Festive cheer for the Rebels

Beaconsfield Town

Beaconsfield Town

Slough Town

Slough Town

Sinclair (19), Burnell (pen 35)
League Attendance: 416 Adam Martin
First half goals from Steve Sinclair and Danny Burnell helped Slough gain bragging rights over landlords and fellow title challengers Beaconsfield SYCOB and open up a four point gap at the top of the league - but the Rebels had to overcome the dismissal of Stuart Swift in the second half.

Slough went on to keep a clean sheet and win comfortably with ten men, and were helped on their way by James Warrington's late penalty save from Lee Barney.

With a large crowd still queuing to enter Holloways Park at 3pm, kick-off was delayed by eleven minutes. When the game eventually got underway, things started badly for Beaconsfield as left-back Craig Carby sustained a nasty-looking mouth injury after a collision in the penalty area, which required three minutes of treatment.

Slough somewhat surprisingly lined up with a back four as Steve Bateman looked to reduce the impact of SYCOB's potent attacking lineup. When the game eventually began to flow, Slough enjoyed much the better of the play and top scorer Dan Burnell went closest with ten minutes played, his dipping effort from 25 yards dropping just a yard wide of the post.

Dave Woozley saw a shot blocked from a Slough corner, but with 19 minutes played, the Rebels took a deserved lead in fortuitous circumstances, as Steve Sinclair's cross from the right deceived SYCOB goalkeeper Michael Power-Simpson and dropped into the goal via the far post.

James Warrington, the November player of the month, had very little to do throughout, but had to be alert to push a shot from Barney up and away - and Beaconsfield were dealt a further blow with 25 minutes played as experienced centre-back Nevin Saroya was forced off with an injury, to be replaced by former Slough winger Tyrone Sealey.

Former Maidenhead man Bradley Quamina went close for SYCOB, firing across and wide of Warrington's far post, but Slough continued to pose the greater threat, with a shot from Chris Seeby being blocked on the line.

Burnell was agonisingly close to registering a second goal, but he volleyed Paul Coyne's brilliant diagonal pass across Power-Simpson but just wide of the post.

However, Burnell had to wait just four more minutes to make his mark on the scoresheet, as Slough were awarded a penalty kick - referee Mark Mellor somewhat harshly adjudging Carby to have handled in the box. Burnell stepped up and made no mistake, sending Power-Simpson the wrong way with a low effort to register his 16th goal of the season.

Slough were now rampant and looked to have killed the game off with a third, but Burnell's sidefooted effort was ruled out for offside. Slough went close thrice more before the break, with Yiadom Yeboah superbly heading behind to deny Stuart Swift a certain goal at the back post, and Coyne almost scored direct from the corner, but Power-Simpson cleared with his feet on the line at his near post.

Moments later, Seeby went on a rampaging run at the heart of the SYCOB defence and produced a shot which Power-Simpson turned away.

Slough continued to dominate in the second half, with the formation nullifying SYCOB's pacy front line very effectively, and the Rebels were unlucky not to register another goal after a succession of corners, Alex Brown seeing a header deflected over.

But 13 minutes into the second period, Slough were reduced to ten men as Swift was dismissed, apparently for lashing out following a scuffle around 30 yards from the Slough goal.

Beaconsfield began to see more and more of the ball, but still Warrington was not seriously tested in what was becoming a feisty encounter.

However, half chances came and went at both ends, and SYCOB hit the top of Warrington's bar whilst Burnell headed a Sean Sonner cross over. Charlie Mpi, up against his former team-mates, was kept quiet throughout, but did manage to send a header goalwards, which came back off the bar and away to safety.

Slough kept the Beaconsfield threat down to a minimum, employing Sonner as an extra player in midfield to try to win the ball back, but with around ten minutes remaining, James Warrington conceded a penalty after committing a foul when facing a one-on-one. Lee Barney, SYCOB's top scorer, stepped up but could only fire his effort at the legs of the in-form goalkeeper, the ball rebounding away to safety and eventually being smashed well wide from the edge of the box, as the hopes of the hosts evaporated.

Beaconsfield Town Lineup

Power-Simpson, Grayley, Carby, Saroya, Yeboah, Burgess, Osubu, Page, Barney, Mpi, Quamina. Subs: Sheehan, Upward, Sealey, Oshitola, Saunders


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