Goddard strikes winner against Stones

Slough Town

Slough Town

Jackman (7), Goddard (83)
Maidstone United

Maidstone United

Faal (pen 64)
League Attendance: 1054 David Ogbonna
Slough Town put in a professional and accomplished performance at Arbour Park, as they dispatched Maidstone United to make it 15 consecutive games unbeaten at home, writes Freddie Gatrell.

In what was an eagerly anticipated clash against opposition in wonderful form and the only non-league side remaining in this season’s Emirates FA Cup, it was an ideal start for Scott Davies’ men at a busy Arbour Park.

In Slough’s first meaningful attack of the game, it was club captain, Josh Jackman who opened the scoring in the 7th minute. A seeking long ball from Scott Davies found the head of a rising Dan Bayliss in the centre of a crowded Stones penalty area, with the big centre half rising and nodding the ball into the path of an arriving Josh Jackman who smashed the ball low and hard into the bottom left corner.

Despite having such an early lead, Slough did not lose any of their organisation or concentration, with the half remaining firmly in the grip of the Rebels. Jackman nearly got his second in the 18th minute, with great work from David Ogbonna on the right wing finding the head of Jackman in the box, but his headed effort was well saved by Lucas Colovan.

Ogbonna continued to cause all sorts of problems for the Kent outfit throughout the first half, with his directness and powerful dribbling putting the Stones backline under constant pressure.

The second half nearly got off to an ideal start for the Rebels, with a Scott Davies free kick in the 47th minute testing Colovan. The ball was fired towards the bottom right corner, only to be well saved.

As the half wore on, Maidstone began to assert huge amounts of pressure on the Slough defence. Muhammadu Faal was at the heart of this for the visitors and was duly rewarded in the 63rd minute, receiving the ball at the edge of the 18-yard box and winning a penalty kick after a clumsy Temi Eweka challenge from behind felled the Maidstone debutant.

Faal was fortunate to beat Dan Lincoln, with the keeper getting a hand to the striker’s spot kick, which bounced off the keeper’s hand and nestled in the back of the net, much to the disappointment of the home support.

Despite a continued spell of Maidstone pressure, Slough dug deep and avoided conceding another. In what proved a crucial decision in the outcome of the match, Maidstone’s second half substitute Raphe Brown received his second yellow card in the 79th minute after a cynical foul on substitute Slavi Spasov, who had only entered the fray seconds before.

Spasov continued to influence proceedings and was central to Slough’s winning goal seven minutes from time. Eweka gained possession after a Maidstone corner was nodded away by Dan Bayliss, with the centre half surging down the right wing before delivering the ball to the feet of Spasov.

The Bulgarian forward drove powerfully down the wing and rolled his man before cutting back inside beautifully, leaving Jephte Tanga on the floor before delivering a low cross to feet of Johnny Goddard, who took a touch and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.

This win now leaves the Rebels only three points from a play-off position ahead of another big test at Worthing on Tuesday evening.

Maidstone United Lineup

Lucas Covolan, Chi Ezennolim (Raphe Brown 45), George Fowler, Jephte Tanga, Riley Court (Liam Sole 61), Mo Faal, Harry Kyprianou, Sam Bone, Bivesh Gurung, Paul Appiah, Matt Rush (Timmy Abraham 45). Unused substitutes: Harley Earle, Gavin Hoyte.


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