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Hemel Hempstead Town (A)
Sat Apr 1

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Hemel Hempstead Town (A)
Sat Apr 1 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Rebels denied by resilient Stratford

| League
Att: 336
Slough Town
0 - 0
Stratford Town
Sean Fraser
Slough were left frustrated on Tuesday evening as Stratford Town defended resiliently and left Holloways Park with a hard-fought point.

The first half was low on excitement and goalmouth action. Slough had the better of it, but failed to really test Niall Cooper in the Stratford goal and often rushed their attacks, failing to convert build-up play into efforts at goal.

Charlie Moone saw an effort easily saved by Cooper after he was set up by Paul Stonehouse, and then more intricate play around the box led to James Dobson wriggling into the penalty area, only to see his shot blocked by Daniel Summerfield.

The visitors appealed for a penalty in vain on 24 minutes and went on to have the better of the play for the remainder of the half, without giving Mark Scott any work to do.

Slough stood firm early in the second half with Kieren Westwood’s shot blocked in the goalmouth, and the Rebels then had their clearest chances as both Warren Harris and then Dobson saw shot desperately cleared in the Stratford six yard box.

Lee Barney bent a shot straight into the gloves of Cooper as the home side looked by far the more likely team to break the deadlock. Scott made his first good save with 68 minutes on the clock as he dived to his left to hold a snapshot from Barry Fitzharris, and Scott again was in the right place to save Jamie Sheldon’s shot following a strong run from Edwin Ahenkorah.

Slough made changes to freshen up their attacking threat, with Lewis Putman and Gavin James entering the fray, but Stratford’s back five sat deeper and deeper as the Rebels tried to break them down.

Harris poked the ball into the side netting after a blocked clearance fell to him, and Simon Dunn’s fierce goalbound drive from the edge of the box was blocked heroically.

Slough had one final chance as the match entered stoppage time with Putman lining up a free kick 20 yards out, but the ball hit the angle of post and bar and bounced away to safety and the Rebels were forced to settle for just a point.

Stratford Town Line up

Niall Cooper, Daniel Summerfield, Kieren Westwood, Guy Clark, Liam Francis, Emmett Delfouneso, Trey Braithwaite, Will Grocott, Richard Gregory (c), Edwin Ahenkorah, Warren Brooks. Subs: Jamie Sheldon, Barry Fitzharris, Charlie Evans.

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