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The Vanarama National League South

Slough back into second after win at Chippenham

Chippenham Town

Chippenham Town

Slough Town

Slough Town

W Harris (45), Worsfold (47), Lench (74)
League Attendance: 627 Sean Fraser
Slough moved back into second place in National League South with an excellent win at Hardenhuish Park against bogey team Chippenham Town.

A much-changed Slough team came into the game hoping to break the curse against an in-form Chippenham side. With Ryan Bird in the centre of defence alongside Mark Nisbet, Sam Togwell was joined in centre midfield by new signing Aaron Kuhl. A recalled Francis Amartey led the line with Ben Harris supporting.

The first half was tough to watch with neither side offering much in the way of quality. However, Slough started positively as Amartey jinked his way through three defenders but couldn’t find a shot. George Wells was able to pick up the ball and find a shot from distance but it went over without troubling goalkeeper Will Puddy.

With little happening, unfortunately the next incident of note saw Aaron Kuhl forced off after just 25 minutes due to injury, to be replaced by Sean Fraser.

Five minutes later the crowd awoke in a moment of controversy. Ben Harris did well to win the ball off a defender but took too long to shoot giving the defender time to tackle him. However, Harris reacted quickly and regained the ball in the penalty area with the defender then sticking out a leg and tripping the striker. With the linesman indicating a penalty the referee overturned him and instead booked Ben Harris for a dive.

Chippenham had moments when they were able to get past the first defender but were sloppy and took too long to capitalise along the rest of the Slough defence to get back and prevent any kind of meaningful shot.

With the first half nearly over the Rebels very nearly took the lead. A low corner close to the goal line was missed by the near post runners and allowed George Wells an awkward header, leaning backwards, which bounced off the crossbar and away.

With two minutes of injury time shown, Max Worsfold chipped the ball between two defenders for Sean Fraser to run onto. Fraser, out on the left, picked out a dangerous cross which Warren Harris turned in at the back post after Ben Harris had been shoved over in the middle. An unexpected lead after a poor half gave the Rebels some confidence.

Slough started the second half with real purpose, pressing high and in numbers. Within two minutes Ben Harris had the ball and flicked it to Amartey, who looked up and saw Max Worsfold making a good run ahead of him. Taking one touch to knock the ball on, Worsfold hit an early shot from 25 yards low across goal beating Puddy and nestling in the net.

A few minutes later Sam Togwell won the ball up field and was able to play in Amartey, who could only be denied by a last second sliding block. From the corner, Ben Harris received the ball following a dummy by Mark Nisbet but could only produce a tame effort with the ball stuck under his feet. It was enough, though, to force Puddy to parry the ball into a crowded area with Amartey first to it, but again he saw his effort saved.

With Slough now ramping up the pressure and Amartey’s pace a threat on the break it looked like the Rebels would begin to walk away with it. Another corner was won, and this time George Wells connected with a thundering header but it was straight onto the crossbar, which was left rattling.

Whilst Chippenham did have some good possession in the second half they rarely did much with it. On 59 minutes Luke Haines tried his luck from 30 yards but his dipping attempt went straight into Jack Turner’s arms without the keeper needing to move.

Following his booking in the first half and a few altercations in the second, Ban Harris was replaced by Matt Lench on 60 minutes. Lench got into the action immediately, as a deep cross by Worsfold was headed back by Warren Harris for the midfielder, but his shot was wild and over.

On 71 minutes Sean Fraser won the ball on the half way line with Chippenham having committed men forward. He played in Amartey but the striker took too long waiting for the perfect shot and was pushed wide.

Minutes later, Slough essentially wrapped up the win. With Puddy under pressure from recent substitute Dan Roberts, he mishit a clearance straight to Lench, who brought the ball forward before finding space to shoot with the ball beating Puddy and hitting the inside of the post on its way into the net. Slough were now 3-0 up and looking comfortable.

Chippenham came closest to troubling the Slough goal on 85 minutes when substitute David Pratt headed the ball down to Elias Youseff, but he was quickly surrounded by Ryan Bird, Mark Nisbet and Sam Togwell, all of whom had defended excellently all game and were not prepared to give up their clean sheet.

In the final minute of the game Roberts got his first chance, but the ball squirmed away from him and his toe-poked effort should have been an easy save, but Puddy let it slip through his legs with a defender on hand to boot away.

When Slough visit Hardenhuish Park the result is usually a predictable one, 3-3. However, today Slough did their bit and were delighted when Chippenham didn’t do theirs, giving the Rebels their first win on the ground since 1946.

Report: Will Tuck

Chippenham Town Lineup

Will Puddy, Rhys Taylor, Jay Foulson, Chris Zebrowski, Will Richards, Tom Whelan (Elias Youseff 51), Callum Gunner, Luke Hopper, Curtis McDonald, Karnell Chambers (David Pratt 57), Luke Haines (Keiran Parselle 78). Unused substitutes: George Rigg, Nat Jarvis.


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