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Ebbsfleet United (H)
Sat Mar 25

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Ebbsfleet United (H)
Sat Mar 25 12:30
The Vanarama National League South

Slough slip to shock home defeat against Hungerford

| League
Att: 885
Slough Town
0 - 2
Hungerford Town
Artwell (8), Rusby (47)
Josh Jackman
Slough Town’s playoff hopes were dealt a blow with a shock home defeat by bottom side Hungerford.

Despite the two teams being at opposite ends of the table it was hard to tell which way round they were, with Hungerford worthy of their 2-0 win after a very poor showing from Slough.

Hungerford drew two fine saves from Jack Turner in the opening minutes, first through Zidan Akers and then Oliver Artwell. However, they wouldn’t be denied long as the visitors took the lead on eight minutes.

A ball over the Slough defence saw Turner rush out of his goal to clear, but he was beaten to the ball by Akers who then jinked his way past a slide tackle before generously passing to Artwell for a tap-in.

It took a while for the Rebels to get into the game with the first chance of note coming on 23 minutes. A corner was played out to Jackman on the edge of the box, he set himself before shooting low. The rebound fell to George Wells and then Warren Harris, whose attempt was put out for a corner. That corner brought another great chance when Mark Nisbet volleyed the ball back into the box for Sam Togwell to head from inside the six yard box, but he was unable to get a clean connection as the ball went across goal.

A few minutes later a free kick was headed up rather than away by Hungerford allowing Nisbet a chance. His header was weak but nearly deceived goalkeeper Will Henry when Wells ducked out of the way.

One final chance came for Slough at the end of the half when Warren Harris won his flick on with the ball going high in the air. Lee Togwell managed to beat the keeper to the header, but unfortunately the ball ran wide of the goal.

At half time the Rebels made a change with a bruised Lee Togwell being replaced by Ben Harris, giving Slough two strikers.

However, Hungerford soon doubled their lead. A corner to the back post was headed onto the crossbar by an unmarked Mike Jones, but James Rusby rose highest and headed the rebound in from close range.

Ben Harris brought strength and more intensity to the Slough front line and after good interplay with Wells and Max Worsfold, he delivered a fine cross to the back post. Warren Harris was able to cushion the ball into Jackman’s path, but the full back was unable to control his shot which went over the bar.

A minute later came a carbon copy of the previous play, this time Ben Harris having the shot which was blocked with Dan Roberts unable to turn a shot towards goal.

On 53 minutes, Hungerford had a great chance to make it 3-0. Guy Hollis misread the flight of the ball and let Akers in behind – but Turner came rushing out making himself big and preventing a goal with a magnificent save.

Slough chances were now starting to dry up, though the occasional good piece of play created moments of hope.

Dan Roberts and Matt Lench combined down the right to give Lench a chance, but from a narrow angle he was unable to beat Henry at his near post. Warren Harris headed wide from the resulting corner.

Just after the 70 minute mark, Slough brought on Manny Williams for Wells and went to a 3-4-3 formation in an attempt to get something from the game.

With ten minutes left, Slough created probably their best chance all match. Worsfold’s corner was headed back by Warren Harris perfectly for Dan Roberts. However, he only glanced the ball from five yards out when he looked certain to score. After three fine headed goals last weekend it seemed the Rebels had used up all their luck as they really struggled in the air.

With frustration growing, a few players began taking shots from distance. Lench came close on one occasion with his shot taking a small deflection, but Henry was just able to palm it onto the post with the ball kindly coming back into his arms.

The five minutes of added time ended up being nearly ten as further stoppages kept the clock ticking. One final chance came Slough’s way - a long throw was headed out to Scott Davies, giving him a chance to shoot but with his effort going wide, Jackman was able to slow it down for Williams. Unfortunately, Manny was unable to get a shot off as the ball spun away from him.

In the end this was a deserved win for Hungerford who threatened the goal far more than Slough, who looked lethargic after three tough away games.

Report: Will Tuck
Image: Aaron Walster

Hungerford Town Line up

Will Henry, Matt Berry-Hargreaves (Louis McGrory 21), Joe Tomlinson (c), George Smith, James Rusby, Zidan Akers (Jose Maturino Da Silva 86), Mike Jones, Oliver Artwell, Matt Jones, Ralph Graham (Dan Bailey 90), Yan Klukowski. Unused substitutes: Tommy Rees, Patrick Ohman.

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