Boxing Day delight for Rebels at Wealdstone

| League
Att: 1059
Wealdstone
0 - 3
Slough Town
B Harris (pen 11), Nisbet (16), Hollis (54)
Mark Nisbet
Slough Town made it back-to-back National League South victories in convincing fashion on Boxing Day, with Ben Harris, Mark Nisbet and Guy Hollis all on target at Wealdstone.

The win provides more Christmas cheer for the Rebels, who move up two places to 12th in the table ahead of another away match at Dulwich on Saturday, and was achieved without both James Dobson and Warren Harris, who were unused substitutes as Slough went into the match with a narrower formation.

Slough made the breakthrough on 11 minutes as Ben Harris stepped up to convert a penalty which he had won for his side. Scott Davies’ free kick was headed clear by Jake Sheppard only as far as Harris, and the Rebels striker was too quick for the defender as he turned past him, only to be felled by a trailing leg. Referee Jack Packman immediately pointed to the spot and Harris confidently sent Jonathan North the wrong way with his kick.

Former Rebels midfielder Matthew Lench was in the Wealdstone starting line-up and his challenge on Lee Togwell provoked a strong reaction from the visitors soon after. Lench was shown a yellow card but was perhaps fortunate not to be dismissed as the tackle looked to be over the top of the ball.

Slough doubled their lead with just a quarter of an hour played. Davies’ corner kick was headed back across goal by Hollis, where Nisbet was on hand to touch the ball home – a fantastic start for the visitors and one which they fully deserved.

Fully in control, Slough went in search of further goals and Harris was close to providing one as he battled his way through the ‘Stones’ defence only to see his cross evade everyone in the penalty area.

Jack Turner was tested for the first time in the 25th minute as he made a fingertip save to deny Lench, whose fierce drive was tipped over.

Just a couple of minutes later, Chris Flood went close to scoring his side’s third but North pulled off a fantastic save to push his volley behind.

Slough looked by far the more likely to score the next goal, and Flood was again denied by North, whilst another Davies corner caused havoc in the Wealdstone box, with the ball eventually being hacked away.

As half time approached, Josh Jackman’s throw-in resulted in a chance for Lee Togwell but his strike was blocked. At the other end, Wealdstone’s Alexander Samizadeh was almost presented with a sight of goal by a poor defensive header, but Nisbet got back to cover.

Early in the second half Slough introduced Manny Williams in place of Ben Harris – who had been cautioned in the first period after a robust challenge on Lench – and almost immediately Slough scored their third, which killed the game off as a contest.

More strong attacking play resulted in another corner which Wealdstone failed to defend. This time, Guy Hollis rose above his marker and powered a header low into the corner past an unsighted North.

Having threatened rarely in the match, Wealdstone started to create some chances. First, substitute Pawel Kowalkowski played a low ball across goal which really should have been finished by one of two Wealdstone players sliding in. A minute later, the hosts managed a shot on target as Jeffrey Monakaka cut inside from the left, but his 25-yard effort was easily held by Turner.

Williams was close to getting in on the act for Slough, but Lench got back to tackle just in time after Davies and Flood had combined superbly to create the chance.

Lench himself had a fantastic chance to pull one back as Wealdstone broke quickly and played him one-on-one with Turner, but the Slough keeper blocked with his legs.

Samizadeh was similarly denied by Turner, who was in no mood to let a clean sheet slip through his grasp, and in the end, it was Slough who almost had the last word but North got down well to save substitute Louie Soares’ strike.

Wealdstone Line up

Jonathan North, Jake Sheppard, Ramarni Medford-Smith, Connor Stevens, Jerome Okimo (c), Godfrey Poku, Matthew Lench, Alexander Samizadeh, David Pratt, Daniel Green, Jeffrey Monakana. Substitutes: Glenn Wilson, Bradley Hudson-Odoi, Christian Smith, Ogo Obi, Pawel Kowalkowski.

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