The two sides came into the match in good recent form, and Slough were looking to bounce back immediately after the disappointment of a single-goal defeat at Redditch the previous Monday, which halted a run of five straight wins in all competitions.
The first half was an even contest with both having attempts cleared in the goalmouth in the opening 11 minutes. The ‘Lilywhites’ went close to taking the lead early on, but Paul Stonehouse was well-placed to clear in the goalmouth. Soon after, Guy Hollis had an effort similarly cleared from inside the six yard box with City ‘keeper Zak Barrett out of position having attempted to kick clear instead of use his hands. Hollis would later be forced off with an injury, Justin Clayton replacing him.
Barrett produced a fine instinctive save to turn over a fierce point-blank strike from Charlie Mpi to keep the scores level, and Mpi saw a header flash across goal and wide of the far post from Sean Fraser’s free kick delivery.
Barrett was on hand again on 33 minutes to make another good reaction save to spare the blushes of Ieuan Lewis, who almost headed into his own net. The visitors counter-attacked and could have taken the lead, but for a top save from Mark Scott to turn the ball behind.
After a fast start to the game, things settled down and City applied some pressure to the Slough goal; Dan Hicks made an important block as a deep cross was headed on, and Dan Kelly fired over the bar from 25 yards after showing quick feet to shift the ball onto his right foot.
Slough’s appeal for a penalty on 44 minutes was in vain, but the Rebels should really have taken the lead from the corner kick which resulted. Instead they were thwarted twice by blocks on the goal line. First Clayton was denied, and then a combination of Hicks and Mpi were unable to force the ball home.
The Rebels started the second half as they ended the first, and broke the deadlock within three minutes of the restart.
Warren Harris’ fierce strike at the near post was turned behind by Barrett, but City switched off from the corner and allowed Leigh Rumbold a free header, which he was able to place into the bottom corner past Charlie Day, who was covering the post. Rumbold wheeled away in celebration once he had realised the ball had hit the net, and he was able to enjoy his first Rebels goal.
The Lilywhites tried to respond, and Kelly’s dipping effort flew just over. City went on to have a good spell of possession, but struggled to pick their way through a Slough midfield superbly marshalled by the excellent Rumbold and Adrian Sear, and did not trouble Scott unduly.
Slough looked to utilise Mpi’s pace on the counter-attack, and used this to good effect with 68 minutes played. The home side advanced into the Cambridge City half and Mpi released Warren Harris, whose low cross was swept in by Charlie Strutton from around 12 yards – the on-loan striker’s third goal for the club.
And Slough made sure of the points on 78 minutes with a third goal. Putman again was the provider from a set-piece, this time a free kick near the touchline which he curled in deep to the back post. Clayton peeled away from his marker and turned the ball in from close range, with Barrett again helpless.
City continued to look for a way back into the match as the rain fell more heavily in the closing stages, and Josh Dawkin was denied by Scott before both Scott Harris and Warren Harris almost found a path to goal themselves.
The visitors finally got on the scoresheet in added time through Joel Norris; a late goal to deny Scott and his defence a clean sheet for the second weekend in a row, but it could not prevent Slough picking up another win, which lifts them to seventh place in the table.
Cambridge City Line up
Zak Barrett, Tom Pepper, Charlie Day, Duran Reynolds, Dan Gleeson (c), Ieuan Lewis, Alex Serrano, Jon Kaye, Michael Malcolm, Dan Kelly, Josh Dawkin. Subs: Andrew Phillips, Joel Norris, Fernando Garcia.