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Fri Dec 3
19:45

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Woking U23 (H)
Fri Dec 3 19:45
Suburban Football League
1st
34pts

Two for Ben Harris in home defeat

| League
Att: 601
Slough Town
B Harris (31, 38)
2 - 3
St Albans City
Sole (19), Jeffers (21, pen 79)
Max Worsfold
Slough Town were punished by a combination of a highly dubious penalty decision and a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal as they were defeated at Arbour Park by St Albans City.

The game was marred by a serious injury for Rebels defender Ryan Bird, who landed badly in the centre circle after attempting to win the ball in the air. After receiving lengthy treatment on the pitch he was taken to Wexham Park Hospital, and it was later confirmed that he has suffered a ruptured patella tendon in his left knee – an injury which is likely to rule him out for much of the remainder of the season.

Guy Hollis replaced Bird, and the Hertfordshire visitors quickly set about trying to take advantage of the reshuffle at the heart of the Slough defence. Two goals in the space of around three minutes put the Saints seemingly in control.

With 19 minutes played, a pass into the penalty area found Liam Sole, who had time to cut inside, bear down on goal and beat Jonathan North with a firm finish.

Shortly after, Slough were cut apart by a through pass which Shaun Jeffers latched onto before coolly sliding the ball past North.

But Slough showed great character to get back into the match and Ben Harris – making his first start of the season – led the charge.

On 31 minutes Hollis played a forward pass to Sean Fraser, who did well to hold off his man and slip the ball through to Harris whilst grounded. The striker moved into the space in front of him and fired the ball into the bottom corner of Michael Johnson’s goal.

Seven minutes later, Harris started and finished a fantastic move which pulled the Rebels level.

Harris volleyed a pass out wide to the left for Max Worsfold and then charged into the box to meet the winger’s low cross, guiding the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot.

It was just the boost Slough needed, and the home side searched for a third before half time, with Tom Derry firing over from Joe Lawal’s first-time cross, and Lawal himself unlucky not to get on the end of a whipped cross from Worsfold in stoppage time.

The second period continued in much the same vein, as Slough missed key chances to grab the advantage.

On 50 minutes Derry worked the ball through to Lawal, but the young striker’s shot was not powerful enough to beat Johnson.

Then on the hour mark, Johnson could only punch a cross straight into the path of substitute Eitel Goueth, but his goalbound effort was blocked by determined St Albans defence.

Just five minutes later, Lawal sent a deep cross from Freddie Grant back across goal, and the ball hit Derry before flying wide, with the striker unable to react and steer it goalward.

And with time running out, the visitors were awarded a hugely controversial penalty kick by referee Andrew Humphries. George Hunt’s challenge on Kyran Wiltshire outside the area was a clear foul, but Humphries let play continue into the penalty area, where Romeo Akinola appeared to simply run straight into Hollis before hitting the ground.

It was a decision which caused outrage on the Slough bench, but Jeffers kept his cool to send North the wrong way and put St Albans back in command, a position from which the Rebels could not recover.

Highlights: FCVideo
Image: Philip Benton

View and purchase photos by Official Club Photographer Philip Benton

St Albans City Line up

Johnson, Bender, Diedhiou, Dawson (Noble 70), Lankshear; Mukena, Witshire, Goddard (Banton 70); Akinola, Sole (Weiss 70), Jeffers.

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