This was the first meeting with Steve Bateman’s side since he departed the club last summer, with this match having been postponed twice. Five former Slough players were in the squad, with Sam Bateman, Jerome Anderson, Adam Logie and Sean Sonner all starting, whilst assistant manager Steve Perkins took a place on the bench.
The Holloways Park pitch looked in remarkably good condition considering recent heavy rain, and both sides traded punches in the early stages, with Darren Wheeler firing a free kick a foot over the bar. In response, the pacy Anderson made inroads down the left before firing in a low cross which Jake Somerville gathered comfortably.
With strong wind a major factor, Darren Wheeler almost caught Aylesbury keeper James Weatherill out with a dipping cross, but the keeper got back to push the ball over. Weatherill looked rather unsure on a number of occasions, and almost presented Ed Smith with a clear chance when he dropped the ball under pressure from Adam Cornell, but recovered well.
Slough looked the more likely to draw first blood, and Warren Harris almost did when he controlled a long pass and touched it past Weatherill, but the keeper swiped the ball away, eventually falling to the feet of Jamie McClurg, who produced a low save from the stopper.
Not long after, Harris did get his goal. The in-form winger, who got into good positions all evening, picked up a pass from Jamie McClurg after a strong run from Smith, and angled a lofted finish past Weatherill for his 11th goal of the season.
Slough had chances to extend their lead, with Cornell blasting well wide and Wheeler seeing a chipped effort easily saved. For the visitors, Sonner looked lively and the most likely to score, but struggled to test the Slough stopper, only managing to fire well wide after picking up a Bradley Wadkins through ball, and later to direct a difficult header from Lamar Simpson’s cross off target, in the first half. Aylesbury looked short of match sharpness, as might be expected, as the Moles had not played a league game for over a month.
The Rebels started the second period at a fast pace, committing men forward and winning a number of corner kicks early on. From one, Leigh Rumbold saw a header cleared off the line by Tom Cutts. Aylesbury responded through the energetic Sam Bateman, who sliced a shot well wide.
Driving rain added to the task at hand for both sides, with Slough having a clear wind advantage – Weatherill struggling to get any distance on his kicks on many occasions. Slough came within inches of doubling their lead when Wheeler played a superb low ball across the face of goal, but neither Smith nor substitute Scott Harris could make contact to touch the ball in.
Slough mounted attack after attack and penned the visitors back in their half, but Aylesbury defended resolutely. With the ball not falling to the Rebels strikers in the box, Aylesbury battled on and Sam Bateman again had an attempt saved, this time an attempted chip over Somerville. Wadkins went closer, forcing Somerville to tip a fierce cross-shot over the bar after a clumsy foul by substitute George Short.
Ed Smith, who had a frustrating night, fired just wide from a good position after Dave Woozley nodded the ball on, before being replaced by Jake Parsons as Warren Harris was pushed into a central position.
And with five minutes left, Warren Harris reacted quickly to a poor goal kick from Weatherill, running clear of the Aylesbury defenders and beating the keeper with a low strike into the bottom corner, to finally seal all three points.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Jake Somerville
- 2 Sean Fraser
- 3 Ryan Parsons
- 4 David Woozley
- 5 Adam Foulser
- 6 Leigh Rumbold 12
- 7 Adam Cornell 16
- 8 Jamie McClurg
- 9 Edward Smith 15
- 10 Darren Wheeler
- 11 Warren Harris
Aylesbury Line up
James Weatherill, Lamar Simpson, Connor Baker, Sam Bateman, Ben Stevens (c), Tom Cutts, Jerome Anderson, Adam Logie, Bradley Watkins, Sean Sonner, Gareth Price. Subs: Kevin Mealor, Steve Perkins, Ben Bateman, Ollie Hogg.