Match day

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Braintree Town (H)
Sat Dec 7
15:00

Match day

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

Hat-trick for Burnell in Rebels rout

| League
Att: 234
Slough Town
Burgess (5), Burnell (pen 45, 52, 68), Swift (71), Smith (77)
6 - 1
Ashford Town (Middx)
Brown (88)
Danny Burnell
Dan Burnell scored a hat-trick after Ollie Burgess had blasted Slough into an early lead, as Steve Bateman's side cruised to an emphatic win over Middlesex neighbours Ashford Town, who were reduced to ten men in the second half.

Taking his place as a right wing-back in a 5-3-2 formation, it took just five minutes for Burgess to make the breakthrough, with a thunderbolt from the edge of the area which whistled past goalkeeper Kyle Merson, after Ed Smith had held the ball up for him.

Smith himself failed to get enough on an attempted lob soon after, and Ashford almost grabbed an equaliser when winger Samad Kazi won the ball from Nathan Bowden-Haase and played in Kofi Lockhart-Adams. He worked a gap to get in a strike, which James Warrington pushed behind.

Slough had a let-off when the tricky Kazi cut inside from the right wing and played a low ball with pace across the box. Alex Brown half-cleared the ball, but only to Dan Brown, whose shot beat Warrington, but was cleared off the line by Brown, who had stayed back to cover.

The game was end-to-end, and Smith produced a fine save from Merson before Ashford stalwart Russell Canderton cannoned a volley from a corner against a Slough defender.

Just before half-time though, Canderton tripped Smith in the box after a long pass from Burgess had given him a run on goal. With defenders covering, the decision was a yellow card for the Ashford skipper, but a penalty to Slough, which Burnell stepped up to dispatch confidently.

This gave Slough a two goal lead at half-time, despite the visitors being well in the game. But the third goal, coming just seven minutes into the second half, reduced the chances of a comeback even further. It came after Mark Bitmead had drilled the ball across the Slough box and inches away from Kazi. Slough then won a free kick which was played long into the box for Bowden-Haase, who nodded down for Burnell to cleverly skip around Merson’s challenge and claim his second goal.

Former Slough right-back Chris Robinson was dismissed for an ugly challenge on Danny Murphy as things went from bad worse for Ashford, whose frustration and indiscipline was borne out by five players also being cautioned over the 90 minutes.

Slough were ruthless for the remainder of the match, punishing the visitors for not taking their chances in the first half, and taking their own chances when they came.

Swift went inches wide with a free kick before Burnell scored his third on 68 minutes. David Deeney showed good skill to beat two players on the right and get in a cross which the in-form striker poked into the top corner at the second attempt having missed his initial shot – Burnell’s first hat-trick since April 2011.

Swift then added a fifth three minutes later, his strike from distance taking a heavy deflection and beating Merson.

By this stage, Slough were rampant and the Rebels punished Ashford further with a sixth goal on 77 minutes. Substitute Sean Sonner crossed in from the left and Smith showed good control and composure to lift the ball over Merson with two defenders close by - moving him into double figures for the season.

Slough could have grabbed a seventh through Ben Abbey, but Ashford pulled a goal back with two minutes remaining, Dan Brown taking the ball down well and finishing past Warrington on the turn.

Ashford Town (Middx) Line up

Kyle Merson, Chris Robinson, Ed Thomas, Russell Canderton (c), Jim Mann, Scott Weight, Mark Bitmead, Harry Knock, Dan Brown, Kofi Lockhart-Adams, Samad Kazi. Subs: Joe Bennett, Jack Mullan, Alex Duffy, Rob Curtis, Jobab Fuller.

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