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Oxford City (A)
Sat Apr 20
15:00

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Oxford City (A)
Sat Apr 20 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
11th
58pts

Rebels frustrated by second half Chippenham fightback

| League
Att: 605
Slough Town
W Harris (23), Flood (37)
2 - 2
Chippenham Town
Evans (55), Jarvis (76)
Chris Flood
Warren Harris and Chris Flood gave Slough a two-goal lead at Arbour Park, but visitors Chippenham responded positively in the second half, pulling level and taking a point back to Wiltshire.

For Slough this game was the first after the one-year anniversary of the passing of club legend "Super Kev” McGoldrick, who had served the Rebels for 32 years, and the Slough faithful marked the occasion with a round of applause in the 32nd minute of this contest.

The match also saw Jack Turner making his 100th appearance for Slough, the goalkeeper having not missed a single minute since joining the club in August 2017.

As in recent weeks, Slough got off to a strong start and could have been a goal up within a minute. Early pressure saw the hosts awarded a corner. Scott Davies whipped the ball in with Bluebirds goalkeeper Will Puddy seeing the ball slip between his hands. After a blocked shot, Sam Togwell headed the ball towards goal but this time Puddy made no mistake and held onto it.

The next ten minutes saw the Rebels make most of their possession, with Harris having a few chances - but was never in a position to properly test Puddy.

On 20 minutes Slough kept the ball in Chippenham’s final third for several minutes, forcing the visitors into multiple blocks. First Louie Soares had an effort blocked, having been played in by Josh Jackman. Then George Wells, Harris, Lee Togwell and Simon Dunn all had their shots blocked inside the box.

Eventually the ball fell kindly for Slough and they took the lead. Dunn chipped the ball towards the back post where Soares brought it down well, beating a defender in the process. Soares picked his head up and calmly found Harris on the edge of the six yard box to tap in.

The Rebels continued to push forward, looking for a second. A free kick from Davies and a long range shot from Jackman forced Puddy into more saves.

The pressure paid dividends on 37 minutes as Slough doubled their lead. Davies put in a corner which was cleared only to the edge of the box, where the onrushing Wells mishit a shot before having a second try. The ball popped up to Chris Flood, who took a touch on his thigh before hooking his left foot around the ball to volley it into the top corner – a superb strike.

Chippenham made a double substitution at half time in an effort to change their fortunes, but the second half nearly got off to a perfect start from a Slough point of view. Within the first minute, Jackman crossed in for Flood but he couldn’t get a strong enough touch to push the ball past Puddy.

On 50 minutes the Rebels should really have been three goals to the good. Davies sent a speculative ball forward. Soares gambled and tried to get there ahead of Puddy, but both players missed the ball. Dunn was able to gather but when he turned towards goal he couldn’t direct his shot on target, with only a defender on the line.

Three minutes later Slough went close once again, though this time by luck rather than judgement. Jackman looped in a cross but got too much on it, nearly deceiving Puddy - the ball went over his head but bounced back off of the crossbar. From the rebound Lee Togwell saw his shot blocked by Puddy from a narrow angle.

However, on 55 minutes Chippenham scored the next goal of the game. A corner was not dealt with by Slough and the ball fell to Dean Evans inside the box, who found a gap to squeeze the ball into the net. The goal came completely against the run of play and took the wind out of Slough, whilst also giving the visitors belief they could still get something out of the match.

In response, almost straight from kick-off, Slough took the ball into the Chippenham box and Flood saw a volley saved. But then on the counter-attack Jack Turner was called upon to rush out and block ahead of Nat Jarvis.

The majority of the play was still with Slough as Wells and Flood both had chances. However on 76 minutes Chippenham fashioned an equaliser.

Chippenham brought the ball down the right before a low cross to George Rigg resulted in his shot being blocked and falling to Jarvis, who hit the ball into the ground and over Turner to level the scores, with Slough’s appeals for offside all in vain.

Slough had one last chance to regain the lead and take all three points, but substitute Manny Williams couldn’t keep his shot down as the ball was crossed slightly behind him.

The Rebels will be left to rue missed chances and look forward to a trip to Somerset to play Weston-super-Mare next Saturday.

Report: Will Tuck

Chippenham Town Line up

Will Puddy, George Rigg, Will Richards, Tariq Ossai (Callum Gunner 45), Nat Jarvis, Jack Compton (Nick McCootie 45) (Curtis McDonald 67), James Guthrie, Kieran Parsellie, Dean Evans, Karnell Chambers, Josh Smile. Unused substitutes: Michael Jones, Harry Rutty.

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