Pre-season: Rebels defeat Banbury United

Slough Town

Slough Town

Abisogun (pen 75), McElroy (85)
Banbury United

Banbury United

Friendly Attendance: 295
Goals from second half substitutes Gary Abisogun and trialist Tom McElroy sealed a last gasp 2-1 victory for the Rebels against Banbury United, writes Freddie Gatrell.

It was a fine evening at Arbour Park, as Slough Town faced off against National League North side Banbury United in what proved to be a further pre-season test for Scott Davies’ men, against strong opposition.

Early signs were positive for the Rebels, with multiple chances falling within the Banbury 18-yard box and success being found down both wings. David Ogbonna started the match with a point to prove, showing dynamism and positive interplay with his teammates off the left side of the pitch, with multiple fouls being committed by the Banbury defence, leading to some big early chances for the hosts.

As the first half progressed, the Rebels began to grow into a commanding position, holding the lion’s share of possession over The Puritans. Arsenal loanee, Hubert Graczyk proved vital in this possessive dominance, demonstrating maturity beyond his years with his distribution from the back.

Despite the first half being largely positive for the hosts, an unfortunate loss of possession followed by a hopeful floated pass from Banbury full back Jack Davies sent newly-signed striker, Ken Charles through on goal, where he calmly finished past Graczyk, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner to put the visitors 1-0 up just before the break.

The hosts started the second half with a point to prove, with an early chance falling to Ogbonna following a driven cross into the box from winger, Harvey Harry but Ogbonna’s close range effort was scrambled clear by keeper Jack Harding, as the game remained 1-0 to the visitors.

Substitute Leon Chambers-Parillon continually impressed throughout the second half, creating multiple chances with powerful runs from central midfield. Despite this, further chances came the way of Banbury’s frontman Charles who squandered two big opportunities in front of goal which would have left the visitors in a commanding position.

After threatening for most of the match to no avail, it was substitute winger Gary Abisogun who broke Banbury’s defensive line, thanks to a powerful run into the Banbury box from the right wing, resulting in the winger being chopped down and winning a penalty kick in the 73rd minute. Abisogun stepped up to take the kick, calmly dispatching the ball into the bottom right corner to make it 1-1 with 15 minutes left to play.

The Rebels continued to grow into the second half after the equaliser, with substitutes Matt Lench and Chambers-Parillon combining well. Lench received a pass out wide and fired in a troublesome cross from the right side of the pitch, which landed at the feet of Harvey. After a fortunate bounce, caused by Harvey’s persistence, the ball set up perfectly for trialist Tom McElroy to smash past a helpless Banbury goalkeeper, to make it 2-1 in the 85th minute.

The game was closed off in a professional manner by Davies’ men, with a well-fought victory and a professional second half display. Next up for the Rebels is a match against Bracknell Town on Saturday at 3pm.

Image: George Beck

Slough Town Line up

Hubert Graczyk, Josh Jackman, Joe Dandy, Dan Bayliss, Tyrese Dyce, Leon Chambers-Parillon, Munashe Sundire, Harvey Harry, Johnny Goddard, David Ogbonna, Elliot Benyon. Substitutes: Tom McElroy, Nathan Minhas, Matt Lench, Gary Abisogun, Jonny Giles.


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