This was a pulsating encounter which flowed from end to end, and was only settled two minutes from time as Slough broke clear and took a two-goal lead after United had committed every single player forward to attack a series of corner kicks as they sought a dramatic equaliser.
It was perhaps no surprise that plenty of goals would be on the menu, as the reverse fixture back in October ended in a 3-3 draw after Slough had led 3-1. In the opening minute, Dave Woozley’s headed effort came back off the crossbar as Slough attacked down the left through Wheeler.
Jamie McClurg gave the Rebels the lead with 11 minutes played, coolly finishing from six yards after Scott Harris had worked hard to give Ed Smith the chance to pull the ball back. But within two minutes the Ducks were level through Stacey Field, who finished off after Jake Somerville lost the flight of a cross from Keith Williams and failed to get enough on his attempted punch.
United then almost took the lead with Ben Baines’s ball being chested back by Jason Blackett to winger Zack Reynolds, whose fierce drive from the edge of the box flew just over.
Darren Wheeler spurned a great chance to score as Jack Sillitoe blocked his shot, but with 20 minutes played, Scott Harris put Slough back ahead. Harris latched on to Ryan Parsons’ ball forward and shrugged off the attention of defender Bill Morgan, before bringing the ball into the box and slotting past Sillitoe.
The Rebels this lead into the half-time interval, but both sides had chances to score in an action-packed first half. After a sustained spell of pressure, in which Slough played some great football, the hosts had a number of shots blocked. Warren Harris and Ed Smith in particular linked up superbly and the former was unlucky on two occasions to fire off-target.
Aylesbury, meanwhile, had chances of their own, mainly through Field, who was a real handful all afternoon. Slough were thankful for a last-ditch challenge from Parsons, who came across to block when the striker looked certain to score. Another Ducks attack saw Jack Wood find Field with a long pass, and this time the striker brought the ball inside the box but blasted well wide in the 37th minute.
Field threatened again early in the second half, firing over the bar after neat build-up play, and then Slough broke at pace, with Warren Harris seeing a shot saved by Sillitoe’s legs.
Five minutes into the second half, Jason Blackett equalised. The goal was well worked, with Baines heading the ball back across goal at the far post for strike partner Blackett to tuck the ball past Somerville from close range.
For the first time in the game, Slough’s tempo looked to have dropped, and United looked the more likely to grab the next goal.
The introduction of Johnnie Dyer to replace the hard-working Scott Harris paid instant dividends though, as his second touch of the ball was to poke the ball past Sillitoe and into the back of the net as he ran on to Smith’s flicked header. Smith was certainly in the thick of the action all afternoon, being involved in four of the Slough goals.
The momentum was now firmly with the Rebels, and Dyer missed a glorious chance to score again, but he headed over the bar as he stooped to meet Wheeler’s whipped cross.
United made a triple substitution in an attempt to save the game, but Slough went two goals ahead just a minute or so later, after more superb work from Warren Harris. He took the ball to the by-line after Slough had played a free kick into the box, and he played the ball across the face of goal for Smith to tap in with 12 minutes left.
Still, United weren't finished, and a free kick 30 yards out looked to hold little threat for Slough until Keith Williams stepped up to drill in a low shot which flew straight through a crowd of bodies and nestle in the bottom corner of Somerville’s goal.
A nervy finish was ensured, and when Aylesbury won a late corner three minutes from time, every player, including Sillitoe, joined the attack. Sillitoe, with others, launched themselves at the ball but Slough managed to clear their lines eventually, finding Smith, who was then one-on-one with left-back Williams. Smith calmly beat his man and rolled the ball into an empty goal from distance, with Sillitoe stranded upfield, to finally seal the three points just a minute after the Ducks had threatened to make it 4-4.
The win moves Slough back into third place, albeit with many sides below them having a significant number of games in hand due to postponements.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Jake Somerville
- 2 Sean Fraser
- 3 Ryan Parsons
- 4 David Woozley
- 5 Adam Foulser
- 6 Leigh Rumbold
- 7 Scott Harris 18
- 8 Jamie McClurg 14
- 9 Edward Smith
- 10 Darren Wheeler 15
- 11 Warren Harris
Aylesbury United Line up
Jack SILLITOE, Steve HATCH, Keith WILLIAMS, Jack WOOD (c), Bill MORGAN, Liam SMYTH, Ben BAINES (Joey ACHEAMPONG, 76), Greg WILLIAMS, Jason BLACKETT (Dom PETRUCCI, 76), Stacey FIELD, Zack REYNOLDS (Paul EDGEWORTH, 76). Subs not used: Daniel JONES, Lee GRACE.