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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

Slough defeat leaders and close gap to four points

| League
Att: 1307
Slough Town
B Harris (pen 26), Worsfold (88)
2 - 1
Efete (90+2)
Matthew Lench
There was Boxing Day delight for the Rebels at Arbour Park as goals from Ben Harris and Max Worsfold helped them to all three points against league leaders Wealdstone.

Slough went into the match seven points behind the Middlesex side in second place, and having not played for 19 days – but there was no sign of rustiness as the Rebels secured a deserved victory in front of a crowd of over 1,300 and closed the gap at the top of the league.

The Rebels will now look to Saturday’s match at Hemel Hempstead Town as another opportunity to pick up maximum points ahead of the return match at Wealdstone on New Year’s Day.

Early on, Slough forced a series of corner kicks, and Ben Harris flicked a header across goal and wide.

Slough threatened again moments later when Worsfold’s teasing cross was defended brilliantly by Connor Stevens, and goalkeeper Harvey Isted did well to punch away a dangerous corner delivery from Matty Lench.

Wealdstone’s first dangerous attack saw Dennon Lewis advance into the box on the left. He tried to find Ross Lafayette in the middle, but after his cross was blocked, he tried a shot from a narrow angle which was deflected wide.

Stevens was cautioned for a foul on George Wells with almost a quarter of an hour played, but Ben Harris’s free kick was an easy save for Isted.

Six minutes later, Sean Fraser was booked for a foul just outside the box, and Ashley Charles could only fire into the side-netting from the resulting free kick.

Then, on 25 minutes Ben Harris was tripped in the box by William Edjenguélé, allowing the striker the chance to step up and blast the ball straight down the middle of the goal past Isted, who did manage to get a touch to it but could not prevent Slough from taking the lead.

Minutes later, Jack Turner was called upon to make a top save low to his left to deny Wealdstone top scorer Lafayette.

Slough were agonisingly close to creating a second goal towards the end of the half; first, Lench’s final pass just eluded Lee Togwell, and then seconds later Worsfold played a low ball across goal, but Wells could not sort his feet out and the chance was lost.

Ryan Bird also headed wide from a corner as Slough looked to extend their advantage.

The home side took their lead into the break, but were dealt a blow as Ben Harris was forced to sit out the second half with an injury – he was replaced by Francis Amartey.

Charles half-volleyed wide early in the second half as Wealdstone probed and looked for an equaliser, with Turner again required to get down quickly to gather the ball at the feet of a striker.

Chances were few and far between, with Wells firing a free kick well over the bar and Lench going close on 73 minutes when he smashed a volley narrowly over the bar.

Amartey’s pace almost led to a second Rebels goal with ten minutes remaining. He powered his way into the box and forced a save from Isted, who kept the ball out with a leg. Lench, following up, was denied a goal against his former club by a good block.

With two minutes left, Slough found the second goal they hoped would kill the game off. Amartey controlled the ball after substitute Guy Holis had sent in a long throw and held it up before laying it into the path of Worsfold, who produced a superb side-footed finish from the edge of the box which gave Isted no chance.

But there was to be one final twist in stoppage time. As the Stones pushed to reduce the deficit, defender Michee Efete pounced in the box to slot home past Turner and score what proved to be a consolation goal for the visitors.

View and purchase photos by Official Club Photographer Philip Benton

Wealdstone Line up

Harvey Isted, Michee Efete, William Edjenguélé, Billy Clifford (Jack Jebb 68), Connor Stevens, Jerome Okimo (c) (Daniel Green 33), Michael Phillips, Jacob Mendy, Ross Lafayette, Ashley Charles (Adam Coombes 61), Dennon Lewis. Unused substitutes: Dejon Noel-Williams, Lewis Everett.

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