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The Vanarama National League South

Harris goal rescues point for Slough at Stratford

Stratford Town

Stratford Town

Thompson-Brown (2)
Slough Town

Slough Town

S Harris (90+5)
League Attendance: 308 Sean Fraser
A goal from Scott Harris deep into added time at the end of the second half ensured Slough left William Shakespeare’s birthplace with a well-deserved point.

Slough dominated the second half after falling behind very early on in the match, and Stratford, superbly led by Marcel Simpson and Liam Francis at the back, were eventually powerless to prevent Slough grabbing an equaliser when Harris poked home a late Callum Webb corner.

After a poor defensive display and result at Biggleswade on Tuesday night, Slough got off to the worst possible start, conceding the opening goal after two minutes. With the first attack of the match, Joe Halsall’s initial strike was well kept out by Mark Scott after the midfielder had been allowed to run at the heart of the defence, but the ball fell invitingly to Rob Thompson-Brown, who coolly volleyed in the rebound.

Minutes later, with Slough still shell-shocked and the hosts looking for a third straight win, Scott had to be alert to get down and turn behind a good strike from full-back Aaron Stringfellow.

On 17 minutes, Stratford fashioned another chance which Scott again did well to save. Simpson knocked down a cross for fellow centre-back Francis, who controlled and fired a volley at goal in one motion, but Scott was equal to the effort.

After a frenetic start, Slough settled down and started to work the ball out wide to Sean Fraser and Lewis Putman, but aside from a Putman effort from 20 yards which the keeper held easily, the Rebels did not really test Stratford’s Andy Kemp, and the hosts always looked a threat on the counter-attack, with Dior Angus putting a shot wide.

Slough’s best effort came on 35 minutes when Warren Harris put an opportunistic headed effort just wide from a deflected Fraser cross.

Stratford, though, could have doubled their lead minutes before the interval, but Edwin Ahenkorah’s scuffed effort rebounded wide off the outside of the post.

Whilst Stratford had the better of the first half, Slough started the second the better side and Putman flashed a volley well wide in the early minutes.

On 64 minutes, Warren Harris hooked an acrobatic effort over the bar from ten yards out after Scott Harris’ effort was blocked, and the Rebels looked as if they might leave frustrated three minutes later when Scott Harris headed a difficult chance over from Guy Hollis’ long throw.

Stratford were now only threatening on the counter-attack, and Halsall almost found the net with a looping header from a deep cross from Aaron Moses-Garvey, but it dropped wide.

Nathan Webb blasted a shot over from the edge of the box as Slough’s efforts became ever more desperate, but again Kemp was not tested in the Stratford goal.

Slough introduced Callum Webb, who gave the Rebels a wide option, and also risked Jake Parsons, but the winger lasted only a few minutes before himself having to be replaced by Gurkan Gokmen.

Stratford continued to be satisfied with winding down the clock and trying to hit Slough on the break – and in the final moments, almost killed the game off as Angus was put one-on-one with Scott, but the Slough stopper stood up well to block the shot.

Seconds later, in the fifth minute of time added on, Slough won a corner and Scott ventured forwards to make a nuisance of himself. He almost made contact with the ball whilst being wrestled to the ground by Scott Hadland, but in the mayhem which ensued in the six yard box, Scott Harris got the telling touch to spark celebrations from the sizeable travelling support and ensure Slough left with a deserved point.

Stratford Town Lineup

Andy Kemp, Gary Moran (c), Aaron Stringfellow, Marcel Simpson, Liam Francis, Scott Hadland, Aaron Moses-Garvey (Simeon Tulloch), Joe Halsall, Dior Angus, Edwin Ahenkorah (Tyrone Fagan), Rob Thompson-Brown (Kevin Charley). Subs not used: Alex Price, Emmit Delfouneso.


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