Summer signing Mickel Platt was a surprise inclusion in the starting lineup; the striker made his debut for the club after being dogged by an injury since joining the club. After getting match practice and scoring goals for Uxbridge recently, Rebels' fans were delighted to see him finally pull on the club’s shirt. George Alexander and Matt Lench missed out through injury, whilst Temi Eweka was suspended.
On a wet, windy, and miserable day on the south coast, the Rebels began the first half on the back foot, being pegged back within eight minutes. After a mix-up in the Slough box, the ball was not cleared, leaving Eastbourne’s Leone Gravata with a straightforward task of putting the ball into the back of the net. This goal came after Munashe Sundire was forced off with an injury, replaced by Leon Chambers-Parillon.
The remainder of the first half was dominated by the hosts, with the Rebels being lackadaisical in possession, carelessly giving the ball away time and time again. This lack of care with possession allowed the hosts to continually threaten the Rebels' goal. Thankfully, Rohan Luthra was on top form, with his best save coming in the 36th minute, where Fletcher Holman found himself alone behind the Slough defence, only to see his low drive brilliantly saved by Luthra's outstretched legs.
Scott Davies' men will feel fortunate to have gone into the dressing room at half-time only one goal down. The second half began in a similar fashion to the first, with a well-organised and professional Eastbourne outfit making it 2-0 in the 49th minute, as a low cross into the box fell at the feet of Decarrey Sheriff, who made no mistake with his finish.
This second goal seemed to awaken the Rebels from their slumber, as Chambers-Parillon's good attacking run allowed him the time to fire a low cross into the feet of Johnny Goddard, whose perfect touch pulled him into space in front of the Eastbourne goal, where he finished with aplomb into the bottom right corner in the 56th minute.
No sooner had the Rebels scored, Eastbourne were celebrating a third goal two minutes later. The south coast side caught Slough in transition from the restart, with a cultured finish from Zak Emmerson fired in off the post, giving Luthra no chance.
The Rebels dug deeper and were well rewarded 10 minutes later, with a free kick from Goddard cannoning off the Eastbourne wall into the feet of debutant Mickel Platt, who calmly slotted the ball past Harrison Foulkes in goal to make it 3-2.
As the second half progressed, the Rebels only looked more likely to score, with their grit and determination rewarded in the closing stages. A whipped Goddard cross from a poor Eastbourne clearance was floated perfectly into the danger area in front of Eastbourne’s goal, with Tyrese Dyce rising highest to nod the ball home, restoring parity in the 84th minute.
Despite last-gasp efforts from the Rebels to find a winner, Scott Davies and his men will be satisfied to get a point after such a poor first-half showing. This point means the Rebels remain in 21st place in the table, but the performance demonstrated that the Rebels have the desired hunger needed to win more points over the remainder of the campaign.
Slough’s attentions now turn to the Emirates FA Cup First Round, with Grimsby Town making the trip to Arbour Park next Sunday.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Rohan Luthra
- 2 Josh Jackman
- 5 Dan Bayliss
- 6 Jeanmal Prosper 8
- 10 Johnny Goddard
- 11 Dominic Hutchinson
- 14 Scott Davies
- 17 Tyrese Dyce
- 18 Munashe Sundire 12
- 19 Mickel Platt 9
- 23 David Ogbonna
Eastbourne Borough Line up
Harrison Foulkes, Archie Proctor, Brad Barry (c), Jack Clarke (Dan Quick 57), Decarrey Sheriff, Imran Uche, Freddie Carter, Fletcher Holman (Michael Olarewaju 70), Leone Gravata, Zak Emmerson, Billy Vigar (Jay Beckford 28). Unused substitutes: Ben Dudzinski, Alfie Bridgman.