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Flackwell Heath (A)
Sat Sep 21
15:00

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Flackwell Heath (A)
Sat Sep 21 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
8th
18pts

Worsfold hits first Rebels goal in win over Hemel

| League
Att: 713
Slough Town
W Harris (25), Worsfold (41)
2 - 0
Hemel Hempstead Town
Matthew Lench
As Rebels joint manager Neil Baker prepared to celebrate his 40th birthday on Wednesday, his side put the icing on the cake with this win over Hemel Hempstead Town.

There was just one change for the Rebels from the weekend, as Mark Nisbet slotted back into the back four following an absence due to medical problems – and the experienced defender did not put a foot wrong on his return.

Both teams started the game brightly but it was the visitors who had the first chances of the match. After controlling the loose ball in the box, Isaac Galliford produced a good save from Jack Turner.

Not long after, Mo Bettamer forced another save from Turner with the Slough defence on hand to block the rebound and then clear.

Despite playing some excellent football in the first half it took the Rebels 15 minutes to create their first chance of note. A deep corner was missed by goalkeeper Danny Boness but Nisbet was unable to guide his header on target.

Nisbet was involved again a minute later, winning the ball back on the halfway line before driving forward and finding Warren Harris in space to shoot. The shot was blocked, but fell to Matt Lench whose effort flew well clear of the goal.

George Wells tried his luck from 25 yards following another fine passing move, shortly before a dangerous cross from Lench caused confusion in the Hemel defence as they cleared for a corner.

But on 25 minutes the Rebels took a deserved lead. Dan Roberts showed his never-say-die attitude as he battled against Craig Braham-Barrett to keep the ball on the pitch as he drove down the left touchline. Once he was past the defender, he found a short pass to Max Worsfold, who in turn kept the ball moving to Wells, who then found Warren Harris in space to shoot and he duly beat Boness for a truly brilliant team goal.

Slough continued their passing play, pulling Hemel around the pitch with the visitors unable to get close. With the visitors on the ropes, Roberts nearly doubled the score but his effort was headed away with it destined for the top corner.

On 41 minutes Slough did double their lead. More passing and moving found space for Worsfold on the right hand side to open up his body and curl the ball past Boness and into the net for his first Rebels goal. The two-goal lead was nothing more than the Rebels deserved as they had played some magnificent football in the opening 45 minutes.

One final chance came the Rebels’ way before the half time whistle, but Lee Togwell couldn’t stretch far enough to get on the end of Josh Jackman’s low cross.

Hemel were forced into a substitution late in the first half with Bettamer replaced by Liam Nash. The visitors then made a second change at half-time with Isaac Galliford replaced by Alex Wall.

Slough weren’t as expansive in their play in the second half as they were in the first, but still continued to create chances. Warren Harris saw his header go just wide early on.

Hemel nearly snuck an early second half goal when some alert thinking, taking a free kick quickly to find Ricardo German through one-on-one, but Turner denied him with his feet.

A few minutes later a deep cross from Worsfold was nearly turned into his own net by Jake Howells, but the defender breathed a sigh of relief as the ball went into the side netting. Not long later Lench tried his luck from distance but it went wide of the target.

On 63 minutes Hemel had a chance through captain Connor Essam, but his attempt was sliced over from close range.

The visitors could have been down to ten men following a late tackle on Jack Turner in the 69th minute. With the goalkeeper well out of his box, German was late with a two-footed challenge. Referee Phillip Steynings settled on a yellow card, but the striker was soon replaced by Jack Midson.

At the same time Slough made a double substitution of their own with Roberts and Nisbet replaced by Ben Harris and Simon Dunn. It was an excellent performance from Nisbet on his first start following recent medical problems.

A dangerous corner from Hemel wasn’t capitalised on as the ball went through the crowd of players untouched. A second corner not long later was headed onto the crossbar, the closest Hemel came to scoring.

On 80 minutes Slough felt they were denied an obvious penalty as Josh Jackman was brought down twice in the box, but the referee waved play on.

The final chance of the match came to Warren Harris who was played through wide on the left hand side of the box. Opening his body to curl the ball, his shot was blocked by Howells and the winger was unable to score from the rebound when off balance.

It was a magnificent performance from the Rebels which earned them their first clean sheet of the season and further progress up the National League South table with a sixth match unbeaten.

Report: Will Tuck
Image: Philip Benton

Hemel Hempstead Town Line up

Danny Boness, Jake Howells, Craig Braham-Barrett, Dan Phillips, Connor Essam (c), Jacques Kpohomouh, Isaac Galliford (Alex Wall 45), Luke Howell, Ricardo German (Jack Midson 73), Sam Ashford, Mo Bettamer (Liam Nash 41). Unused substitutes: Munashe Sundie, Tosan Popo.

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