minutes, which looked to have put the result beyond doubt.

And so it proved to be, as Slough could only muster a Porter shot over the bar after a rare dropped catch from Hayward under pressure – and Arlesey recorded a hugely impressive three points after a gutsy performance in which Slough had plenty of the ball, but tested Hayward far too infrequently.

Arlesey Town Line up

Hayward, Gray, Perpetuini, N Leach, Brown (c), Allinson, Mason, Sinclair, Marsh, Hunt (Scanla), Goss (M Leach). Subs not used: Reynolds, Abbey, O'Brien.

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