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Virgina Water (H)
Fri Jul 5

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Virgina Water (H)
Fri Jul 5 19:45
The Vanarama National League South

Scott penalty save ensures a point

Slough Town

Slough Town

Smith (pen 45+1), Mpi (73)
St Neots Town

St Neots Town

Frater (27), Galliford (63)
League Attendance: 280 Nathan Webb
Mark Scott's penalty save from Drew Roberts twelve minutes from time prevented visitors St Neots from taking all three points at a blustery Holloways Park.

Slough's Dan Hicks was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card 11 minutes in after appearing to foul Ryan Hawkins as he tried to run through on goal.

Scott made an acrobatic save from the resulting free kick as the visitors looked perhaps the more likely to make the breakthrough. The Saints then went close as a whipped cross to the back post was narrowly missed by Lee Clarke sliding in.

The first half was tight and scrappy with both sides creating chances, and on 22 minutes Slough's best move of the match to that point saw Nathan Webb loft a ball forward which Eddie Smith nodded down to Charlie Mpi, but Mpi lobbed the ball over both Andy Wilton and the crossbar.

Saints broke again and Isaac Galliford drew a good save from Scott, and shortly after, the visitors went closer still as Clarke's shot was blocked well at point blank range by a combination of Justin Clayton and Sean Fraser.

But Saints did manage to find the opening goal on 27 minutes, and it was a soft one to concede from Slough's point of view. Ryan Frater's flicked header from a corner took a deflection off a Rebels defender, and slipped in at the near post underneath Scott's body.

Smith's volleyed effort from around six yards was straight at Wilton, but after a sustained period of pressure, Slough equalised on the stroke of half time.

Mat Mitchel-King was penalised for handball as he rose to challenge Clayton in an aerial battle, and Smith smashed the resulting penalty past Wilton.

Slough continued to apply pressure early in the second half and looked to turn the game on its head. Lewis Putman sliced a shot well wide after a strong run, and Warren Harris elected to cross for Mpi instead of shoot, and the ball was blocked behind.

However St Neots regained the lead on 63 minutes. The Rebels' indecisiveness and failure to clear was punished by Galliford, who thumped the ball past Scott from a tight angle.

But Slough fought back again and ten minutes later, Putman's cross fell to Ryan Hope, who drilled in a shot from the edge of the box which was deflected by a St Neots defender and touched in by Mpi, the ball just evading the reach of Wilton.

More drama was to come just three minutes later as St Neots were awarded a spot kick of their own, when Hope brought Hawkins down just inside the box. In the arguments that followed, Hope was dismissed for shoving an opponent as tempers frayed. After all the commotion, Roberts stepped up, but saw his kick turned onto the crossbar superbly by Scott, and the ball fell behind for a corner.

Slough pressed for a winning goal in the closing stages, and Smith missed a golden chance to claim all three points as he blasted over after Putman's scuffed shot was fumbled.

The Rebels also had to defend a late series of set pieces from the visitors, but were able to claim a deserved point from this entertaining contest.

St Neots Town Lineup

Andy Wilton, Jamie Anton, Brett Longden, Mat Mitchel-King, Ryan Frater (c), Shane Blackett (Adam Tann), Lee Clarke, Ben Jones, Ryan Hawkins, Drew Roberts (Remy Gordon), Isaac Galliford. Subs not used: Guy Mailoncol, Daniel Hobbs, Christopher Lewis.


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